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Prologue: The Entire First Chapter of Slaying the Badger

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Enjoy the entire first chapter from Richard Moore's book Slaying the Badger.

Greg LeMond Wins the Tour de France!

Greg LeMond first American to win the Tour de France 1986 Velo-news

Greg LeMond appears on the cover of Velo-news magazine after winning the 1986 Tour de France!

The Badger Is Slain! Hinault Finally Concedes to LeMond

Today's stage 21 was a hilly one that finished atop the Puy de Dôme—the spectacular dome-shaped volcanic plug in the Massif Central. The Puy de Dôme is a climb of rich symbolism and incident, where Hinault had fancied claiming his first yellow jersey in 1978, where Eddy Merckx had been punched in the kidneys three years earlier. This year, the mountain's role is to perhaps allow a challenger to make one last, desperate bid for the yellow jersey.

LeMond’s Disastrous Time Trial Ends in Yellow

Greg LeMond rides the Stage 9 ITT in Nantes during the 1986 Tour de France

Today’s stage 20 looked to be a critical one in the Tour de France, a 58km individual time trial in Saint-Etienne. This stage presented the last time trial of the Tour, one which Hinault said would seal the victory of the strongest rider.

Is Greg LeMond in Danger?

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Is Greg LeMond in danger at the 1986 Tour de France?

Hinault and LeMond Ride Together Up Alpe d’Huez!

Greg LeMond and Bernard Hinault ascend Alpe d'Huez 1986 Tour de France

Greg LeMond's first day in the yellow jersey was not an easy one. Stage 18 almost immediately ascended the Col du Lautaret then the Col du Galibier en route to a summit finish on Alpe d'Huez.

Greg LeMond First American to Lead the Tour de France!

Greg LeMond dropped an injured Bernard Hinault on today's mountain stage to become the first rider from the United States to wear the yellow jersey of the leader of the Tour de France.

In Mistral Winds, the Badger Sneaks Away Again

Velo-news photo of the 1986 Tour de France climbers Hampsten, Hinault, LeMond, Herrera

On today's stage 16, the peloton faced strong winds on the roads from Nimes to Gap, winds that forced the riders into echelons.

Cornered, the Badger Defends His Attack

Did Hinault give LeMond permission to attack? “I’m not his father,” replied Hinault. “He can do what he likes. What’s important is to keep the jersey in the team.”

Hampsten and Grewal: Hinault’s Attack Was Suicidal

Alexi Grewal photo from Team 7-Eleven book

Team 7-Eleven's Alexi Grewal, the winner of the 1984 Olympic road race, described Hinault’s solo attack on this second day in the Pyrenees as “undoubtedly the most stupid move of the race so far.

Hinault Cracks after Kamikaze Attack! LeMond Wins Stage!

Andy Hampsten

Greg LeMond won his second Tour de France stage today after his La Vie Claire teammate and race leader Bernard Hinault cracked spectacularly on the climbs leading to the finish in Superbagneres. LeMond's win is the first ever mountain stage win for an American in the Tour de France.

LeMond and Hinault Near Fisticuffs! LeMond: “Hinault’s gonna pay.”

Today's stage 12 to Pau saw Bernard Hinault launch a sneak attack on the overall favorites.

Hinault Takes Yellow with Sneak Attack to Pau!

Hinault leads Delgado on stage 12 of the 1986 Tour de France

During the early miles of Stage 12 from Bayonne to Pau, the peloton rode calmly, saving their legs for the first major climb of the Tour, the first-category Col de Marie-Blanque, until something unexpected happened.

LeMond Guts It Out for 60km with Food Poisoning!

Bernard Hinault Sportscaster card from 1978

According to riders interviewed after today's Stage 10 from Nantes to Futuroscope, the stench was overpowering: a rotten, putrid smell, so bad that several riders looked around, their faces screwing up as though they were sucking on lemons. The peloton watched Greg LeMond, fourth in line, being led back to the pack by a string of his La Vie Claire teammates.

LeMond: “I would have beaten Hinault.”

American hopeful Greg LeMond is disheartened. When asked about the significance of losing 44 seconds to Hinault, LeMond acknowledges that Hinault expected this stage to determine La Vie Claire's team captain.

Hinault Defeats LeMond in Stage 9 Individual Time Trial

Greg LeMond rides the Stage 9 ITT in Nantes during the 1986 Tour de France

Hinault’s attack on the road to Cherbourg only served to make Greg LeMond even more uncertain and edgy. They have barely left the blocks, but already the pledge that Hinault made to help the American seems as believable as Santa Claus.

The Badger Attacks!

The Badger Attacks

Stage 6 to Cherbourg witnessed a surprise attack by a GC favorite. En route to Brittany, Bernard Hinault's stomping grounds, the Badger attacked the peloton.

Système U Hammers La Vie Claire in TTT

Saturday afternoon’s stage is a 56-km team time trial, an event La Vie Claire dominated in 1985, winning by over a minute. But now, in 1986 on the road from Meudon to Saint Quentin, something very, very odd happened.

Fignon’s Systeme U Takes Prologue!

Frenchman Thierry Marie (Systeme U) won today's opening stage of the Tour de France, a 4 kilometer individual time trial snaking through Boulogne-Billancourt.

Hinault’s Promise to LeMond: I will help you win the Tour

"Next year it's you who will win the Tour, and I'll be there to give you a hand." -- Bernard Hinault to Greg LeMond

The Badger Appoints Two Successors

Bernard Hinault, Bernard Tapie, Greg LeMond

A week out from the start of the 1986 Tour de France, five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault, the Badger, has responded to rumors swirling in the peloton about his upcoming retirement and who -- if anyone -- might fill his spot on the La Vie Claire team.

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