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.

“I had a puncture and I broke a wheel,” says LeMond now of the time trial, “so I lost the time trial by 44 seconds, which I would not have lost had those two things not happened. But in Hinault’s mind . . . I mean, I would have said to his face, ‘You wouldn’t have beaten me if I hadn’t had the flat and broken the wheel; I would have won the time trial.’ But it didn’t matter to him. To him all that mattered was ‘I won the time trial.’”

And it confirmed LeMond’s suspicion that, in Hinault’s mind, the time trial had decided who should be the team’s designated leader.

“But he made that rule himself!” protests LeMond. “I didn’t agree to anything. I didn’t race like that. He, in his mind, was the leader. But in my mind . . . I was clear that—”

LeMond’s wife Kathy interrupted, “The whole winter, the whole spring, Hinault had been clear. He said he’d support Greg.”

We hope you’ve enjoyed this passage from Slaying the Badger by Richard Moore!

During the 2012 Tour de France, VeloPress traveled back through time to replay the 1986 Tour de France one stage at a time. Each morning of the 2012 Tour, VeloPress published a “stage report” with results from the 1986 Tour, which were passages from Richard Moore’s award-winning book Slaying the Badger and supplemented with articles and advertisements from the archives of Velo-news magazine and with race videos from YouTube. VeloPress is pleased to archive these passages from Slaying the Badger, which is an incomparably detailed and highly revealing tale of cycling’s most extraordinary rivalry between the young American Greg LeMond and his teammate, the legendary French rider Bernard Hinault.