Slaying the Badger
Those of you yearning for the more innocent, bygone era of professional cycling may be surprised by the story at the heart of Richard Moore's new book, Slaying the Badger.The book chronicles events leading up to, and including, the 1986 Tour de France, a race characterised by the apparent deceit, duplicity and double-crossing between its two major players, Bernard 'The Badger' Hinault and Greg LeMond. Frenchman Hinault, in his final year as a professional, was under pressure from a public and media desperate for him to overhaul the five Tour wins of Eddy Merckx and Jacques Anquetil. LeMond, a 25-year-old from the then cycling backwater of North America, was gunning for his first. Hinault had vowed to support his La Vie Claire teammate, following LeMond's help the previous year in securing the Badger a fifth Tour crown. But would this promise, given seemingly in the heat of the moment following the 1985 race, be kept?