New ESPN film examines Lemond vs. Hinault battle of 1986

Greg Lemond Tour de France

Image courtesy of ESPN Films

Before Lance Armstrong, there was the three-time Tour champion Greg LeMond. LeMond was the first and is currently the only American to officially win the Tour de France. In the mid 1980s he was a quickly rising star in international pro cycling, but the riders at the top of the sport, including his own teammates, were reluctant to step aside for a new challenger.

Then the reigning Tour champion, Benard Hinault (known as “The Badger”) had seemingly promised to help LeMond to his first victory, in return for LeMond supporting him when he struggled in 1985 when they were teammates. But in a sport that purports to reward teamwork, “Slaying the Badger” demonstrates that sometimes it’s really every man for himself.

The documentary features interviews with Greg and Kathy LeMond, Greg’s father Bob LeMond, Hinault, former team coach Paul Koechli, former teammate Andy Hampsten, cycling journalists and others. The film is based on the book with the same name written by Richard Moore.

ESPN Films’ award-winning 30 for 30 series will take air “Slaying the Badger” on Tuesday, July 22, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

 

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