I have been laid up the last two days with strep throat, which pretty much killed the "build week" I had planned this week. Anyway, to amuse myself yesterday I watched the World Cycling Productions 1986 Greg Lemond Tour de France video.
It is 55 minutes and is more like a "Wide World of Sports" episode than a race video. They do not spend much time showing the actual racing but it is still well worth watching. Many interesting things:
1. It is the first Tour in which Phil Liggett is joined by Paul Sherwen. Sherwen is very young and unpolished and his accent is completely different than the way he speaks today (much more working class British back then). It's cool, 20 years later, watching Phil introduce "young Paul Sherwen" and knowing that these guys will form the greatest commentary team in sports, in my opinion.
2. It is the Tour when 7-11 first raced in Europe, although they do not spend much time focusing on that.
3. There is a great shot of Bob Roll leading a strung out peloton onto the Champs Elysees.
4. The background music goes from porn movie snytho to unlistenable 80's shmaltz. On two of the big heroic mountain stages when Hinault and LeMond are duking it out, they play "When the Going Get's Tough" by Billy Ocean!!!! Suffice it to say that this song has not aged well and completely erases the drama and majesty of those stages. Turn the sound off when you get to that part of the disc.
5. Hinault and LeMond ride across the Alpe d'Huez finish line together with hands clasped -- in a great PR shot, which looks actually like great sportsmanship. But then Hinault attacks LeMond again after that.
6. When Lemond is on the final podium in Paris, you will notice "mayor" Jacques Chirac congratulating him. Of course, Mr. Chirac would later have quite his fill of America's dominance of the world and of the Tour de France as well.