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Old 07-22-14, 01:41 PM   #1
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ESPN TOnight at 8pm

30 for 30...

Slaying the Badger. Arguable the best team ever in cycling, and it gets monstrously personal.

Possible the most interesting Tour ever if you are into competition and taking no prisoners.

If you have not read the book (which is fascinating) be sure to see this.

And people thought Armstrong was an assh0le.
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Old 07-22-14, 02:54 PM   #2
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This is going to be ****ing sweet. Got my DVR set.
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Old 07-22-14, 07:32 PM   #3
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So glad you posted this. It was really fascinating.
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Old 07-22-14, 07:58 PM   #4
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Wow! That was a treat. Thanks for posting. Hinault comes off like a self-absorbed sleaze bag.

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Old 07-22-14, 08:12 PM   #5
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I thought the coach, whose name escapes me right now, was a detestable fellow. Worse than Hinault even.
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Old 07-22-14, 09:08 PM   #6
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Wow! That was a treat. Thanks for posting. Hinault comes off like a self-absorbed sleaze bag.

Rich
I didn't get that at all. What I saw was that Hinault was purely a bike racer, he did not know any other way to do what he was doing. Aptly named show really. He had to be slain, he did not know how to help someone else win.

Kochli did come across as a rather odd dude. However there was an interview with Richard Moore posted somewhere here where he said "Köchli is one of the most interesting people I've ever interviewed" so I suppose my impression could be due to editing.
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Old 07-23-14, 05:00 AM   #7
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If you enjoyed that film, get the book because there is a huge amount of detail that they only touch on in the film.

Hinault wanted to win a sixth Tour and he tried. LeMond beat him. He justifies it with his "driving Greg to greatness" stories in his head.

My favorite is the interview about the Tour being over...and Hinault basically says it is not over. Essentially saying he is still in the race but he softens it with if Greg crashes etc...But he was never going to ride support, really, for LeMond.

When I read the book, the politics of this struck me....a Frenchman, five time winner riding support for an American?

La Vie Claire was a fascinating bunch. Powerful, but badly put together. Tapie was a pretty fascinating person.
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Old 07-30-14, 06:12 PM   #8
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If you enjoyed that film, get the book because there is a huge amount of detail that they only touch on in the film.

Hinault wanted to win a sixth Tour and he tried. LeMond beat him. He justifies it with his "driving Greg to greatness" stories in his head.

My favorite is the interview about the Tour being over...and Hinault basically says it is not over. Essentially saying he is still in the race but he softens it with if Greg crashes etc...But he was never going to ride support, really, for LeMond.

When I read the book, the politics of this struck me....a Frenchman, five time winner riding support for an American?

La Vie Claire was a fascinating bunch. Powerful, but badly put together. Tapie was a pretty fascinating person.
Finally watched this last night. Real fun trip down memory lane. The '85 & '86 Tours were fascinating to follow, slightly different circumstances and different tactics and either one of those guys could have won both years. Lemond probably made a mistake joining La Vie Claire but the with the money they offered it was hard to turn down plus Fignon was pretty much set to be the leader going forward at Gitane.

If Fignon hadn't gotten injured he might have crushed both of them like he did in '84 but as has been pointed out recently, you have to start and finish to win.

Lemond was lucky to have Bauer and Hampsten, along with apparently all the non-French riders, to help him. Hampsten comes off real well in the documentary. A little bummed that Bauer wasn't included too.

Nice to see a younger Phil in the clips, remember those broadcasts well.

I'm not a TdF historian but it seems like the 80' had more than their share of great and dramatic Tours.
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Old 07-30-14, 08:09 PM   #9
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I thought the coach, whose name escapes me right now, was a detestable fellow. Worse than Hinault even.
Hinault didn't really strike my wife and me as too far off. I am just not prepared to judge a top flight athlete fighting hard to stay on the very tippety top, and however he rationalized that to himself afterward. I mean, he could have conceded after the fact that his time was really over but hey.

The coach seemed clearly in denial as to his motivations but it didn't have any real upside for my view of him. Favoring Hinault was not for the good of the team, it was just for the good of, whatever... not defensible. The coach did not look good at all to us.

Maybe the book has more info on Hinault personally poisoning Lemond's food or more actively soliciting French riders to knock his bike down by the handlebars, but that specific threat wasn't in the movie, just the general atmosphere of menace.
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Old 07-31-14, 11:10 AM   #10
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just watching it. The coach of the team comes across as a lying fool
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Old 08-01-14, 07:08 AM   #11
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interesting - even though the same source material was (presumably) used, Kochli in particular came off very differently to me in print and on camera. When I read the book, he sounded like a Moonbeam type but on camera seemed much more calculating, political and less than forthcoming. Both the book and documentary were excellent
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Old 08-01-14, 09:45 AM   #12
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I'm not a TdF historian but it seems like the 80' had more than their share of great and dramatic Tours.
I think it helps that there wasn't a block in the 80s of one rider completely dominating the decade like you had in the 60s (Anquetil) 70s (Merckx) 90s (Indurain) or 00s (no winner here). Yes, 3 of Hinault's wins were in the 80s, but as you point out the amount of drama that went into that 85 win, and the contest with Lemond the following year, makes them stand out.

An older fan than me might argue that Anquetil's battles with Poulidor or Merckx's with Ocana were as/more exciting, though. I guess it depends on what you want out of the race.
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Old 08-01-14, 10:54 AM   #13
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I think it helps that there wasn't a block in the 80s of one rider completely dominating the decade like you had in the 60s (Anquetil) 70s (Merckx) 90s (Indurain) or 00s (no winner here). Yes, 3 of Hinault's wins were in the 80s, but as you point out the amount of drama that went into that 85 win, and the contest with Lemond the following year, makes them stand out.

An older fan than me might argue that Anquetil's battles with Poulidor or Merckx's with Ocana were as/more exciting, though. I guess it depends on what you want out of the race.
Or an even older fan may go back to Coppi vs. Bartali. Merck's battles with Ocana and eventual loss to Thevenet were certainly great to follow.

I'm sure a lot of it is personal bias since the 80's is when I started following the Tour. If Lemond hadn't gotten shot he may have reeled off 5 straight. I do think the '85 & '86 Tours with changing of the guard dynamic, the '87 Tour with all the lead changes not being decided until the final time trial and the '89 Tour with resurrections of two former winners lead changes along with the closest ever finish all stand up as some of the most entertaining Tours.

I enjoyed Indurain's run since it was so impressive and he always seemed so cool under pressure. Since then I have had a hard time enjoying the Tour as much because of personalities (or lack thereof), doping and boring racing. I did enjoy Cadel's win just because of all the close calls he had previously and I'm naively clinging to the notion that he rode clean.
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Old 08-01-14, 12:00 PM   #14
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Finally watched this last night. Real fun trip down memory lane. The '85 & '86 Tours were fascinating to follow, slightly different circumstances and different tactics and either one of those guys could have won both years. Lemond probably made a mistake joining La Vie Claire but the with the money they offered it was hard to turn down plus Fignon was pretty much set to be the leader going forward at Gitane.

If Fignon hadn't gotten injured he might have crushed both of them like he did in '84 but as has been pointed out recently, you have to start and finish to win.

Lemond was lucky to have Bauer and Hampsten, along with apparently all the non-French riders, to help him. Hampsten comes off real well in the documentary. A little bummed that Bauer wasn't included too.

Nice to see a younger Phil in the clips, remember those broadcasts well.

I'm not a TdF historian but it seems like the 80' had more than their share of great and dramatic Tours.
The image put forward by most American writers still is one Hampsten flatly contradicted in an interview he gave later.

Per Hampsten Lemond had 2 riders working for him, but Hinault had only one, his longtime Lt. There were 2 veteran French riders on the team working for a team result and 2 poor swiss riders just trying to figure out the politics and survive.

This is NOT to saw the feelings were not there and that the impression was not there. It was and ironically one incident Hampsten describes shows both reality and how it has grown to myth.

On one stage Hampsten had given his all for Lemond and was spent and off the back. He expected no help and saw his 4th place position as gone and a drop of several places. Then much to his surprise he sees the 2 French riders droping back to help pace him to the finish.

Later after that evening he approached the 2 and thanked them and said he hoped they did not get in trouble for their actions. Their reply? 'Are you crazy, you are in 4th place that is 70,000 French Francs.

BTW Hinault could easily have won the Tour in 86. At one point he was up several minutes, the next day he attacked again. That day Lemond caught him and took the time back.

I'm not saying Hinault was a saint or even a good teammate, I'm saying he was trying to win and have plausible deniability and when he had a choice it went for plausible deniability (and a chance for a monster win) over eaking out a small win and no deniability.

I was a bit off on some details. Turns out the chase back is after a flat last week.

Here is a link.

http://www.dailypeloton.com/displayarticle.asp?pk=6877

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Old 08-02-14, 04:52 PM   #15
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I've seen better 30 on 30 shows, such as "No Mas", Roberto Duran's famous quit with Sugar Ray Leanord which was very good IMO. I found this show, Slaying the Badger, a bit confusing, and I think non-cycling fans would have been lost completely. I'll have to watch again I guess.

But it was good to see a great cycling rivalry shown on such a series.
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Old 08-02-14, 07:59 PM   #16
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An hr well spent

Slaying the Badger - Greg Le Mond - Bernard Hinault - YouTube
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Old 08-03-14, 05:28 AM   #17
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I've seen better 30 on 30 shows, such as "No Mas", Roberto Duran's famous quit with Sugar Ray Leanord which was very good IMO. I found this show, Slaying the Badger, a bit confusing, and I think non-cycling fans would have been lost completely. I'll have to watch again I guess.

But it was good to see a great cycling rivalry shown on such a series.
+1. i've enjoyed nearly all of the "30 for 30" series over the years and there are a dozen that are essential for casual and hard-core fans of sports in general.
enjoyed slaying the badger but couldn't help but think it could have been tweaked a bit so as to be one of the essentials.
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Old 08-03-14, 11:58 AM   #18
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I finally got around to watching it yesterday, when weather forced me to the trainer. I enjoyed it.

Tapie was definitely out of the George Steinbrenner/Jerry Jones school of sports ownership. Yelling instructions from the moon roof of the team car to Kocheli.

Hinault looks like he can jump on a bike today and tackle Alpe d'Huez. Greg, not so much. And he enjoyed the cat and mouse game with the reporter. You could see it in his eyes. "I promised I would help Greg win. And he won. So I kept my promise." In so many words.

He was many times better at the game than Kocheli was.

The Badger is still my all time favorite rider.
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Old 08-03-14, 01:05 PM   #19
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Just watched this after reading the book.
Great documentary and captured the contents of the book quite well.
Some of those pictures really capture the moment. Look in the eyes of Lemond after Hinault announces the tour is not over until the winner crosses the finish line.
As much as I felt for Lemond in the book you really get the history behind both these men and what stuck out is the desire to win. That's why they were among the best riders at the time.
We can look on and say about being fair but there is that desire for each of us to be the best. One does not give up that desire easily I'm sure.
Greg does come across as the gentleman though.
If you haven't seen it, well recommended on YouTube. It's interesting the show ends with Lance and the unbelievable statement about him by Lemond.
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Old 08-03-14, 02:50 PM   #20
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Hinault looks like he can jump on a bike today and tackle Alpe d'Huez. Greg, not so much. And he enjoyed the cat and mouse game with the reporter. You could see it in his eyes. "I promised I would help Greg win. And he won. So I kept my promise." In so many words.

He was many times better at the game than Kocheli was.

The Badger is still my all time favorite rider.
I definitely enjoyed Hineault in the movie. Koechli made me cringe.
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Old 08-04-14, 12:14 PM   #21
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The image put forward by most American writers still is one Hampsten flatly contradicted in an interview he gave later.

Per Hampsten Lemond had 2 riders working for him, but Hinault had only one, his longtime Lt. There were 2 veteran French riders on the team working for a team result and 2 poor swiss riders just trying to figure out the politics and survive.
This jibes more with my memory of the events, Bauer and Hampsten riding for Lemond, the French (at least Bernard) riding for Hinault and the Swiss being Swiss.

Thanks to the link to the Hampsten interview, really enjoyed that. Always liked him as a rider and he seems to have made a great life for himself after racing.

Saw this interview with Steve Bauer, says pretty much the same things.

Interview: Steve Bauer, Part I | RKP


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BTW Hinault could easily have won the Tour in 86. At one point he was up several minutes, the next day he attacked again. That day Lemond caught him and took the time back.

I'm not saying Hinault was a saint or even a good teammate, I'm saying he was trying to win and have plausible deniability and when he had a choice it went for plausible deniability (and a chance for a monster win) over eaking out a small win and no deniability.
I still to this day don't understand Hinault's attack after he took yellow unless he truly knew that Lemond was that much stronger and he needed more time. If he just rode conservativley he might well have won.

I don't blame Hinault for wanting to win a 6th Tour, he was hyper competitive and was probably tired of hearing Merckx tell anyone that would listen that Merckx had faced tougher competition. A 6th Tour would have put Hinault in sole possession for Tour victories.

As someone who is probably more emotionally akin to Lemond I can understand feeling betrayed when someone promises you one thing and does something else.

Still not sure what to make of Koechli, both Hampsten and Bauer were complimentary of him but he comes off badly in the documentary. I recall several years ago he did an interview where he flatly stated that the only 3 riders that rode for him that did it clean were Lemond, Hampsten and Bauer so I'm not sure where all the animosity comes from Lemond. Of course Koechli could just have said that to improve his standing with Lemond.

Sounds like I have to read the book at some point.
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Old 08-04-14, 01:54 PM   #22
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Hinault never actually failed a test, but there is that one blot on his otherwise-clean record where he refused to pee in the cup at Callac. One of 5 who refused.

But LeMond is on record as saying that "everyone" on La Vie Claire, including the Badger, rode clean in the two years he was there. And considering that Koechli was an adamant anti-doper, and how Hinault personally approved him as DS, I tend to agree with Greg on that.
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Old 08-04-14, 02:04 PM   #23
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I still to this day don't understand Hinault's attack after he took yellow unless he truly knew that Lemond was that much stronger and he needed more time. If he just rode conservativley he might well have won.
It makes sense if plausible deniability was important to Hinault. Those wanting to paint him as a pure villain can't seem to accept that he had some good points.

One of those good pints is unlike many Hinault was willing to actually ride in support of other riders on his team, but only for races Hinault did not particularly care about (and perhaps stage races where a bad day had removed his chances, but I'd bet he would be slow to concede he was out of the running). That good point may have misled Lemond into thinking it would happen in the TDF.
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Old 08-04-14, 05:22 PM   #24
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It makes sense if plausible deniability was important to Hinault. Those wanting to paint him as a pure villain can't seem to accept that he had some good points.

One of those good pints is unlike many Hinault was willing to actually ride in support of other riders on his team, but only for races Hinault did not particularly care about (and perhaps stage races where a bad day had removed his chances, but I'd bet he would be slow to concede he was out of the running). That good point may have misled Lemond into thinking it would happen in the TDF.
Certainly Hinault was playing the psychological game at a much higher level than Lemond. Lemond probably should have raced for himself since he was supposedly the team leader and not worried about Hinault. It's probably hard when you are riding with a guy who is not only your hero and likely one of the two best riders ever but is also very charismatic.

I was and continue to be a big fan of Hinault. He won everything of note(except Flanders and San Remo) including Paris-Roubaix which he didn't mind saying was a lottery, no a bike race. I don't think he was a villain but I do think he was riding for himself at the Tour that year.
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Old 08-04-14, 07:27 PM   #25
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It's a shame the two were on the same team. An '86 TdF where both had a full team support would have been epic. It was, of course, epic in any case.
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