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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! The Best Tour ever.
Absolutely brilliant retelling of the events surrounding the 1986 Tour de France by Richard Moore. This was the first Tour broadcast on British TV by Channel 4 and as it was also my first Tour it brought back many many great memories.

Moore tries to unravel the events surrounding Lemond's victory and whether or not his team mate, Hinault (the badger) was riding...
Published on 15 Jun. 2011 by Joman73

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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A different opinion
Richard Moore's Slaying the Badger seems to have gained universal praise and so it's with some trepidation that I offer a dissenting opinion. Don't get me wrong: the story of the 1986 Tour is a fascinating one. I'm just not sure that this book tells it in a fascinating way.

I should probably make clear at the outset that I work as a writer and editor. That...
Published on 21 July 2011 by readie


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars more than cycling, 17 Oct. 2011
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This review is from: Slaying the Badger: LeMond, Hinault and the Greatest Ever Tour de France (Paperback)
It's a bit of a cliche, but cycle racing is a lot more than just pedaling a bike faster than the other bloke. This book gives a good insight to the political maneuvering, intrigue and egos in professional cycling. It is epic, it's more than just racing, it is the whole of life seen in the cycling bubble.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Ever Tour?, 22 Feb. 2014
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I don't think I'd agree with 'Greatest Ever Tour de France', but a cracking good read. I wasn't sure I wanted to read it, as Hinault was (and still is) my cycling hero, but I like my heroes with a bit of character, and that's what comes across.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gladiators on Bikes, 26 Nov. 2012
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Richard Allen (Wellington, Somerset) - See all my reviews
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I came to this book having read and throughly enjoyed Richard Moore's biography of Robert Millar. Moore is a very good writer with in depth appreciation of road racing. His compiles this story following interviews with both Hinalut and Lemond themselves, alongside various other riders, directeurs and soigneurs. The tale that emerges is very thorough. He tells the story of the two riders prior to the tour of '86, then takes us through each stage and its twists and turns. I can still recall watching the two riders together at the finish of Alpe D'uez. I had always thought that was the climax to the story, but more was to unfold.

It's the story of Hinault that fascinates most. Clearly he had a great deal of fun, toying with Lemond and the journalists. I'm sure he would have won if he could, but it wasn't to be.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A different opinion, 21 July 2011
Richard Moore's Slaying the Badger seems to have gained universal praise and so it's with some trepidation that I offer a dissenting opinion. Don't get me wrong: the story of the 1986 Tour is a fascinating one. I'm just not sure that this book tells it in a fascinating way.

I should probably make clear at the outset that I work as a writer and editor. That means that I have a horrible tendency to mentally edit books as I read them. Often, there are things which irritate me which I'm sure would bother no-one else. But in other instances there are problems with the language so fundamental that I'm sure they bother people regardless of whether they are paid to spot misplaced apostrophes. This is one of those instances.

A big part of the problem for me is the tendency to cram far too many ideas into one sentence. Sometimes this simply leads to clumsy phrasing: "Laurent Fignon, it becomes clear whenever the road begins to rise, is, as his performance in the time trial in Nantes had suggested, finished."

In others, it leads to sentences which resemble paragraphs and which took me several read-throughs to understand: "And here LeMond, as he so often does, segues quickly into an anecdote that at first seems to veer off at a tangent to the discussion we've just been having, only to home back in on the point, and to reveal something fundamental, in this case shedding light on Köchli's intransigence, which, with someone as dizzily hyperactive as LeMond, must surely have been the most significant barrier to a flourishing professional relationship forming between the two." Admittedly, that is the worst example I found of a sentence which really should have been broken up. But it wasn't the only one. Often dashes are used to try to separate ideas, but that just leads to awkward passages such as these: "His eldest son, Geoffrey - a baby during the 1986 Tour - had taken up the sport, and LeMond - just like his father had done in 1975 in Montana - began cycling regularly with him. In 2007 father and son travelled to France to ride L'Étape du Tour - a stage of the Tour de France - together." The often-awkward phrasing meant that too often I found reading this book very hard work indeed.

In my opinion, the author has also made strange choices in how he tells the story. My Kindle version reveals that the description of the 1986 Tour doesn't start until more than 60 percent of the way into the book. While the background is undoubtedly of relevance, it did leave me feeling that the description of the race itself was greatly rushed. I can't help but wonder how much better the book would have been if each chapter were focused on each stage of the race, with flashbacks to relevant background. I also fear the tendency to directly quote and cite sources (typically books, television interviews, and interviews conducted by the author himself) detracts from the drama of the story. Too often I felt like I was reading an academic tome. Much better, surely, would have been to weave this information directly into the text. Very little seems to have been paraphrased, and I often found this jarring.

As I say, there's no doubt that I'm a linguistic nitpicker and that my enjoyment of Slaying the Badger was considerably marred as a result. But I do fear that there are some issues so dramatic that they will affect any reader's enjoyment. The 1986 Tour makes for a brilliant book. But it saddens me to say I don't think that book has been written yet.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Complex Inter-colleague relationships, 21 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Slaying the Badger: LeMond, Hinault and the Greatest Ever Tour de France (Paperback)
As much as the Damned United can be read as a book about industrial relations this is a story of complex colleague relationships. Painted by many as a simple story of a broken promise, Moore reveals a complex relationship between the master and the not-so-apprentice in Hinault and LeMond. Drawing on a range of interesting interviews with key actors in this relationship, not least the main protagonists themselves, Slaying the Badger is a compelling and though provoking read. Far from backing one side the beauty of this book is the exploration of the character strengths and flaws of all the actors, illustrating how life never runs smooth and how there are no good guys and bad guys just people trying to do what they see best. And it opens with quite simply the best page and a half of any book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Slaying the Opposition, 3 April 2013
The result of the 1986 tour de france is what it is and no book recounting the tale of the race will dictate a new outcome. However, I found myself turning page after page on this book almost wondering what will happen next - who will be victorious come the finale of this epic ride (for which i know the outcome). This is a marvellous book about a marvellous race. The character of the main players is truly brought to life in a captivating manner and the playing of each stage is wonderfully told.
I have read and enjoyed other books written by Richard Moore but none have left me as enthralled as the retelling of this story. Of the many books on cycling I have enjoyed, Slaying the Badger ranks as the clear number one read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic in depth look at the 86 La Vie Claire rivalry, 28 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Slaying the Badger: LeMond, Hinault and the Greatest Ever Tour de France (Paperback)
I've just read Richard Moore's book on the '86 clash of the titans (Hinault and LeMond) and have to say (from someone who reads about one book a year) that if you're interested in that period of cycling, then this book is an essential read. It brought back so many memories as I was 15 at the time and this was the first Tour properly covered on TV. Richard covers all the background to it, not just the events that happened in '85 that had a bearing on this race, but the earlier careers of the riders themselves and their Directeur Sportives. Just about to browse Richard's other writings and then maybe book another beach holiday to read it on...

WHOLEHEARTEDLY RECOMMENDED!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Le Blaireau Vs L'Américain, 17 July 2011
This review is from: Slaying the Badger: LeMond, Hinault and the Greatest Ever Tour de France (Paperback)
The fascinating story of the 1986 Tour De France, told from the perspective of the the two protaganists, the proud Breton Bernard Hinault, and the outsider American Greg LeMond. A very well written, exhaustively researched book, the vast majority coming from new interviews with Hinault, LeMond, team-mates such as Andy Hampsten & Jean-François Bernard, & Director Sportifs Cyrille Guimard & Paul Koechli. A gripping book that despite the conclusion being known from the first page, manages to keep the pages turning as it sucks you further in with each twist and turn. Highly recommended for any cycling fan or lover of top class sports writing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Insight into Two Legends of Cycling, 18 July 2011
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This review is from: Slaying the Badger: LeMond, Hinault and the Greatest Ever Tour de France (Paperback)
Like the author, my interest in the Tour de France was ignited by Channel 4's screening of the '86 tour. Until then I had only a passing knowledge of Le Tour. Since then I have been hooked. This beautifully written, meticulously researched book provides some valuable background to the very different characters of the main protagonists, and what made them tick.
The author was very even handed in the treatment of both, and didn't jump to the widely held belief that Lemond was betrayed, and left it for the reader to decide.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would highly recommend this to anyone with even a passing interest in cycling.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read For Anyone Who Loves Cycling, 14 Aug. 2014
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Third book I have read by Richard Moore and the best of all. Fantastically well told, with the first half providing thw background and lead up to the 1986 TdF and the second half giving a blwo by blow account of the race. Richard does not shy away from calling it as it was and backs this up by weaving in a rich tapestry of first hand witness statements from key players including the two great men themselves.
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