LeMond and Hinault


New Member
Jul 21, 2004
Let's talk about 1985 and 1986.
First, these are two great riders, and Hinault was certainly one of the greatest.
Now -- I have always wondered about the 1985 Tour, and a recent article I ran across that discusses the all-time great TDF winners (http://msnbc.msn.com/id/5326879/) spurs me to start this discussion.

For background -- Hinault took the Tour in 1985 with the help of teammate Greg LeMond, who finished second. LeMond became the first American to win the Tour in 1986 with the help of teammate Bernard Hinault, who finished second (both years with the La Vie Claire).

Here is what the article states:

"In 1986, Hinault had promised a young Greg LeMond to help him win the Tour, as his American teammate had done in 1985. But the temptation to become the first six-time winner was almost too great—Hinault attacked LeMond repeatedly in the mountains, before finally relenting and fulfilling his promise. Hinault later said he was testing his teammate, to see if he was worthy of becoming a Tour champion.

"Hinault provides more fodder for playing Tour de France “What if?” than any other racer. There are those 1980 and 1983 Tour absences, for one thing. And then there’s the question of whether he gave LeMond that 1986 victory, or whether he acquiesced when he saw that LeMond was the superior cyclist."


I distinctly recall a late stage of the 1985 Tour where Greg LeMond was told by the manager of La Vie Claire to lay off of a mountain stage so that LeMond would not overtake Hinault. Greg was EXTREMELY frustrated by this, and the television coverage showed some tense moments. Without knowing or recalling the exact details, basically, Greg could have taken the stage and would have likely taken the Tour. Of course, he was riding for team leader Hinault -- so Greg played his role and layed off. It was at that time that the 'deal' was made that Hinault would ride for Greg the following year.

Does anyone else remember this, or have any information or detail about this? This does not change that Hinault was a great champion -- which he was -- but how differently might he be viewed with only 4 tour wins? How differently would Greg be viewed if he had 4 wins?
msl said:
Here is another article that talks about the 85 and 86 LeMond/Hinault relationship. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/in_depth/2001/tour_de_france/1364744.stm
Any comments . . .
I am not 100% positive but close to it:

Lemond was on a break with Stephen Roche who was also a threat on GC and Hinault was suffering with a bloody nose from a crash so the team did not want Greg to give any more time to Roche and also did not want him attacking his team mate Hinault. I believe I have some tapes from back then, I will have to see if I can find them and review them.

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