Greg Lemond, Bernard Hinault, L’Alpe d’Huez, Tour de France, 1986

All the sad news about Lance Armstrong reminded me of a simpler era.  The up and coming Greg Lemond pulled his team leader Bernard Hinault up the final 28 switchbacks of the fearsome Alpe d’Huez and they crossed the finish line hand in hand.   I had left Grenoble early in the morning and walked down from the ski resort, where the bus deposited me, to this curve where a dozen Dutchmen had parked their motorhomes and were waiting for Joop Zoetermelk (whose named means ‘sour milk’).  We could hear on the radio that Lemond had gone off the front but that he appeared to be slowing enough for Hinault to catch up.  They came into view together, blew through surprisingly fast — but you could see that Hinault was suffering.

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