New Tour de France-focused 30 for 30 "Slaying the Badger" Premieres on July 22
Film centers on the epic Tour de France competition between cycling greats Greg LeMond and Bernard "The Badger" Hinault
With excitement for the 2014 Tour de France growing each day, ESPN Films' 30 for 30 series will take a look back at one of the sports' most epic rivalries with "Slaying the Badger" on Tuesday, July 22, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. Before Lance Armstrong, there was the three-time Tour champion Greg LeMond. LeMond was the first and is currently the only American to officially win the Tour de France. In this engrossing documentary, directed and written by John Dower ("Once in a Lifetime," "Thrilla in Manila"), LeMond looks back at the pivotal 1986 Tour and his fierce rivalry with friend, teammate and mentor - five-time Tour de France champion Bernard Hinault. The film is based on the book with the same name written by Richard Moore.
Then the reigning Tour champion, Hinault (known as "The Badger") had seemingly promised to help LeMond to his first victory, in return for LeMond supporting him when he struggled in 1985 when they were teammates. But in a sport that purports to reward teamwork, "Slaying the Badger" demonstrates that sometimes it's really every man for himself. The documentary features interviews with Greg and Kathy LeMond, Greg's father Bob LeMond, Hinault, former team coach Paul Koechli, former teammate Andy Hampsten, cycling journalists and others.
"Given all that has happened in cycling over the last decade, it is sometimes easy to forget the incredible athleticism and fierce competition that has always been at the core of the sport," said Connor Schell, VP and executive producer, ESPN Films and Original Content. "The battle that took place between LeMond and Hinault was a complicated rivalry melding friendship with the desire for victory and we're looking forward to providing a fresh look at this story for today's sports fans."
30 for 30-related updates are available at www.facebook.com/espn30for30 and www.twitter.com/30for30. Fans can join the conversation with hashtag #SlayingTheBadger.
About ESPN Films
Created in March 2008, ESPN Films produces high-quality films showcasing some of the most compelling stories in sports. In October 2009, ESPN Films launched the Peabody Award-winning, Producer's Guild Award-winning and Emmy-nominated 30 for 30 film series. Inspired by ESPN's 30th Anniversary, the films that made up the series were a thoughtful and innovative reflection on the past three decades told through the lens of diverse and interesting sports fans and social commentators. The strong reaction from both critics and fans led to the launch of 30 for 30 Volume II, which is currently underway. Additional projects from ESPN Films include the critically acclaimed Nine for IX series, SEC Storied and the webby award winning 30 for 30 Shorts.