But Lemond wasn´t lucky, he continued his good rankings but no victories. Then the giro came and Lemond was one of the favourites, but a crash in the first stages and the lack of mountain stages made impossible for him to improve the third place of the previous year( he was fourth) even though he won a stage.
Lemond complained about the behaviour of the team, that didn´t support him appropriately ( they worked for an italian rider during the giro, and they were paid in spite of Lemond negative to accept that).
Besides this Hinault was starting to refuse the agreement of the last Tour, saying that the race would put the leader in front and things like that. Lemond was beginning to feel the pressure, and in spite of the bad results of Hinault, he realised that the Tour was not going to be a parade for him.
The route of the 1986 Tour was a very tough one, with two mountain stages in the Pyrenees, two really hard ones in the Alps, The Puy de Dome, and some dangerous stages. There were prologue, two ITTs and a TTT.
It was a relative surprise the lack of " pave" , the "Hell of the North" was not going to take part in such a spectacle.
The beginning of the Tour was chaotic for la Vie Claire, Fignon´s team won the Team Time Trial and Lemond complained about the attitude of Hinault, who stopped the team in several moments ( besides, Marie had won the prologue and Fignon seemed to be a real menace ).
The key stage was going to be the first individual time trial , 61,5 km in Nantes. The leadership in la Vie Claire could be sorted that day.
The result was logic, Hinault won with Lemond second and Roche third, but Lemond wasn´t lucky, he had a puncture in the last kilometers that avoided a possible win for the American ( bad/unlucky things started).
The disappointing result of the day was due to Laurent Fignon, who lost nearly 4 minutes to Hinault.
And now we had to wait for the Pyrenees. Two stages, with finish lines in Pau and Superbagneres and very steep climbs, and the new Burdinkurutxeta in the way to Pau.
The first mountain stage, from Bourdeaux to Pau, with 217,5 km had four climbs , the cols of Burdinkurutxeta ( 1st category),Bagargi ( 2nd category), Ichere ( 2nd category) and Marie Blanque ( 1st category). The race exploded in Burdinkurutxeta........
But it was not enough for Hinault. He attacked in the company of Delgado and his mate Bernard in the flat previous to Ichere and Marie Blanque, Lemond was distracted and didn´t join the breakaway, he wouldn´t see Hinault till Pau.
Bernard worked hard for his leader, and finally Hinault and Delgado were alone on the Marie Blanque. Behind them the group, with Herrera, Lemond , Zimmermann and Millar were losing four minutes, and Lemond couldn´t chase, he was losing the Tour, what about Hinault´s promise to help him to win?.
Finally the stage was won by the Spaniard climber Delgado, and Hinault was the new yellow jersey. Lemond arrived third after an attack with Herrera in the last fourth category cote, more than four minutes ahead of Hinault. When Hinault was told that Lemond had pursuited him , he got angry and they had to be separated in the finish line .
The overall was lead by Hinault , with more than 5 minutes to Lemond, and more than six to Zimmermann and Delgado. Now the Tour was over. Hinault had a good adavantage to keep it defensively. But the following stage was the queen stage of the Pyrenees.........
But the day was not only important for Hinault, fortunately for Lemond, Herrera and Zimmermann chased and the advantage of Hinault was less than a minute in the Col de Peyresourde. He was caught in the valley and dropped in the first kilometers of Superbagneres.
It was Lemond´s turn, he took advantage of an attack of is mate Hampsten to win the stage
and he was now less than a minute in the overall respect Hinault.. The action of the badger had been ridiculous and temerary. He was still in yellow but the Tour was open.Even Zimmermann was now a contender, being less than three minutes ahead of Hinault.
And the Alps were coming soon with two terrible stages with summit finishes in Granon and Alpe D´Huez.