I 1986 – samme år som den historiske kontrovers med holdkammeraten, Greg LeMond, vandt Hinault det store Coors Classiv etapeløb i Colorado, foran LeMond.
NY Times skrev:
BOULDER, Colo., Aug. 24— Bernard Hinault ended his illustrious career as a bicycle stage racer here today by winning the 16-day Coors Classic.
There have been bigger victories in his 12 years as a professional – including five Tours de France – but the 31-year-old Frenchman was in no mood to quibble.
He will retire on his birthday in November and has only the one-day world road-race championship on Sept. 6 on his schedule of major races.
He smiled contentedly when he was asked if he minded that his final victory in a multi-day race came in a foreign country. ”It makes no difference to me where I win, in France or elsewhere,” he replied. ”What matters is the victory.”
Riding for the Red Zinger team, Hinault won by 1 minute 26 seconds over his teammate and rival, Greg LeMond, an American. Hinault completed the 1,065-mile race from San Francisco to Boulder in 42:05:07.
The Women’s Coors Classic also ended here today with a victory for the Red Zinger team. For the second successive year, Jeannie Longo of France finished first, beating Susan Ehlers of the United States and the Centurion team by 1:37. Inga Benedict, an American with the 7-Eleven team, was third over all in the women’s race, which covered 387 miles in 10 days.
Third over all in the men’s race, 1:56 back, was Phil Anderson, an Australian who rode here for the Levi’s Pro team. Fourth, 3:55 back, was Andy Hampsten, an American who rides with Hinault and LeMond on the Vie Claire team in Europe but competed against them here on the Levi’s team.
At times it seemed as if Hinault and LeMond were also competing against each other, as they did in the Tour de France last month. LeMond, 25 years old, won that race, with Hinault second, after the Frenchman called off his athletic and psychological war of nerves three days before the finish.
After Hinault took the red-and-white jersey of the Coors leader last Sunday, he and LeMond exchanged occasional recriminatons. LeMond had made it obvious before the start that he intended to repeat last year’s victory in this race.
But Hinault, who finished ninth in his Coors debut in 1985, announced that ”last year I came to see, this year I came to win.”
With Hinault firmly in the lead, LeMond said that he decided late last week to work for a team victory. ”From the start of the race, I saw that the other riders were watching me, and that it would be difficult to win,” he said today. ”I decided it would be better to work together.”
In addition, he was stricken with the flu over the weekend and made no attacks during today’s 61-mile circuit over a 1.7-mile stretch of North Boulder Park.