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Greg LeMond the great(31 posts)

Greg LeMond the greatStarliner
Aug 3, 2001 8:01 PM
A lot of crap is being thrown at him now, but I'll stand behind him for his greatness as a competitor and for shattering the cultural myth that said American cyclists were second rate. For him, an American, to go on to win cycling's most revered event three times, he kicked the door wide open for American riders after him such as Lance.

Sure he has an ego and a lot of pride, but why should that be a surprise. Jackie Robinson who broke through the racial barrier in baseball in the late 40's had an ego and a level of pride on par with LeMond's, as do many other greats. With nobody ahead of them to follow, they had to advance into dangerous and unfamiliar territory on their own. An immense belief in oneself is a prerequisite for a successful journey, to get past all the doubters and saboteurs. So, I respect Greg LeMond for being the first, and am willing to cut him some slack.

Beyond that, LeMond had a fascinating career - a phenom as a young rider, going to Europe, playing understudy to one of France's greats, chomping at the bit to pass him by and then doing it not without paying an emotional price; then the life-threatening injury and the dark period of rehabilitation; then coming back to win the Tour twice again, once impossibly coming from behind on the Tour's final ride to lay a crushing defeat upon France's great hope, who crumpled to the ground in horrified shock and disbelief upon learning that he lost his "insurmountable" lead and hence the whole Tour by a matter of seconds.

What could have been had he not been injured. That's a question that he's going to carry with him to his grave. But what he was was pretty darn good, and I for one am not going to forget it.
I agree with you on Lemond's greatness,Slothlike
Aug 3, 2001 8:18 PM
but his statement about Lance was uncalled for and just plain obvious jealousy. He was great and I was very proud of him as the first American. But all the more for him to show Lance respect as there may never be another American to win for many many years after Lance retires. Ego or not, show some tact and class. Lost a lot of respect for his comments especially when Lance wasn't the one up on charges for doping, but rather someone he consults with. C'mon, Lance tested negative how many times yet Lemond makes a statement as if he hs first hand proof that Lance is doping. That is what is so wrong with Lemond's statement. I could just picture Lemond sitting at home rooting for Jan Ulrich simply for the fact that he didn't want another American to reach the same plateau as he did. Lemond made a statement that he didn't even follow the Tour and was fishing for 3 weeks. Does anyone beleive that crap??????? Obvious thinly guised attempt to show lack of concern or indiffernce for something that so strongly affected him as to make such a negative statement. As I said in a previous post, he incriminated himself in the Sports Ill comment by ending his statement by saying "I am not jealous or bitter". When anyone says that including ourselves, c'mon admit it, we are invariably lying. Lemond is a douche and I would never buy one of his bikes now. If Bobby Julich or another American won 3 or more Tours, Lemond would have found reason to criticize them. Uncalled for and he should be proud not envious.
I agree with you on Lemond's greatness...well said. NMspeedmaestro
Aug 3, 2001 8:54 PM
let's go back to Campy vs ShimanoDINOSAUR
Aug 3, 2001 9:00 PM
Excuse me if I missed something in your post. It seems rather odd that a guy who was a 3 time TDF winner and a 1 time world champion can get shot down so quickly for uttering a few words, and probably out of context at that.

I not think anyone here can pass judgement on LeMond, let the chips fall where they may, and history will be the judge on Armstrong. If LeMond is wrong he will have egg on his face, if he is right you can guess what will happen.

God bless Mom and apple pie, I admire both Greg and Lance, lets go back to arguing about Campy and Shimano and not get caught up in all the gossip, as at this point, that's all that it is.

This is not directed at anyone in particuliar, this is just where I elected to submit this post...
let's go back to Campy vs ShimanoSlothlike
Aug 3, 2001 9:45 PM
Just to let you know, I read today in the news that Lance contacted Lemond and spoke with him about his comments and Lemond didn't apologize for his remarks. It is not gossip and Lance has addressed his comments in interviews which I have on tape. Lemond in bitter of Lance's accomplishments and the fact that Lance's story has been more compelling and interesting to the masses. Lance is the better package in that he is a marketing wet dream. He's handsome, a survivor of something horrific and the best at his sport while being the highest paid cyclist of all times. Lemond is bitter and is so clear. You cannot defend his comments on the day of Lance's victory. It is just wrong and pathetic
I'll sit this one out for a few days....DINOSAUR
Aug 3, 2001 10:50 PM
Not doubting your word, but I would feel more comfortable reading what Greg said myself. Maybe it's something I can think about tomorrow when I'm out riding. Like I mentioned before, my post was not directed at you in general, I've read the same remarks on this site and other cycling forums. IMHO the press in not really good about getting the facts straight. Why don't we just sit on this for a couple of days and see what transpires? At this point the only thing I really worry about is getting a flat, then you will find one bitter fellow. In the meantime I will remain moot on the debate, my mind is unclear at this time; don't attempt to stain your fence in the afternoon during 100 degree heat, it rambles your brain cells...
Ride Safe
Dinosaur, read this articleSlothlike
Aug 4, 2001 8:17 AM

It addressed Lemond's comments and Lance's confronting him. There are many other articles that spoke about it but I liked this one because of Lance's ride in Central Park.
I read it and...Starliner
Aug 4, 2001 9:35 AM
I can see why LeMond's feelings would have been hurt.

The writer diminishes his accomplishments just because his three victories did not occur three years in a row. Somebody ought to remind these media hacks just what went on in LeMond's life that accounted for that gap between victories. How soon respect is lost for a man who very well may have won five or six TdF's in a row.

As for his comments on Lance and the Italian doctor, Lemond has shown a deep suspicion for Italians being linked to drugs, from interviews over the years. I think this suspicion overshadows any jealousies he may harbor, and explains why he may be stubborn on the issue.

Goes to show that fine cycling ability does not ensure smart political instincts.
here's what Lemond said:Hank
Aug 4, 2001 10:07 AM
"In the light of Lance's relationship with Ferrari, I just don't want to comment on this year's Tour. This is not sour grapes. I'm just disappointed in Lance."

I think it is a fair statement. Lance does have a relationship with Ferrari (known fact). Ferrari is basically the king of doping (known fact). Therefore, Lemond didn't want to comment on Lance's recent performance (seems fair to me, given the fact that it may have been helped by some form of doping--detectable or not). He was also disappointed that Lance would chose to associate with the guy (reasonable, especially considering how outspoken Lance has been about doping--makes Lance seem like a hypocrite). Doesn't seem like sour grapes to me, either.
The problem here is...Tom C
Aug 4, 2001 12:11 PM
Lemond could just as well asked, how long have you been beating your wife? Or, Hank I saw you with that guy after school who everyone knows deals reefer, this was actually my experience. Believe me, being a victim of guilt by association, is a feeling of situational impotence compared to none. If Lemond does in fact have some kind of inside information that the rest of us don't have, if he could name a fashionable drug that is not on the banned list, or perhaps something, anything that was concrete and provable, for cyclings long term benefit he should say so. Until he can deliver nothing more than insinuation, innuendo based on the dubious credibility of having been a professional cyclist himself, what he did was BUSH!
Aug 4, 2001 1:59 PM
if I said that I had never smoked pot and said that I thought pot smoking was evil and no one should do it and then all of a sudden started hanging out with a pot dealer--and not just any pot dealer, but the grand daddy of all pot dealers, the guy who practically invented pot smoking--wouldn't you think that I'd have opened myself up to criticism or question?
Aug 5, 2001 9:19 AM
Hey, didn't LA just consult Ferrari about his methods, or something? It's not like they're best buds or LA actually uses Ferrari as his own individual doctor, right? I don't see any problem with consulting someone about their methods, grand-daddy of pot or otherwise.
I'm glad you phrased it that way.....Tom C
Aug 5, 2001 11:45 AM
because in my case, this guy was THE dealer of my high school. What we had in common was we were both musicians. My lengthy well-observed conversation was pertaining to that and nothing more. But of course you are well aware of the stereotype regarding musicians, right?
Dinosaur, read this articleDINOSAUR
Aug 4, 2001 10:19 AM
I read it. My feelings are mixed at this time. I feel like I am sitting on a fence. I admire both Lance and Greg for their achievements in cycling. I for one am, not worthy to ride in their shadows. I think Armstrong handled the situation very well. This question will always be haunting him. Like he stated, he has more important things to worry about at this time. You have to remember that he is a cancer survivor and he has been to places in his mind that we will never experience. I have to think that this is what gives him the cutting edge. I reserve not to make any comments one way or the other. Perhaps Greg should have selected his words more carefully. I've always read good things about him (Greg) and I don't like passing judgement on world class athletes, it's not my place.
Nevertheless, it's a free country and people are free to say what they wish. I hope to see Lance ride to two more TDF victories, then retire and enjoy the good life with his wife and three children.
God Bless
I hope...Hank
Aug 4, 2001 11:30 AM
Lance gets six TDF victories. Merckx apparently thinks Lance is capable of seven. Let's just hope he ain't a doper.
I really do hope no cyclist ever gets six. (nm).Groucho Marx
Aug 4, 2001 2:02 PM
The greats of the past won't be eclipsed.
Greg and LanceNiwot
Aug 4, 2001 6:31 PM
We can appreciate both LeMond and Armstrong without choosing sides.

I would guess that LeMond did not appreciate the fact that his comments would cause such a stir just because they came from him. Many other people (who do not have LeMond's fame or stature) also wish that Armstrong was not publicly linked to a prominent (alleged) Dr. Dope. Of course, just because Armstrong associates with someone who is shady does not automatically make LA shady. There is no such thing as guilt by association.

I don't think LeMond is bitter, just someone speaking his mind who didn't think about how much of a stir he would cause when he opened his mouth.

And finally: LeMond won the world championship road race twice (in 1983 and 1989, IIRC).
If Lemond lacks the intelligence.....Tom C
Aug 5, 2001 11:49 AM
to not realize his "comments would cause such a stir", he's wealthy enough to afford to hire a publicist.
leave feedback on Lemond bikes websiteesbike
Aug 3, 2001 9:31 PM
I agree that in the absence of concrete evidence of Lance doping, Lemond's comments sound like sour grapes. Maybe Lemond should get the message that cycling fans love them both and that he risks ruining his great name (and label) if he continues this.

Feel the same way? Leave email on his bike's website:

This is the tech center, but I think it will do.
get a lifecyclopathic
Aug 5, 2001 7:17 AM
and get over, Lance is a dope deal with it as a man crying baby
Aug 5, 2001 7:28 PM
Um...what? Care to rephrase that as an intelligible sentence? I know I'm asking a lot here, but I think you're up to it.
Cut the hyperbolenutmegger
Aug 4, 2001 4:48 AM
Sure Greg was a great rider and the first American to win the Tour. Nobody doubts his greatness. But please don't compare his efforts to "open the door" to Jackie Robinson's travails. That's simply silly. Next you'll be telling us Lemond was like Jesse Owens at Munich in 36.
Standing firmStarliner
Aug 4, 2001 8:47 AM
I regret you saw what I said as a comparison of importance of one's experience to the other's, when my intention was only to point out the similar scenarios each faced. Both challenged the prejudiced mindset of their respective sports and broke through. Simply drawing reference to Jackie Robinson's experience does not diminish it in any way, but it is rather to honor it.
Fair enough. nmnutmegger
Aug 4, 2001 11:07 AM
All you people supporting LemondSlothlike
Aug 4, 2001 1:57 PM
are missing the point in my opinion. Lemond was an awesome cyclist, we all know this. However, regardless of his personal views of Lance's relationship and whether suspicion is warranted has nothing to do with the fact that his comments should have been withheld. A guy just wins the TDF for the 3rd time, why make any negative statements? Just say no comment. Any negative comment is proof of sour grapes. Be objective people! His statements were poorly timed and I gaurantee you that if Lance would have come in second place and didn't match his record, he would have withheld such comments despite the same information regarding Lance's relationship with Dr. Ferrari. His ego would have been intact. LEMOND WAS WRONG FOR MAKING HIS COMMENTS WHEN THERE IS EVIDENCE VIA THE NUMEROUS NEGATIVE DRUG CONTROLS THAT THERE WAS NO TRACES FOR BANNED SUBSTANCES.
Like Lance stated in the awesome Charlie Rose interview on PBS. Last year's USPS urine samples were siezed. The urine was gathered last year when there was no test for EPO. Therefore, USPS could have taken the chance to dope knowing there wasn't a test for it during the 2000 Tour. These same urine samples from last year were tested for EPO many months later and were negative proving that Lance and USPS were clean. This year there were controls for EPO directly and riders were forwarned this year that they would be tested specifically for EPO. Last year that wasn't the case and USPS technically had the opportunity to cheat and thankfully didn't as their unique cirumstance of being investigated and tested for last year's urine would have come of positive after the fact. BUT THEY WERE CLEAN. Where does Lemond get the right to make a public statement like he did? He could hold a private gut feeling but that is all it is, his gut feeling. By taking his thoughts public he looks like an ASSH&** when all the evidence points to the contrary of what he is inferring.
Food for thought
Aug 4, 2001 3:03 PM
You said Lemond should have said no comment. This is what he said:

"In the light of Lance's relationship with Ferrari, I just don't want to comment on this year's Tour. This is not sour grapes. I'm just disappointed in Lance."

Did he say something else? Am I missing something? You're acting like he actually, point blank, accused Lance of doping. He said in light of the info that Lance is known to have been hanging out with Ferrari, he doesn't want to comment. This seems like a fair statement. Are you angry that he said he's "disappointed"? Hell, I'm disappointed that, doping or not, Lance didn't have enough judgement to stay away from Ferrari. Sorry, but be realistic - it does cast a shadow and raise questions.

Regarding the urine tests, all these guys have to do is stay one step ahead of the tests. Guess who excells at that kind of thing? His name starts with an F...
Hank, with all due respectSlothlike
Aug 4, 2001 3:37 PM
we could argue this until we are blue in the face. I have Sports Illustrated open as I type and Lemond states
"Ferrari is a cancer in sports, and it's sad that Lance has had a five year relationship with him. I would have all the praise in the world for Lance if I thought he was clean, but until Dr. Ferrari's trial, we can't know for sure. It sounds like I'm bitter or jealous about Lance Armstrong, but I'm not."
It is not the point of what he thinks of Lance's relationship with Dr. Ferrari. Lemond took this opportunity to make a subtle negative statement at a time and tries to make the public believe that he is not bitter. C'mon now. Hell, let's say the doctor is found innocent, are you gonna tell me that Lance still won't be questioned. OJ killed his wife and he got away with it so my point is that even if the doctor is guitly as sin, it doesn't mean or prove that Lance doped or didn't for that matter. the outcomes in courts aren't always the objective reality. Like I said in my previous post, the urine samples from last year's Tour were tested way after the USPS postal team first gave the specimens. They didn't test for EPO in last years Tour so if USPS were to cheat, last year was their chance. But they didn't cheat as last year's urine was tested this year and was negative. Proving their innocence. Therefore guilt by association in your view. Last time I checked that is not the way we do things in the U.S..
I understand that if something looks, walks and quacks like aduck it probably is a duck but other than the admission of a few visits over 5 years, ther has been more evidence to the contrary that there is no doping. Lemond seems to have taken the opportunity to make a negative statement based on no real information except what his own ego cannot stomach. So if the doctor is found to be guilty does that automatically mean Lance consulted with him for doping? Or does this guy have other areas of expertise related to cycling than the doping? the guy is an expert and may have very well helped cyclists dope, but I gaurantee you that back in Lemonds day, when doping wasn't tested as much, they were doing much worse. Lemond statement is wrong because he is basically saying that Lance's innocence hinges upon the outcome of whether Dr. Ferrari is found innocent. If the doctor is found guilty, then Lance is guilty according to Lemond's statement. That my friend is a flaw in logical thinking. That is an unwarranted assumption. Lemond's statement was a perfect passive aggressive dig at Lance. He says he doesn't want to comment but then says he is disappointed. What the FU$$ is that??? I am not stupid, that is an intentional dig and obvioius resentment and jealousy. If Lance is found guilty of doping one day, then it is time to say you are disappointed. What Lemond subconciously wanted to say was that "I am disappointed Lance won for the 3rd consecutive time making him the new darling and legend in American cycling".
fair enough - agree to disagreeHank
Aug 4, 2001 8:50 PM
I hadn't seen the second quote but I'd still defend Lemond's statement(s) as being fairly reasonable (though perhaps unnecessary). I think you are extrapolating a bit from Lemond's statements, but I could be wrong, and I appreciate the fact that this argument has remained amicable. Back in Lemond's day there wasn't the scrutiny, but there wasn't quite as much money and technology and hype, and I'd add hypocrisy. Doping, in one form or another, has always been a factor, which leads me to believe that it will continue to be a factor. I'm willing to give Lance the benefit of the doubt, but the doubt remains.
Sloth you missing the pointcyclopathic
Aug 5, 2001 8:15 AM
even if LA is not doping /which noone disagree isn't and probably won't get proven/ he has no right to deal with Ferrari, for his own sake. This would be like GW Bush meeting Saddam and then telling everybody "oh it doesn't mean anything".

If LA cared about his reputation he would stop seeing Ferrari long time ago and made a public statement. At least he must disclose the nature of his relationship with Dr Ferrari publicly. His refusal to do so indicates "there must be something more about it". And yes his guilt is "being associated" with criminal.
A real example of your analogyStarliner
Aug 5, 2001 10:44 AM
When Joe Namath was QB of the Jets, he owned a bar which was supposedly frequented by members of the mob. The league forced him to give up his ownership just because of the factor of association, not because there was any actual wrongdoing on Namath's part.

I smell the odor of hypocrisy from some of the anti-LeMond posts which condemn him for his rush to judgement, and then judge LeMond's motives for his statement as jealousy.

Evidence shows that Lemond has been suspicious of Italians and drugs for several years. It makes more sense to me that this suspicion is what has fueled his recent statements rather than whatever jealousy he may harbor for LA.

Check out what LeMond said in 1998:
re: Greg LeMond the greatTom C
Aug 5, 2001 12:09 PM
on the pro lemond side, the logic laid out seems to be, victory w/hardship =character=credibility. At least thats what I glean from Starliner.Equating Dr. Ferrari with cancer in cycling who is as yet un-convicted is taken from Lemonds lips like gospel. Accomplishment does not equal credibility. As Hank has pointed out Lemonds statements have not been directly accusatory but they have been subtly inferential. Lets be honest, Armstrong wouldn't have called him on it had they not been. Unless we're going to start calling LA paranoid as well.