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Lemond--what's up with him?(45 posts)

Lemond--what's up with him?ColnagoFE
Jul 23, 2002 5:34 AM
Check out this article:,1413,36%257E76%257E748213,00.html

I mean Lemond did pave the way for American cyclists like Lance and undoubtedly put cycling on the American radar screen, but to take credit for his and other American's wins? As if they didn't have to train hard to get where they are. Sounds like Lemond is feeling a bit left out of the limelight these days. Might be cool to see him at the Saturn cycling race though.
Can somebody please heckle him on August 9?TJeanloz
Jul 23, 2002 5:54 AM
The article says he'll be doing Q&A at the Boulder Theater on August 9, can somebody please represent and heckle the guy?

Lemond was not the first American at the Tour. That goes to Jock Boyer. And this b.s. about him being the first good American is likewise ridiculous- Boyer finished 12th in 1983, a year before Lemond's first ride. A top 20 Tour finish is recognition as no slouch.
I'll be there. . .js5280
Jul 23, 2002 7:25 AM
but if the whining gets too excessive, I might have to leave early.

Also, if you're in the area, volunteer for the race! I was a marshall at the Blackhawk sprint line last year, very cool, and you get to watch the race at the same time. Here's a pic. You also get a free t-shirt.
Interesing, and good point. I learn more and more from rbr. nmjtferraro
Jul 23, 2002 7:26 AM
It's called "sour grapes". He made up with Lance afterPaul
Jul 23, 2002 5:55 AM
bad-mouthing him about taking drugs which was started by the French press. Greg later apologized. Like Gore who claimed he invented the internet, Greg just wants some recognition for his past accomplishements. Just wish he would back-off, and let things happen naturally.
Whoa! Hang on a second there...Matno
Jul 23, 2002 9:06 AM
At least LeMond HAD past accomplishments. The same can definitely not be said for Gore. Unless you count stretching the truth as an accomplishment. (Actually stretching the truth is probably too generous. What he did, and still does, is pure fabrication).
Gore just cracks me up nmPaul
Jul 23, 2002 9:58 AM
Press? I don't need no...seyboro
Jul 23, 2002 12:44 PM
...stinking press. That's why I like Andy Hampsten. Wins the Giro and shuts up. Gore's not bad either,...does he ride?
Whoa! Hang on a second there...Galibier
Jul 23, 2002 12:08 PM
Gore never said "I invented the internet." What he said was, "I was instrumental in creating the internet," a point which in fact is true. I find it ironic that those who desire to portray Gore as someone who exaggerates and fabricates have to resort to exaggeration and fabrication to create their portrayal. But go ahead -- "Hypocrisy runs like a hair in a hotdog through the fabric of American life." (Oscar Wilde.)
In this case, "instrumental" = "associated with"Matno
Jul 23, 2002 12:15 PM
I'm sure that if we actually knew the extent of Gore's involvement, there wouldn't be much to know. I don't need to resort to exaggeration and fabrication to knock Gore. His voting record and stance on all the major issues take care of that for me. (Funny thing is, his opinion on major issues completely flip-flopped once he became associated with Bill Clinton. Did you know that he, like his father, used to be staunchly pro gun? I guess that somewhere along the line, a desire for popularity took over the position held by reason and logic - two concepts that won't get you very far within Democratic Party circles).
Whoa! Hang on a second there...ohmk1
Jul 24, 2002 6:44 AM
How in the world was Gore instrumental in creating the internet?
Here's a link.Galibier
Jul 24, 2002 7:37 AM
The correct quote is: "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the internet."

Again, I find it ironic that those who wish to portray Gore as someone who exaggerates and fabricates, resort to exaggeration and fabrication for their portrayal. Typical.
Whoa! Hang on a second there...ctisevn
Jul 23, 2002 7:15 PM
or unless you being elected president of the US. tool.
Poor Lemond, methinks he has a wee bit a Hamlet in himAllisonHayes
Jul 23, 2002 6:10 AM
Hamlet wonders, "To be, or not to be, that is the question; whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take up arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them. . ."

i (Poor Greg, isn't it outrageous he is the only one who recognizes his own true greatness? He could be a hero if only he would stop whining so much; instead he is just tiresome. Message to Greg: You had your day in the sun, let Lance have his. Give it a rest old man.)
so what if Lemond never existed?DougSloan
Jul 23, 2002 6:14 AM
What would be different for Lance is Lemond never even existed? Would Lance have never gotten a racing contract? Would he never have trained hard? I don't get it. Lemond sounds delusional.

Greg was always a whiner..ohmk1
Jul 23, 2002 6:22 AM
Greg was agreat champion, but he was always a whiner. He's still whining about giving a tour win to Hinault. Enough already Greg! You were Hinault's piss boy for a year, and that's that. You agreed to be Hinault's domestique, and to work for Hinault. Hinault was having difficulties and Lemond was ready to ditch him-real honorable.
I agree with Lemond on certain points here.onespeed
Jul 23, 2002 6:22 AM
It was Lemond who destroyed the domestique hierarchy. He essentially revamped the structure to a merit based system within the team. He should have beat Hinault in 85-he was forced to play coy [1]. He did beat him in 86 [2]. He was sidelined in 87 [3] and 88 [4] where he most certainly could have won both or one of those years. Then he wins in 89 [5] after coming back from the "hunting accident" with his brother in law. Then he wins again in 90 [6]. It is all speculation, but it is speculation that does not lend itself to fairy tales. These wins were feasible.

I am a bit surprised that no one else has ever said these things about Lemond. It is too bad that he had to come forward and say them himself so as to make it look like a case of sour grapes. The american public does not like people who talk themselves up. We prefer someone else do it for them.

For me the man (Lemond) is/was a true cycling God. I remember running a bike messenger business out of the back of a bike shop where I rented space and my whole crew of riders would be huddled around the tv between deliveries watching the videotape of the 89 tour again and again. The tape quality had detiorated we had watched it so many times. We all knew the commercials and we all watched every time cheering and screaming like it was our first.
Well, yes, but,TJeanloz
Jul 23, 2002 7:00 AM
You can't base arguments on would-haves and what-ifs. If you did, there are two arguments you could make vis-a-vis Armstrong:

1. That he never would have won a Tour if not for cancer, because it took some weight off and re-focused him mentally.

2. That he would have won the Tour in 1996, 1997 and 1998 if he had not had cancer, because he would have been stronger. That would make 7 what-if Tour wins, which trumps Greg's 6 what-if wins. And ties Merckx's what-if total of 7 (what if he hadn't been tossed, and hadn't been punched by a fan?).

My point is that the what-if game can't be played, because we'll never know. But we do know what actually happened. And LeMond didn't dominate the Tour like Lance has- he spent an entire race chasing Claudio Chiapucci, and in '89 he won by just 8 seconds.
1985 TdF -- LeMond's conduct was questionableNiwot
Jul 23, 2002 11:52 AM
LeMond always says he "gave away" the 1985 TdF to Hinault. It is true that the team director told LeMond to wait for Hinault, and lied to LeMond about how far back Hinault was (the director said he was 40 seconds back, he was really about 3 minutes back).

But it's also true that: Hinault was the team leader and LeMond knew this when he joined; Hinault was in the yellow jersey at the start of the stage; Hinault was subpar that day because he was fighting through an injury; and LeMond attacked on a hard mountain climb in an attempt to take the yellow jersey away from his injured team leader.

All of these facts make LeMond's conduct, as well as that of the team director, ambiguous and open to question.

Let's put this into a present-day context. Suppose that Lance Armstrong comes up with a minor injury tonight and has trouble staying with the leaders during the final climb to a mountaintop finish tomorrow. Suppose, further, that Roberto Heras is very strong that day, and has the opportunity to attack and possibly put enough time into Beloki et al. to put Heras in the yellow jersey. Let's also suppose that if Heras waits for Armstrong, he can help Lance limit the damage enough to keep Armstrong in the overall lead.

Should Heras attack, and try to take the Maillot Jaune for himself? Or should he help his team leader to win the race?

If Heras attacks, and Johan Bruyneel orders him to slow up and wait for Lance, what would you think of Heras if he disobeyed Bruyneel, continued his attack, and took the Maillot Jaune while Lance lost 10 minutes? Would you think that Heras was a hero, or a back-stabbing a--hole?
Great point........Len J
Jul 24, 2002 6:38 AM
I always thought the same but never put it as succintly as you did.

IMO, Lemond has always been a self-centered jerk, it's always about him. This interview is just another example of this. I don't understand why people continue to be surprised and argue about Lemond. Yes he was a great rider, yes he dramatically increased awareness of cycling in the U.S., yes he "paved the way" (In addition to those that came before him) for future U.S. Participation in the peleton, and yes he is a self-centered jerk. None of these are mutually exclusive.

Is is poor sportmanship ..sour grapes.....Maartin
Jul 23, 2002 6:35 AM
Well that does it...GK
Jul 23, 2002 6:53 AM
I think Lemond needs to zip it. Everytime he opens his mouth in this regard he loses more fans and more goodwill.

There are very few people in the world who hear this and say, "ya know, Lemond is right. Lance ought to be a little more grateful or something."

The truth is, Lemond DID pave the way for an American Team in the tour...which through its cast of colorful characters indirectly brings us to the Postal squad. But that's about it. We know this. We acknowledge it. We're grateful for it. And we think it's too bad that we learned about Lemond on fluff pieces on Wide World of Sports instead of on full tour coverage like OLN.

But while Lemond was winning the Tour in 86, Lance was dominating Triathlons at the age of 15. He was a rising star in his own right, independent of anything Greg did.

And I ain't buying any Lemond bikes either!

Ahhhh! I can't help myself. . .js5280
Jul 23, 2002 8:51 AM
TBS has been running Austin Powers all weekend. I apoligize in advance. . .

Greg: "Without me, I don't think Lance would be winning. . ."

Evil: "Alright, zip it!"

Greg: "You know you can't even.."

Evil:" it! Zip!"

Greg: "Look all I.."

Evil: "..Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, ex-zip it A!"

Greg: "Number Two would you please back me up.."

Evil: "Look I'm Zippy Longstockings!"

Greg: "I can't.."

Evil: "..You must zip it! (whip sound) zip it good!"
Zippy LongstockingsAllisonHayes
Jul 23, 2002 9:22 AM
Now there is someone who wouldn't take any of Greg's self-aggrandizing for a minute.


(good stuff, keep it going)
I went to HS with someone who is in the movieLone Gunman
Jul 23, 2002 10:33 AM
I never saw the movie but someone described him to me as "some buffoon running around in circles in a room"
lol! =) nmjtferraro
Jul 23, 2002 10:17 AM
Ahhhh! I can't help myself. . .BikeViking
Jul 23, 2002 10:39 AM
Now if we could only get an ill-tempered sea bass to bite Greg in the rear for whining so much!
I'm not dead...I'm just very, very, badly burned (nm)ColnagoFE
Jul 23, 2002 11:25 AM
it's just the normal noisemr_spin
Jul 23, 2002 7:01 AM
I think you probably have to have a big ego to be a world-class athlete, and Lemond is no exception. I've never understood why people are shocked that athletes aren't perfect people.

Lemond has had some glorious moments and should be allowed to rest on those laurels for the rest of time. If he wants to spout off about whatever, you can always ignore him.
Greg Lemond is Thankless!chrisbaby
Jul 23, 2002 7:23 AM
...Greg says these riders should be greatful. Well he too should be greatful. I have never ever heard him utter a word of thanks in public to his "friend" Steve Bauer who may have been his only ally in his war against hinault in 86 (ok, hampsten, too.) where's the thanks to Steve for sticking up for him? Or ANdy, for that matter. Where's the thanks to Cyril Guimard who recognzed the talent and gave him his first pro contract? Greg, stop talking about yourself for once (God, even the Greg Lemond Book of Bicycling is one long essay of self-congratulation).
LeMond has earned the right toWalter
Jul 23, 2002 7:36 AM
run his mouth even though I agree he comes off poorly at times.

To answer 1 question: No I do not feel certain Lance would be in the Tour and certainly not racing for an American sponsored team if not for LeMond. Lance would certainly be a tremendous athlete but would there have been the pull to the Euro peleton? I have a feeling he'd be a legend on the tri tour but that's even further off the radar screen than Euro road racing.

When you separate the wheat from the chaff you have THE American cycling pioneer in Europe (w/respect to Boyer but he didn't win and winning gets the American attention) and somebody today who is helping start what may well become a significant pro road race. Last I checked the US could use a few more of those.

Does he come off poorly at times---yes. Is he right about some of the things he's talking about----yes.
re: LemondLeroy
Jul 23, 2002 7:53 AM
He's a real champion and a pioneer. Everybody's got some kind of ego...let's cut him some slack.

Dave Loving
Everybody's career was built on somebodyMe Dot Org
Jul 23, 2002 7:54 AM
Greg didn't do it alone. Yes, he most certainly was capable of winning one, maybe two more Tours. But there are very few teams willing to build a Tour assault around a 23 or 24 year old. The average age of a tour winner is 29, American or not.

I don't think anyone has forgotten LeMond's contribution to American cycling. There is something ungracious about his insistent reminders of his place in history. Imagine if Willie Mays went around saying "I was the greatest ballplayer of all time, I could have hit 750 Home Runs if I hadn't played my best years in the windstorm of Candlestick Park."

You are who you are. You know what you did. Give people credit for being intelligent enough to figure out your place in history.
Greg is 100% right...Djudd
Jul 23, 2002 8:52 AM
though not convenient. Greg was a true pioneer and not being afraid to point it out is part of the personality. Lemond changed a lot in the peloton: how about aero bars?; nutrition; American riders not being afraid to be American; money; even taking your wife with you. Lemond took heat on all this. He changed the status quo and made the change seem self-evident all in a few years.
Lemond sounds correct. I wonder more about the provocative128
Jul 23, 2002 10:04 AM
structure of the article. Who knows how that conversation went and what the context and tone was. Coming from Lemond, I take his words more broadly than literally.
Clearly he's not 'winning' the race for anyone (or taking credit for their specific wins), he established conditions which 'facilitate winning' for those who come after him.
Lemond dealt with issues (where to stay, what to eat, language, contract negotiation, sponsorship, equip., training, culture, how the game is played) that subsequent riders could benefit from allowing them to focus more on performance ('winning'), than "Hmm, I'm off the plane. Where's the motel" This is his due credit which can hardly be overstated imo.
He was the R&D for US cycling.

and I'm still keen on upgrading to Zurich !!
Thank you, people fail to remember the atmosphere...Djudd
Jul 23, 2002 12:54 PM
back then (or are too young). U.S. bodies in the peloton especially le tour, were looked down upon there and stateside. Lemond was the big hope and he took his responsibilities seriously (remember the junior worlds he won). When he was on top he worked for better conditions for the riders and for acceptance of U.S. riders. Additionally, Lemond was uniquely iconoclastic and confident which served him well when he was being run down. Even now he is misunderstood by his progeny.
Again, LeMond takes too much creditNiwot
Jul 23, 2002 5:37 PM
The current wave of successful U.S. riders in the Euro peloton are not LeMond's "progeny". LeMond did not help these guys early in their career, he didn't "mentor" any of them, and he never provided any of them with connections or sponsorships (unless you want to count his disastrous involvement with last year's Mercury-Viatel fiasco).

LeMond did do two things that indirectly helped current U.S. Europros. First, by winning the TdF, especially the dramatic 1989 win, he showed that at least a few Americans will pay a little attention to the TdF if an American is winning it. That might have helped secure sponsorship for U.S.-based teams from the likes of Motorola and Trek in the '90s. Second, his success provided inspiration for the current generation of American pros.

However, LeMond can hardly take all the credit for these things, though he seems to want to take all the credit. Other American Europros of the same era, most notably Andy Hampsten, Davis Phinney, and Steve Bauer, also deserve credit for raising U.S. interest in European pro racing and inspiring younger American cyclists. U.S. sponsors in the '80s, including 7-Eleven, Celestial Seasonings, and Coors, also deserve credit for investing what the venture capitalists call "seed money" into U.S. riders, U.S. teams, and U.S. racing.
Jul 24, 2002 4:42 AM
I don't think anybody denies that LeMond made HUGE inroads into the Euro peleton for Americans, but he can't take as much credit as he does.

It would be like Jackie Robinson saying: "Everything that Sammy Sosa does is because of ME, if it wasn't for ME he wouldn't have this chance." Clearly not the case. Nor are all of Armstrong's successes the result of LeMond, though nobody doubts LeMond's influence on Euro attitudes.
I have to point out that LeMond is not wrong to...Djudd
Jul 24, 2002 6:30 AM
take a lot of the credit for himself. In a matter of a few years his talent and drive took the peloton from thinking it was far-fetched to call an American rider talented to admitting he was the most talented rider in the peloton. His arrogance and willingness to take the heat were the impetus for this change that came so quickly.
There is nothing wrong with LeMond. Like him or not he set the stage for Americans getting respect in the peloton.
I can empathize with himGator
Jul 23, 2002 10:39 AM
I can see where he's coming from. It must be frustrating because his story is very similar to Lance's, but the US just wasn't ready for it at the time. It was the early days of cable and NIKE hadn't taken over the world quite yet, cycling was still seen a weird Euro thing -- the hype machine just wasn't in place yet. The US coverage of the TDF was basically a 30-second update during a baseball game, during which the US collectively yawned, scratched itself and grabbed another beer.

Now Lance comes along in a far more global, wired and health-aware US and is an instant hype darling and marketing platform for everything under the sun. Lance is going to make $15M this year -- do you think LeMond made a quarter of that his entire career?

It just has to hurt to know that you worked as hard--if not harder--than Lance for a fraction of the glory and almost none of the money.
He's doin' Just Finewhygimf
Jul 23, 2002 1:00 PM
"Almost none of the money"?! Check it out...
Well, I guess he DID make a quarter of the money.Gator
Jul 24, 2002 6:36 AM
Still, while it looks like he's worth some clams, he's still not making nearly what Lance will make for doing essentially the same thing. I don't mean to suggest LeMond is destitute. But let's say you're sent by your company to some remote city to build a branch office. You bust your ass, build the business and retire doing well. Then the 35-year-old MBA they send in to replace you starts at twice your salary.

I mean, sure, you've got plenty of money, but still, it WOULD bother you, no?
Here it iswhygimf
Jul 23, 2002 1:02 PM
Here it isvitusdude
Jul 24, 2002 6:00 AM
"It's going to be the sort of place where people look each
other in the eye, tell the truth, and don't lock their doors," he
explains. "We're trying to return to an old, American, basic way
of life."

Lifetime Tribikesforpeace
Jul 23, 2002 3:03 PM
Greg was rode the bike leg of a tri here last weekend. He was part of a celebrity team. I got a chance to talk to him before and after the race. He seems like a nice enough guy to me. He stood out in the rain talking to me for about 10 minutes. So if anyone ever asks me I'd say he's a great guy and has done and is still doing great things for American cycling.