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Jonathan Boyer(15 posts)

Jonathan Boyergrandemamou
Jul 24, 2002 6:18 AM
Anybody know what happened to him? Someone brought him up in the Lemond thread. You never hear anything about the guy. Google was no help.
he won RAAM...DougSloan
Jul 24, 2002 6:30 AM
Great battle with Michael Secrest in '85(?). He barely pulled it off.

he won RAAM...Royle Wheels
Jul 24, 2002 6:46 AM
If I remember correctly when he did RAAM he was using a 12-18t straight (1t increments between sprockets) freewheel.

Bicycling at the time said he was the first guy to "straight block" the US.

he seemed to fallgrandemamou
Jul 24, 2002 7:14 AM
off the face of the earth in the mid to late 80's. Just wondering what he's doing today. He was a heck of a rider and with apologies to Mr. Lemond was the real pioneer of American racers in Europe.
He owns Veltec Sportsohmk1
Jul 24, 2002 7:42 AM
I believe he owns Veltec Sports.
Jul 24, 2002 12:14 PM
boyer used to partners in veltec sports (formerly veltec-boyer). now he owns boyer sports in cali. they went their separate ways about 6 years ago.
without special trainingDaveG
Jul 24, 2002 8:45 AM
I recall in an interview in Road Bike Action that he said he rode RAAM on a dare. He did not specifically train for it, he just rode the TdF that year. He really put the fear of God in the ultra-distance crowd. His strategy was to ride at near race speed and sleep longer than the competition.
professional vs. amateurDougSloan
Jul 24, 2002 8:54 AM
I have a video of the race. Boyer began being quite a bit cocky, saying that the ultra folks were nothing but sleep deprived maniacs, or something to that effect. Boyer would ride fast and then sleep 8 hours at night. Secrest was then beating Boyer, riding far more each day without as much sleep. Finally, Boyer became "one of them" and switched to the riding 22 hours a day method, and then only beat Secrest by a narrow margin.

So, we had a battle of a fully professional, seasoned Tour de France bicycle racer vs. an amateur rider working full time as a truck driver, and the professional barely won.

I'd sure like to see what Lance could do.

professional vs. amateurDaveG
Jul 24, 2002 1:20 PM
I guess I side with Boyer on this one. From what I've read many RAAM riders, professional or not, put in more miles than a pro rider. While I consider RAAM a significant accomplishment, to me its more of a masochistic, sleep-deprivation, pain-threshold event than a bike race. I can appreciate that others feel differently and that's OK with me.
partly agreeDougSloan
Jul 24, 2002 2:00 PM
Yes, most of them put in lots and lots of training miles. A lot of that is simply to get used to sitting on a bike 22 hours a day for 10 days, too.

Nonetheless, some of them are very fast riders. Danny Chew time trialed a century in 4:06. That's moving, even by pro standands.

I think pros focus more on peak power, and RAAM'ers on average power. After all, RAAM is nothing but a long time trial. The Tour de France is largely won by blasting up the last 2 miles of mountain stages.

isn't Danny the guy....DaveG
Jul 24, 2002 4:18 PM
since you mentioned it, isn't Danny Chew the guy in his late 30's that's never had a date, lives with his parents and is generally socially dysfunctional? I'll never ride a century in 4:06, but if that's what it takes I'm glad! Nevertheless, I believe there's room in the sport for racers, ultra-distance, tourists, etc. If we all liked the same aspects of the sport it would get pretty boring.
isn't Danny the guy....DougSloan
Jul 25, 2002 5:53 AM
Danny is a bit strange. He rides something like 30,000 miles a year. It's not the he didn't have a date until late 30's, he just was a virgin until then.

There are some great Chew stories. Once he rode RAAM and then rode home to Pennsylvania from Florida. Sometimes he takes off (Gumpin?) across the country and just stops at any known cyclist's house and bums some food and night's stay. He will eat anything and everything. Someone once saw him eat an entire cheesecake the night before RAAM. He is now getting his masters in mathematics, but he's autistic. He's very animated, one of those unique characters who adds a whole lot of color to life.

L.A. Times Article about Boyerfracisco
Jul 24, 2002 7:49 AM

Cycling: U.S. riders are common in Tour de France today; 21 years ago, Boyer was the first.

By BONNIE DeSIMONE, Chicago Tribune
CHATEAU-THIERRY, France -- Now that so many American riders figure prominently in the Tour de France, it's easy to forget they were unheard of until the early 1980s.

Self-effacing Jonathan "Jock" Boyer broke the barrier with little fanfare in 1981. He was part of a winning Tour team that same year and completed five Tours, finishing as high as 12th in the overall standings.

Boyer rolled with the pack in what many consider cycling's golden era. His career spanned those of greats Eddy Merckx, Miguel Indurain and Bernard Hinault, whom Boyer helped to the third of his five Tour victories. The two continue to converse on the phone and exchange birthday and holiday cards every year.

"As a teammate he was golden," said Hinault, who works as a goodwill ambassador for the Tour.

"He was one of us. We didn't treat him any better or any worse because he was American. He spoke French fluently and he had already raced in France for some time, so that helped his integration into the team.

"I have nothing but good memories of him."

Boyer, 46, was born in Utah and grew up in Carmel. His middle name is Swift--as in Swift Premium--and his great-grandfather, Arthur Leonard, was president of the Chicago stockyards.

But Boyer's family wasn't particularly wealthy, and when he decided he wanted to plunge into European cycling at 17, he worked as a waiter to earn his passage.

He also took an immersion course in French, seven hours a day for nine weeks.

"I really was determined to get away from home and do my own thing," he said.

Boyer raced as an amateur in France from 1973 to 1977 before turning pro. His fellow riders were curious about his background, he said, but didn't treat him like a freak.

"The fact that I had a French name and had raced for French teams made them a little more accepting," Boyer said.

"I thought if I did well, I'd keep going. If not, I'd go home. I kept doing better."

Boyer's career almost ended when he contracted a virulent stomach bug at the 1978 world championships in Venezuela. He wasted to 125 pounds on a 6-foot frame and was forced to return to California to recuperate. He became a vegetarian in response.

"It took me two years to get that out of my system," Boyer said.

When he came back to cycling, it was in a big way--with the Renault-Gitane team led by Hinault. Boyer, then the U.S. pro champion, wore a stars-and-stripes jersey in the team's winning effort and finished 32nd overall. He was 23rd, 12th and 31st in three subsequent Tours with another French team.

Depleted by illness, he finished 98th in his swan song with the U.S.-based 7-11 squad in 1987. Boyer also rode in three Tours of Italy and placed fifth in the 1980 worlds.

His most vivid memories are of the camaraderie among riders.

"Nobody escapes suffering," Boyer said, using cycling's term for burning legs and lungs, "so it's a close-knit group."

Boyer, now runs a wholesale bike distribution business out of an old helicopter hangar in Marina, north of Monterey. He does not own a television, and follows the Tour on the Internet.

"I got tired of living over there," Boyer said of his 20 years as an expatriate. "But it was an amazing experience, and I cherish those years."
Another American cycling pioneer that's MIA...ohmk1
Jul 24, 2002 9:08 AM
Doug Shapiro-what in the world ever happened to him?
as many of you know he also raced in Europe in the 80's.
More Boyer infoboneman
Jul 25, 2002 3:10 AM
He's also currently involved in the Boyer family ranch in Baggs, Wyoming where his father lived. My wife's related by marriage and was out at the ranch last month which was a working sheep ranch and also had dude riding. In addition to his activities in California, he's involved in organizing mountain biking stays at the ranch.