Jul 27, 2001 3:49 PM
|I know its human nature to want to kill the old king when crowning the new king but I would like to courteously respond to a misunderstanding I saw on a posting yesterday and an attitude that seems somewhat prevalant. Namely that somehow Greg Lemond's work ethic was lacking, jeopardizing his place in cycling history. AT 38 I am maybe older than most of the posters here. I rode on my college cycling team (non-scholarship). Made a living as bike messenger in grad school and continue to ride competitively and for fun. I say this to say, Greg Lemond made the TdF real to an entire generation of American cycling. He was bold, in 1986 he rode the TdF with minimal support, at odds with a cycling icon who was on his team, and he won the tour. Remember, Hinault could get away with the hubris of lying to Lemond in 1986 because he knew most Euro riders of the day were not going to be loyal to an American team leader. Lemond won in spite of this. He pulled the cycling world into the late 20th century with his historic TdF time trial in 1989. If it were not for errant gunshots he would probably have five tour wins. The European press and cycling heirarchy hated that he challenged the orthodoxy of the day and falsely called him lazy. These days one couldn't see the point in disallowing wives at a riders side but these were the rules that Lemond challenged. I am great admirer of LA but I contend that he is on the continuum that Lemond did not start but was (and continues to be) a big part of.
Let's ride in peace
|re: Greg Lemond||Guillermo|
Jul 27, 2001 6:01 PM
|Lemond got away with winning the '86 Tour because he was 7 years younger than Hinault, and Hinault's two consectutive mountain attacks didn't pan out due to the excessive hot weather.
I agree that Lemond was good for getting America into road cycling, though.
|re: Greg Lemond||Steve R|
Jul 28, 2001 4:56 AM
|The old guy always gives way to the young guy at some point in his career. Greg was the first American to win, Lance had the first American team to put him on the podium. Both of these events are huge and have opened the door for more American participation in an otherwise European sport. With National heros in the races with a legitamate chance of winning, the American Media will have to jump in here at some point. I fail to see how Greg's work ethic can be questioned after his success before and after his injury. Gotta love 'em both.|
|re: Greg Lemond||LinuxDude|
Jul 27, 2001 9:57 PM
|I agree. Even as a young cyclist I very much appreciate what LeMond did for the US Cycling. It's much more difficult to accomplish a feat that has never been done before than to do it after. LeMond basically opened the doors for the future American Cyclists such as LA and others we now see enjoy great success at TDF and other prestigious races.|
|That's right, LeMond started it||Old Guy|
Jul 28, 2001 5:30 PM
|He was my first hero. I was a cat 2 (barely) and thought he was god. I had the fortune/misfortune of getting my ass kicked by some junior from Texas named Lance in 87' that contributed to my decision to quit racing ("I'll never amount to anything other than somebody else's domestique..."). So over the years I've changed from grudging the little punk to putting him on the same pedestal LeMond still stands on.
The only question is whether their true-life achievements can top an evening watching 'Breaking Away." :-)
|re: Greg Lemond||wjudd|
Jul 28, 2001 6:54 PM
|I'm about the same age as the originator of this thread and my feelings are pretty similar. (No, we're not related) LeMond opened the door and was a superb rider. You don't win the TdF even once if you're lazy. I had the great pleasure of seeing him ride in W Palm Beach in an abortive attempt to start a stage race called "Race of the Americas." He was there for name recognition and rode the crit style race carefully. That was OK seeing him was cool enough. |
It's a shame the distortions of the French press have taken hold in the US. The French press likes noone. I remember them even going around with Hinault. LA is on a "different planet" as Sean Kelly stated on the Eurosport.com feed the other day but he does stand on LeMond's shoulders.