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Old 06-26-05, 07:35 PM   #1
oneradtec
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Who saw the show Fearless on OLN tonite? They did a documentary on Greg Lemond.....narrarated mostly by Greg and his wife Kathy. OLN did an excellent job with this!!!!! Man this brought back alot of memories for me. Greg won the Tour in '89 and that is what inspired me to buy my first road bike. I then followed him closely for the rest of his career.

It's been nice watching Lance win all these tours over the past 6 years. Lance has basically been the poster boy of U.S. cycling for about 10 years now and running. I think we have all somewhat forgotton just how good Greg was...and maybe because of the Lance phenomenon..maybe we have not given Greg the respect he deserves. Nothing against Lance and his fans(I'm one too)....but Greg was a great cyclist in his own right. Surely he had the talent to win 5 Tours. I have no doubt that he would have won in '87 and '88 had he not been shot in the back while turkey hunting. Then there was 1991...the year that it seems everyone began using EPO. Greg said he was in his best shape ever in 1991...and still only finished 7th. My guess is that Lemond could have won that year as well...but the peloton was racing soooo fast with the doping. Greg also never raced on a team that fully supported him in the way that U.S. Postal/Discovery rides for Lance. Let's face it...that is a dream situation there with Lance's team. Greg had to ride a few years on La Vie Claire with Bernard Hinault. Even though Lemond was stronger than Hinault during that time...he still couldn't get any support. You saw what happened in 1985 when his director demanded that he wait for Hinault when Greg was in a position to win the Tour while Hinault was suffering and several minutes down. So add 1985 to the long list of Tours that Lemond would have and could have won...in spite of not having a team riding in complete support of him. heck...when Greg won in 1989 he basically had no team at all. In fairness...Greg did have fairly good support from the Zed team in 1990.

anyway...I just wanted to say that OLN did a great job with that piece today. What's more, Greg was a great cyclist....and I have a lot of admiration for that guy. He is not a lesser cyclist than Lance...and I don't believe that he is any lesser of a champion. One thing I know...Greg raced clean. What's more..Greg still holds the record for riding the fastest time trial in Tour de France history...averaging something like 34 miles per hour. That's faster than Merckx, Anquetil, Ullrich, Armstrong and Indurain have ever ridden.

Lance is the man! But Greg deserves alot more respect than he's been getting in recent years. How soon we forget.
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Old 06-26-05, 07:55 PM   #2
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Damn... I gotta plug in this Tivo already!

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Old 06-26-05, 07:59 PM   #3
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This thread might get interesting!
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Old 06-26-05, 08:07 PM   #4
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This thread might get interesting!
Talk about an understatment!!!!!

Would you be talking about this quote:

"One thing I know...Greg raced clean."
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Old 06-26-05, 08:42 PM   #5
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uh oh, "lilhinault" and some other Lemond bashers may not approve of this thread --- oh well .
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Old 06-26-05, 08:59 PM   #6
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I didnt know much about Lemond... Now I am enlightened... It was a nice piece and the Lemong calling Hinault an SOB was pretty amusing..
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Old 06-27-05, 10:20 AM   #7
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well Hinault was an SOB (minor understatement).
I thought the show was good, however I do get tired of
Greg's hints and insinuations. He was a great tour rider
(and overall racer), has 3 wins and should wear that
with pride the whinging doesn't suit him.
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Old 06-27-05, 11:08 AM   #8
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I caught that episode of Fearless with Greg LeMond. It brought back memories and made new ones for me. I didn't know he was THAT good before he won his first Tour. Or the way Hinault jerked his chain for a couple of Tours. It's too bad that LeMond was in that hunting accident. Like he said, he could have won in '87 and '88. Maybe even '85 if the Look team didn't have a bug up its bum. The only thing I disagreed with was his perception that the entire peloton in '91 must have been juiced. I think it's easier to surmise that he was slower.
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Old 06-27-05, 11:28 AM   #9
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LeMond was not only one of the greatest cyclists of all time, but he is one of the biggest cry babies of all times. I love his logic about the increase in performances after his era with the implication being that it has to be because of doping. Yet, how does he explain his once-in-a-lifetime TT which has yet to be exceeded? I'm not implying that he was a doper, but it sort of flaws his logic a bit. I hope he doesn't whine again this year like he did last year at the end of the tour totally disrespecting and demeaning Lance's great accomplishment(s).
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Old 06-27-05, 01:17 PM   #10
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Average speed in km/h of 1990 Tour: 38.6

Average speed in km/h of 1991 Tour: 38.75

Dang, they really sped up didn't they? Of course, maybe the course was tougher but they still got faster? I didn't look at the route.

It was a great documentary. I don't know if a lot of people realize just how devestating the gunshot wound was that he suffered. My wife was watching and asked me what the deal was with Americans needing to face death to win anything in European cycling.

LeMond was a great champion. It was good to see. I just wish they hadn't made those comments about the peloton all starting to dope at once. I know that doping is a problem, but do we really believe that they all got together one year and decided everyone was going to dope, but hey don't tell Greg? It's just so strange.

It was fun to watch the footage from those Tours. Watching Fignon collapse as he crossed the finish line only to lose by 8 seconds to LeMond. Everybody mashing on the pedals and their bodies bobbing with every stroke. So different from the fashion of the day with everyone trying a higher, more efficient cadence.
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Old 06-27-05, 02:33 PM   #11
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The show was excellent. I agree he was a great rider and he might have won more tours if not for the accident. He is bitter no doubt about it. I found it interesting he never mentioned Lance and said he could have won 6 or 7 tours (gee... Lance has won 6 and is going for 7)... maybe, but 1 accident and you could be out of it all and the best rider does not always win. Sometimes it is the lucky rider who also rides well. Could of, should of, would of... winning 3 tours is nothing to be bitter about!

When you're on a team you work as a team. Hinault was the man that the team was riding for. You sign the contract, get the money, and ride as you are directed to ride. The "posties" know this better than anyone, and that is why they dominate. Lemond has achieved more than many cyclists before or after him, but he will be remembered as a "bitter man" due to his comments and attitude.

If Lance would have won 2 tours instead of 6, I think Lemond would feel much happier.
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Old 06-28-05, 04:55 PM   #12
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I recorded the Lemond piece but have not yet watched it. I too was amazed and motivated by Lemond's cycling accomplishments years ago, and yes he was inspiration to a generation of American cyclists. But he needs to let go of trying to prove his legendary status to a new generation of cyclists. Yes, he should have won more TdFs, Hinault and the shooting incident probably cost him 2 or 3 Tours - BUT HE DIDN'T. If he bashes Lance or talks about what he might have done or how the other riders cheated and doped, it comes across as whining.

I wish we didn't always try to compare who's the greatest. Accept their accomplishments and remember their contribution to the sport. Greg gave Americans pride w/ his wins, big thrills with his innovations, motivation from his drive. His triumphs and his bike company should be his legacy, not what he says about the sport many years after his retirement. Greg take the high road, please.
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Old 06-28-05, 05:38 PM   #13
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Lance's average speed for the 2004 TDF: 41km/hr.
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Old 06-28-05, 05:47 PM   #14
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I like Greg, and I enjoyed the show, but I can't go with him on his implications that doping forced him out of the sport. He stated that the training of today's cyclists hasn't changed dramatically in the last 20 years, but the performance has. I think what he was refering to is not that the top athletes are that much better, but that there are a much larger number of athletes that fall into the truly elite group. When he was racing, there were only a handful of guys who were truly at the top of the sport. Even though today there are still only a handful of guys that are capable of actually winning the TdF, there is a much larger group of guys who are right on their heels.

Greg attributes this phenomena to doping, but I think guys like himself and others have elevated the popularity of cycling to the level at which there is a much larger pool of athletes to draw from. There is such a thing as a natural athlete. Some people, regardless of their determination, will never rise to the level of others because of their natural athletism is not the same as others. When you have more milk, you're going to have more cream. Certainly doping is a problem, but it's not the only factor in the equation.
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Old 06-28-05, 09:11 PM   #15
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can anybody tell me if they plan to replay this program at any point in the near future??
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Old 06-29-05, 08:13 AM   #16
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can anybody tell me if they plan to replay this program at any point in the near future??
Given it's OLN probably reshow it in the next couple of weeks. I'd look for it
after the tour when they need some filler.

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Old 06-29-05, 08:52 AM   #17
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Wish... I.... Had.... OLN! DAMNIT!
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Old 06-29-05, 09:02 AM   #18
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I thought the show was very well done, and LeMond was amazing back then, despite his recent bitterness and *****ing.
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Old 06-29-05, 03:23 PM   #19
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Lemond was a fine stage racer and competitive in the classics. He will always be remembered as winning one of the most exciting Tours ever.

There is no credible evidence to support the folk tale about the 85 Tour. Please refer to previous threads on this topic before reviving the equine corpse once again..........;-)

Now, we add the idea that he would have won in 87 and 88, to this myth. Since Roche successfully yanked Lemond's chain in 85, why surmise 87 would have been any different?

Add some unsubstantiated drug slurs, stir and serve, to a credulous and nationalistic public..............

When a champion retires, his record is what it is. For what it's worth, Lemond scores highly on the 'strength of opposition' index- and he raced a tougher schedule than riders do today......but moral victories, in hindsight, add little luster to the memory.
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Old 06-29-05, 03:42 PM   #20
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Lemond was a great bike racer, he is the reason I first became a fan of the sport, but now I am tired of hearing him complain. He makes it sound like everyone was against him. He could be a proud ex-champion, instead he seems angry and bitter. It's kinda sad
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Old 06-29-05, 07:41 PM   #21
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I really liked Greg at the time but even back then he seemed to have abit of the crybaby in him... For example it was well known in 85 that he was peeved that he was not allowed to take off when he wanted which would have threatened a Hinault victory... But lets face it the Le Vie Claire team was a French team and Hinault was going for his 5th and record tying TDF, to think that the team would not support Hinault until and unless he was out of the race was and is really unimaginable.. Can you possibly imagine a French rider on Postal threatening an Armstrong victory last year if the situation was reversed??Yet GL even back then had some sulk in him and implied that he was treated unfairly by not being allowed to ride as he wished..Greg was a fantastic rider and will go down as one of the greats of all time... He showed that Americans could successfully compete with the Europeans in the Tours.. He won one of the most exciting sporting events of all time... Greg put a smile on your face and act like the great champion you are..
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Old 06-29-05, 08:18 PM   #22
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He was the John McEnroe of cycling.
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Old 07-01-05, 09:38 AM   #23
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Greg LeMond was a bit naive in 85, when he believed that the team would support the rider with the best chance to win, but can you blame him. He was wined and dined by La Vie Claire and Hinault when he was a very young man. I am sure up till then Hinault was somewhat of a father figure to him. In 86, Hinault stabbed him in the back. So much for loyalty and paying back LeMond for waiting the year before. So I think GL has every right to be bitter towards Hinault.

However, The doping charges are a bit much. It seems to me of a classic case of an elite athlete who has lost a half step but cannot admit it. Maybe it was the begining of his illness setting in.
The woulda, coulda, shoulda for him are very real. Like many big names he has a hard time now that his playing days are done. He said it himself even if he had won the TdF 6 or 7 times it wouldn't have been enough. Sounds a lot like Michael Jordan.
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Old 07-01-05, 02:07 PM   #24
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In my opinion Greg was a great rider and I leave it at that. I look at 99% of athletes and actors the same. You are good at what you do but shut up. To me you are entertainment and thats it, nothing more. You RARELY see an athlete who is as good outside of their profession as they are within.
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Old 07-01-05, 08:50 PM   #25
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In my opinion Greg was a great rider and I leave it at that. I look at 99% of athletes and actors the same. You are good at what you do but shut up. To me you are entertainment and thats it, nothing more. You RARELY see an athlete who is as good outside of their profession as they are within.
Well said. This includes LA, unfortunatelly.
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