The new Bicycling magazine has an in-depth article on LeMond, very interesting read, gives us a chance to revisit the greatest American cyclist debate. Running along the bottom of the article is a timeline "LeMond through the years."
It's mind blowing to read of LeMond's accomplishments -- as a very young man and when he's at his peak in the Tour. Some accomplishments of note:
-- wins just about every junior championship that matters
-- 1985: could have won TDF but rode in support of Hinault
-- 1986: wins TDF despite merciless attacks by Hinault
-- 1987: loses 3/4 of blood supply during hunting accident, breaks two ribs, collapses lung, has pellets lodged in heart, liver, intestines, diaphragm, back, leg, foot, arm and hand. Nearly dies.
-- 1989: wins TDF on final day TT, overcoming 50-second deficit to finish 8 seconds ahead of nearest rival. Closest TDF in history.
** first racer to wear HRM in competition, first to use power meter in competition, introduced aero bars to the world.
Armstrong has accomplished quite a lot, but for my money LeMond was the greatest American cyclist. There is a difficult-to-quantify grittiness about LeMond's career that puts him up top for me. Before LeMond came along, I was riding a Schwinn Scrambler.
I don't see a link to the article online, but it's worth buying the magazine for the read. Just to be reminded of how much work this guy did to get to the top -- and stay there. And yes, the post-cycling-career circus is covered as well.
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