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  1. #1
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    Could Lemond have won five?

    Until the erasure of Lance's record of TDF wins, this question didn't seem so significant. What difference would it have made if Lemond had won five? That would still have been second best. But now it is a bit different. If he hadn't been injured in the stupid hunting accident, could he have joined the other greats at the top of the TDF wins list with five? I am proposing that he could have filled in the two years he missed with two more wins. Why not more? After his last win, he seemed to be spent. That could have changed, too, if he had not been injured. We will never know.

    I know what ifs make no sense. I just thought some discussion of what might have been could be fun. One other thing: Three wins under the circumstances was a damn fine performance. His time trial victory over Fignon is still the most thrilling moment in cycling I have ever seen.

    Robert

  2. #2
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    That is impossible to answer.

    To get at the heart of your question compare the palmares: Lemond, Armstrong.

    Lemond has a decent palmares from top level European events that span the entire season and his entire career. LA has a few good results in Europe including a classics win but most of his results prior to 1999 are from NA races which is clearly a lesser accomplishment. Once he started focusing on the TdF that was pretty much all he rode outside of a few races in preparation for the TdF.

    Look at Lemond in '86; He wins the TdF, is 4th in the Giro, 2nd in Milan San Remo as well as other results. In '89 he wins the TdF (including 3 stages) and his SECOND World Championship! He wins the TdF again in 1990 but also has a 2nd in '85 and a 3rd in ' 84 at the TdF as well and a solid palmares in other major European races throughout his career.

    Lemond was politiced out of one TdF win and had a decent shot at another but the TdF is only one race. Combined with his other results, spread across a COMPLETE season he is, and has always been, the greatest American cyclist to date.

    Edit: And oh yeah, all that stuff he said about LA, all that stuff that cost him so much, he was ****ing right all along.

    Lemond ftw.
    Last edited by Bob Dopolina; 05-12-13 at 01:11 PM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Always considered Greg a more rounded and better rider than LA.

  4. #4
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    The question boils down to "If things were different, what would they be like?" So maybe if Lemond hadn't had a hunting accident, he would have been hit by a truck.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

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    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerHoggz View Post
    qft.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    That is impossible to answer.

    To get at the heart of your question compare the palmares: Lemond, Armstrong.

    Lemond has a decent palmares from top level European events that span the entire season and his entire career. LA has a few good results in Europe including a classics win but most of his results prior to 1999 are from NA races which is clearly a lesser accomplishment. Once he started focusing on the TdF that was pretty much all he rode outside of a few races in preparation for the TdF.

    Look at Lemond in '86; He wins the TdF, is 4th in the Giro, 2nd in Milan San Remo as well as other results. In '89 he wins the TdF (including 3 stages) and his SECOND World Championship! He wins the TdF again in 1990 but also has a 2nd in '85 and a 3rd in ' 84 at the TdF as well and a solid palmares in other major European races throughout his career.

    Lemond was politiced out of one TdF win and had a decent shot at another but the TdF is only one race. Combined with his other results, spread across a COMPLETE season he is, and has always been, the greatest American cyclist to date.

    Edit: And oh yeah, all that stuff he said about LA, all that stuff that cost him so much, he was ****ing right all along.

    Lemond ftw.
    Well put.

    Historians are generally loath to consider what they call counterfactuals, that is, "what if Y had happened instead of X?" The fact of the matter is that X is what happened and picking one counterfactual out of what is essentially an infinite selection. What if Lemond had taken the crosstown bus on December 12, 1978 instead of getting a ride? What he had eaten broccoli instead of spinach on July 11, 1986? While asking what might have happened if the hunting accident hasn't happened might seem important, it's an arbitrary moment like any other. Everything we do has consequences.

    If Lemond had been at the Tour and at full health in 87 and 88, he would have been the man to beat. But he WAS there in 85, and despite being probably the strongest rider, he didn't win it. It's just not a question you can answer.

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    If Merckx hadn't had a hideous crash early in his career, if he hadn't been asked not to contest the Tour because he was seen as too dominant, if Coppi's career hadn't been interrupted by WWII, if Hinault hadn't had bad knees, if I had only had more talent...

    If my Aunt had balls, she'd be my Uncle. So much for might-have-beens.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  9. #9
    Senior Member clausen's Avatar
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    If your looking at 'what if' you need to look at ALL 'what ifs'. Not just pick and choose. Around Armstrong there are many.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post
    If Lemond had been at the Tour and at full health in 87 and 88, he would have been the man to beat. But he WAS there in 85, and despite being probably the strongest rider, he didn't win it. It's just not a question you can answer.
    Only because he was ordered to slow down & let Hinault win.
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    It's just not a question you can answer.[/QUOTE]

    Of course, but people never tire of talking about Ali vs. Marciano! I forgot about the screw job in '85. Lemond had a solid chance at 6. No we will never know, but I like considering it.

  12. #12
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    LeMond is simply one of the greatest cyclists of his generation. He is one of the greatest American cyclists and did a lot to promote it in the US.

    LeMond could have done a lot of things. But a lot can happen in three weeks, so speculation is useless.

    Suffice to say, he is one of those "once in a generation" talents that comes along and it was thrilling to watch him.

  13. #13
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    It's funny to watch Americans rediscover Lemond after LA's lawyers are removed from the picture...
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    It's funny to watch Americans rediscover Lemond after LA's lawyers are removed from the picture...
    Yes, we were duped. My problem with GL's complaints about LA was that he didn't seem to have evidence or corroboration. Under the circumstances it sounded like sour grapes. It was just hard to believe. Such was the power of LA's influence on the sport. Live and learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
    Yes, we were duped. My problem with GL's complaints about LA was that he didn't seem to have evidence or corroboration. Under the circumstances it sounded like sour grapes. It was just hard to believe. Such was the power of LA's influence on the sport. Live and learn.
    Simeoni, Bassons, L'Equipe...

  16. #16
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerHoggz View Post
    Simeoni, Bassons, L'Equipe...
    Jeebus, i guess you didn't have time to write the long list.
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  17. #17
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    deleted because I'm too tired to explain.
    Last edited by Bob Dopolina; 05-12-13 at 02:03 PM.
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  18. #18
    Super Moderator BillyD's Avatar
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    Boys, I hate to do this, but this thread has to skidaddle off to Pro Cycling. However nobody is interrupting the conversation, please continue.
    Where else but the internet can a bunch of cyclists go and be the tough guy? - - jdon
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    fify
    Where else matters? Is that an American enough reply?

  20. #20
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
    Where else matters? Is that an American enough reply?
    Spot on.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member gc3's Avatar
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    Yeah, he's def the american "man"...but who picked out this dizzy paint job that I had to ride around on for 5 years? I'm still blaming him for this...

    "I tried being reasonable, I didn‘t like it."

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  22. #22
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
    Only because he was ordered to slow down & let Hinault win.
    So? Politics is part of cycling. He obeyed orders. In '87, Roche's team told him to wait for his team leader at the Giro. He refused, and became the only rider not named Merckx to win the Giro, the Tour and the road race world championship in the same year. Lemond being the kind of rider who will do what his director tells him to do is relevant to the number of Tours he ended up winning. But Roche only ever had one season that good.

  23. #23
    Super Moderator BillyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc3 View Post
    ...but who picked out this dizzy paint job that I had to ride around on for 5 years? I'm still blaming him for this...

    I found a Lemond my size with a paint job like that once when I was bike shopping, and it's not easy finding my size (62, 63). I actually turned it down . . . could not see myself riding around with that paint scheme. I kept saying to myself "What were they thinking, what were they thinking?!"

    And I love the Lemond ride and geometry. Still don't own one.
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  24. #24
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    I sold Lemond bikes for a while. They never did get the paint right.
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  25. #25
    squatchy
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    I like that paint job!!!

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