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Greg Lemond is my hero

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Greg Lemond is my hero

Old 08-15-23, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Caveman
LA doped. Ulrich doped. Contador doped. Basso doped. Merckx doped. And on and on and on. I have no proof but I don't believe for a second that Lemond didn't dope.
I think the passage of time is enough at this point to say that Lemond almost certainly wasn’t a doper. The incentive to dope is higher for those who have less chance of winning clean. LA quickly realised that doping was his only chance of winning the TdF and he wanted to win badly enough to do it. Lemond had the natural ability to win clean, at least before doping got really serious, and so why would he risk doping? Also why would a doper choose to be such a vocal anti-doping advocate? It doesn’t add up. The guys who did dope left a trail that time inevitably caught up with.
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Old 08-15-23, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
The unfortunate thing to me about this thread is that any discussion of Lemond ultimately devolves to the Armstrong debacle.

Armstrong did not invent doping in cycling, but his approach to it, and his scorched earth approach to cover his tracks, harmed many people, including Lemond.

Lemond stood up to him, and while he was eventually vindicated, he paid a heavy price. We should be discussing Lemond’s achievements in their own right with without the taint of Lance Armstrong.
Exactly. Well put.
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Old 08-17-23, 01:44 PM
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Guys & gals, please stop dragging Lance Armstrong in and derailing this thread. I'd rather it die from lack of further discussion than it to devolve like this.

Thanks.
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Old 08-17-23, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Caveman
LA doped. Ulrich doped. Contador doped. Basso doped. Merckx doped. And on and on and on. I have no proof but I don't believe for a second that Lemond didn't dope.
Doping is a spectrum. Outside of the large programs of transfusions and micro dosing of listed PEDs you start to get mired into a discussion that is more about ethics and intent than substance and amount or timing. I have always found it hard to believe that anyone performing at that high of a level was 100% "clean". I got into the sport during the LeMond era and was a big fan. I know of first hand accounts of Greg using at least Cocaine "out of competition" and off season. Do use of recreational drugs in a party setting outside of the sport mean he was doping? No but it was still illegal. I would venture to say that it at least means his ethics aren't as pure as one might think.

All that said I was sure back then that by this point we would finally know what they were using at the time. I honestly feel that he didn't "dope". That he didn't pursue the use of banned substances on a regimented program to give him a distinct performance advantage over his competitors. That's not to say he never used something that eventually ended up being banned.

Doping is a deep issue that has no one single answer. You can't say "everyone was doing it so it was OK" because there will always be examples where that wasn't the case.

So I believe Greg was "clean" for the era. I WANT to think Hampsten was as well.

I honestly believe LA started doping in triathlons. I honestly feel like what he did then and in his early career led to or aggravated his health. I wouldn't be surprised if Laurent's swollen testicle during the Tour wasn't the result of some for of doping he was doing at the time. I wouldn't be surprised of both of the cancers in both of those racers wasn't the end result of doping.

Doping then was one thing. Doping in the EPO era was another. Doping post LA is yet another era. I till feel the line between what we consider to be doping vs actually just body manipulation through diet, recovery, insulin regulation/blood glucose monitoring will become ever more nuanced as we go forward. I mean didn't it come out that the Sky programs were doped to the gills or are we still waiting on that?

Doping aside if you're a Greg fan like me you know about ALL of the many business ventures that he has had in his lifetime. Almost all of them have the same result though of being some form of eventual failure. There's always reasoning and an excuse but I can't help but feel at the end of the day he tends to shoot himself in the foot. Overall though Greg = good.
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Old 08-22-23, 03:42 PM
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I was 14 and just getting into cycling as a small kid living in Florida when Lemond won his first tour. I was hooked. I only owned a Fuli steel frame i bought by mowing lawns, but in my head i was riding the tour every day, albeit the flat stages. I mean, it was Florida. Been a huge fan of his since 1986. When he won in 89, and then World Champion, i had his poster on my folder in high school. A few years later, i bought a Lemond Zurich... steel frame, but rode amazing. Had to sell it for money years later, wish i still had that bike. Fast forward, i moved to Knoxville in 2008, had stopped riding at that point. Bought a used Litespeed right before Covid hit and started riding heavy again. He started up a shop here in Knoxville, i stopped by late last year on a whim. While Greg wasn't there, one of the other guys took me through the office, he has a few of his bikes on display. It was soo cool. to see them. Also took me back where they are building his E Bikes. I hope to go back again and catch him at the shop. This 50 year old may squeal like a little girl....
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Old 08-31-23, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
Well, 5'10 and 148 is thin, (especially considering the leg muscle) but nothing like Jonas Vingegaard @ 5'9 and 132 lbs. The current guys give up some power to keep weight low with a resultant higher power:weight ratio. Lemond doesn't like that idea. Lemond's arms were positively RIPPED compared to Vingegaard's, for example. Part of that was having only 2-3% body fat and normal muscle mass.
I have to chime in about this. Lemond (or any other cyclist) is no where near 2-3% body fat. And if they were, their performance would tank big time. At 2-3% bodyfat, pretty much the only fat you have is on the soles of your feet and in-between organs (used for cushioning). That's fat that your body won't touch, so you'd be running entirely on carbs and you wouldn't be able to go anywhere near empty because bonking would pretty much equal death. Elite bodybuilders get to this level for a very short time when doing a contest, and they often struggle not to cramp up from simply flexing.

https://kubexfitness.com/blog/body-f...lly-look-like/
I would be very surprised if any pro cyclist is legitimately below 6% bodyfat today, and I'd put Lemond around 10%.
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Old 10-18-23, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by OBoile
I have to chime in about this. Lemond (or any other cyclist) is no where near 2-3% body fat. And if they were, their performance would tank big time. At 2-3% bodyfat, pretty much the only fat you have is on the soles of your feet and in-between organs (used for cushioning). That's fat that your body won't touch, so you'd be running entirely on carbs and you wouldn't be able to go anywhere near empty because bonking would pretty much equal death. Elite bodybuilders get to this level for a very short time when doing a contest, and they often struggle not to cramp up from simply flexing.

https://kubexfitness.com/blog/body-f...lly-look-like/
I would be very surprised if any pro cyclist is legitimately below 6% bodyfat today, and I'd put Lemond around 10%.
Just poking around a little bit, road cycling pros seem to aim for 6-7% body fat, so I guess I'd agree with peak Lemond @ 10%.

I don't know WHERE I got 2-3%; thanks for the correction. I may have quoted Lemond from the video interview and he may have been exaggerating.
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Old 10-18-23, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
Just poking around a little bit, road cycling pros seem to aim for 6-7% body fat, so I guess I'd agree with peak Lemond @ 10%.

I don't know WHERE I got 2-3%; thanks for the correction. I may have quoted Lemond from the video interview and he may have been exaggerating.
Lemond says it in the video, so yeah you were just quoting him (and I was really just correcting him).
Probably whoever was taking his skinfold measurements told him it was this. But the results of those can vary a lot based on the technique/skill of the person doing it, so I'd guess that is where the error actually comes from.

6-7% sounds very reasonable for an elite pro athlete.
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Old 10-18-23, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by sir_crash_alot
Part of me was pulling for Pogacar over Vingegaard because he looked more like a healthy guy, at 5'9" and 146 lbs. Still thin, but he looks healthy, happy, and well within what I would call normal for a genetically thin young man in his early 20s.


(to be fair, I also like him more because he just seems like a nice, genuine dude. Not that Vingegaard isn't, but Pogacar does seem less wooden overall).
Personally, I prefer the physique of Sepp Kuss:


And my preference has nothing to do with his height and weight being virtually identical to mine.

Actually, yes it does. It has everything to do with it. And it's not because of dieting. It's just the physique I was born with.

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Old 10-19-23, 03:00 AM
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Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield
Exactly... he was the kind of racer that I would prefer to emulate in real-life in terms of physique. I.e., he had overall good upper and low body strength rather than looking like an anorexic athlete with oversized legs. Being super lean might win races, but for overall health on and off the bike, I just don't think it's a good idea.
Yeah he has a point but Lemond doesn’t look so healthy himself these days so there’s a balance. Most pros have pretty good muscle mass, just the grand tour super climbers that have to get emaciated.
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Old 10-19-23, 04:26 AM
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All I know is, I'd never call up any world tour pro friends to help move furniture.
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Old 10-19-23, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I think the passage of time is enough at this point to say that Lemond almost certainly wasn’t a doper. The incentive to dope is higher for those who have less chance of winning clean. LA quickly realised that doping was his only chance of winning the TdF and he wanted to win badly enough to do it. Lemond had the natural ability to win clean, at least before doping got really serious, and so why would he risk doping? Also why would a doper choose to be such a vocal anti-doping advocate? It doesn’t add up. The guys who did dope left a trail that time inevitably caught up with.
Some of the guys got caught - mostly after the Festina affair. Before that it was a crapshoot.

"Doping" and modern sport goes back to at least the 50's - Lemond beat people that were dopers. Steroids, amphetamines, cocaine... all fairly common in sport, all sports, back in the 80's/90's.

I have a hard time accepting that he, or any other athlete of the time, was such a freak of nature that he could beat other dopers while being "clean".

Listening carefully to Lemond, he seems to focus in on the use of EPO - EPO use seemed to be the no go zone, and the time things "changed" in his mind. But the change he is speaking of happened on top of other existing doping - because many people were using EPO and the traditional doping methods.
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Old 10-19-23, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Personally, I prefer the physique of Sepp Kuss:


And my preference has nothing to do with his height and weight being virtually identical to mine.

Actually, yes it does. It has everything to do with it. And it's not because of dieting. It's just the physique I was born with.
I prefer the physique of Andre Greipel. Because that's what I was born with - except I have 10 extra pounds.

And I would ask him to come move furniture!.
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Old 10-20-23, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Jughed
Some of the guys got caught - mostly after the Festina affair. Before that it was a crapshoot.

"Doping" and modern sport goes back to at least the 50's - Lemond beat people that were dopers. Steroids, amphetamines, cocaine... all fairly common in sport, all sports, back in the 80's/90's.

I have a hard time accepting that he, or any other athlete of the time, was such a freak of nature that he could beat other dopers while being "clean".

Listening carefully to Lemond, he seems to focus in on the use of EPO - EPO use seemed to be the no go zone, and the time things "changed" in his mind. But the change he is speaking of happened on top of other existing doping - because many people were using EPO and the traditional doping methods.
I think a key difference is that EPO was far more decisive than what else was used prior to that. Steroids, amphetamines and cocaine could all help, but the effect on endurance sport is much smaller. It's possible for a clean rider to win against someone doing those. EPO meant that pretty much anyone who was good enough to be in the top 50 or so naturally could beat any clean rider if they took it.

I wouldn't be surprised of Lemond (or anyone else for that matter) was doping. But, I do think it is believable that he was able to win clean. The same is not true for cyclists in the EPO era.
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Old 10-20-23, 09:39 AM
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The lead from pellets remaining in his body were apparently the cause of his premature retirement.
The lead shotgun pellets from the accident leaked toxins into LeMond’s body, damaging his mitochondria and prolonging his recovery time. LeMond was forced to retire from bike racing in 1994 when he still should have been in his prime years.

LeMond’s VO2 max, a measurement of how much oxygen an athlete’s mitochondria consume, was one of the highest ever recorded.

Source: https://news.vcu.edu/article/medical...d_to_spotlight
He had been an aspiring skier and it was a historic drought that had him take up cycling. IIRC it was showing up as a kid at Nevada City and winning the race that got him noticed by the sport.

I was lucky to see he and Hinault, still teammates, race in town during a stage of the Coors Classic. On cobbles, because one cannot torture cyclists enough.
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Old 10-20-23, 09:45 AM
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Lemond showed his promise early, winning big regional races as a teenager against older, more experienced racers.


"LeMond becomes first junior to take Tour of Nevada City", Reno Gazette-Journal, 18 June 1979



"LeMond Cops First Senior Win" The Sacramento Bee, June 18, 1979
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Old 10-20-23, 11:29 AM
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He was of the old school when racers took the winter off and did not maintain their fitness going into the racing season. He would not have had a prayer against riders who came up through the ranks in later years. His approach cost him at least three possible Tour de France victories. He may not have taken drugs or he simply may not have been caught as drug testing was quite crude while he raced.
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Old 10-20-23, 11:36 AM
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Nice finds!
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Old 10-20-23, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
He was of the old school when racers took the winter off and did not maintain their fitness going into the racing season. He would not have had a prayer against riders who came up through the ranks in later years. His approach cost him at least three possible Tour de France victories. He may not have taken drugs or he simply may not have been caught as drug testing was quite crude while he raced.
What three TDFs might he have won had he not eaten too much Taco Bell over the winter? I recall stories about his winters off the bike but he always used the Spring Classics to get his fitness back while also letting his teammates shine. And that was a valid criticism of him at the time; that he focused primarily on the Tour de France while those before him had taken the Spring Classics more seriously. But he wasn't old school at all, he was an innovator - aerobars, Oakleys, Giro helmets, and even an early adopter of power meters.

I don't ever recall him getting to the Tour de France out of shape except for '89 when he was coming back from injuries and low energy levels that were later attributed to an iron deficiency.

Here is his Tour de France record


1984: 3rd to Fignon



1985: 2nd to Hinault



1986: 1st - front page of New York Times




1987: Shot




1988: Missed due to tendonitis




1989: 1st, front page of New York Times




1990: 1st



1991: 7th



1992: DNF

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Old 10-20-23, 04:45 PM
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1993: Did Not Start



1994: DNF

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Old 10-21-23, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Jughed
Some of the guys got caught - mostly after the Festina affair. Before that it was a crapshoot.

"Doping" and modern sport goes back to at least the 50's - Lemond beat people that were dopers. Steroids, amphetamines, cocaine... all fairly common in sport, all sports, back in the 80's/90's.

I have a hard time accepting that he, or any other athlete of the time, was such a freak of nature that he could beat other dopers while being "clean".

Listening carefully to Lemond, he seems to focus in on the use of EPO - EPO use seemed to be the no go zone, and the time things "changed" in his mind.
Totally agree with this. I seen Lemond have a couple apparently amazing 'comebacks' from injury that seemed too good to be true. There was a norm BITD for popping pills going back many decades ranging from illicit drugs to high level doses of acetaminophen (I used acetaminophen myself). Bottom line is he was an amazing athlete and from all appearances a truly nice guy who had a line he did not cross and the fortitude to stand up for himself and what he thought was right.
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Old 10-21-23, 10:21 AM
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Holy spokes!

I just learned that Greg LeMond is 3 years younger than I am.

Damn. When did that happen?!
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Old 10-21-23, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Holy spokes!

I just learned that Greg LeMond is 3 years younger than I am.

Damn. When did that happen?!
It happened when he was born
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Old 10-21-23, 08:07 PM
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I had a subscription to VeloNews starting the late 1970s. It was clear at that time that Lemond had a special talent. If America had any chance of succeeding in Europe it was with Lemond. How far could he go? Excitement was building because we believed he could do it. Everyone was behind him.
The 80s was by far the best era for cycling!
Lemond was a huge part of that. He bested the very best champions of the sport. That makes him great and arguably one of the greatest!
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Old 10-21-23, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
It happened when he was born
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