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Greg Lemond is my hero

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Greg Lemond is my hero

Old 10-22-23, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by embankmentlb
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.
This is one of the reasons I tend to believe that he was racing clean.
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Old 10-22-23, 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
This is one of the reasons I tend to believe that he was racing clean.
No question.
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Old 11-28-23, 02:54 PM
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Thanks for digging up those articles, John Flores!
I didn't know he petered out after his 1990 TdF win. Do you think he was not training right? Or just getting old? Or maybe he DID have some kind of medical problem lurking... (besides the shotgun "pellets")
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Old 11-28-23, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
Thanks for digging up those articles, John Flores!
I didn't know he petered out after his 1990 TdF win. Do you think he was not training right? Or just getting old? Or maybe he DID have some kind of medical problem lurking... (besides the shotgun "pellets")
That was the period when the use of EPO, which was the real game-changer among PED's, was becoming widespread in the pro peloton.

I don't pay for access to the Cyclingnews website, but here's a teaser from an article that came up when I did a search:

"Although rEPO did not become commercially available until 1989, some physicians believe that European athletes had been using it since 1986, when clinical ..."

Lemond said in interviews at the time that he was being passed on climbs by sprinters who in previous years would have been nowhere near him. He tried everything he could think of to improve, including starving himself until he reached a level of 3% body fat, but his results continued to worsen.

It turned out that he was also suffering from an initially undiagnosed medical condition. From another search:

"Despite a remarkable racing career, the road hasn't always been easy for LeMond. In 1994, he announced he was diagnosed with mitochondrial myopathy, a cellular disease that affects muscles and physical performance."
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Old 12-03-23, 09:39 AM
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Just watched “The Last Rider”. Fantastic.
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Old 12-04-23, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by choddo
Just watched “The Last Rider”. Fantastic.
Look for, "30 For 30, Slaying The Badger". i liked it more than "Last Rider"
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Old 12-06-23, 05:34 PM
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Saw this facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/plugins/pos...true&width=500 and was reminded about the bodyfat discussion earlier in the thread. The guy has very visible abs, veins clearly visible etc. He's obviously more muscular than a typical TdF guy, but I don't think they're significantly leaner in terms of BF%. Some certainly are learner, but not by that much. He tests out at 13% and 16% using a BodPod. If I had to guess, I'd bet he's a bit leaner than that (no test is perfect). But, generally speaking, people's BF% is higher than they think.
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Old 12-07-23, 05:00 AM
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Anybody know where "The Last Rider" dvd can be found? An authorized version, I want to make sure Greg gets his due.
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Old 12-07-23, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax
Anybody know where "The Last Rider" dvd can be found? An authorized version, I want to make sure Greg gets his due.
Think you can buy it in 4K on the US iTunes store.
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Old 12-08-23, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by choddo
Think you can buy it in 4K on the US iTunes store.
I mean a physical DVD, not a download.
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Old 12-08-23, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax
I mean a physical DVD, not a download.
I know but I thought your main objective was to punt some $ towards the Greg? It seems to be available on DVD or bluray from amazon in the UK but not US
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Old 12-08-23, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by choddo
I know but I thought your main objective was to punt some $ towards the Greg? It seems to be available on DVD or bluray from amazon in the UK but not US
Yes, want the money to go to Greg but guess I'll need to wait until an authorized retailed here in the US has it. I looked over Greg's bicycle site, he doesn't have copies of it either.
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Old 12-08-23, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax
Yes, want the money to go to Greg but guess I'll need to wait until an authorized retailed here in the US has it. I looked over Greg's bicycle site, he doesn't have copies of it either.
However you buy it, some middlemen are going to cream off a big percentage I'm sure.

If you want me to order you one here and put it in the post, give me a shout. Blurays don't tend to be region locked but the DVD might be.
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Old 12-11-23, 12:30 PM
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I was a huge Lemond fanboy, the Worlds thing bothered me a bit, but I don't think anyone was going to beat Saronni that day, so I just got over it.
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Old 12-11-23, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax
Yes, want the money to go to Greg but guess I'll need to wait until an authorized retailed here in the US has it. I looked over Greg's bicycle site, he doesn't have copies of it either.
Make the trek to a theatre to see it in the meantime. Bring your wife; she'll like it too. It's worth a trip.
Having seen it in the theatre, I still plan to buy the DVD or BlueRay, assuming it makes it that far.

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I'm going to look up the 30 for 30: Slaying the Badger movie.
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Old 12-11-23, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
Make the trek to a theatre to see it in the meantime. Bring your wife; she'll like it too. It's worth a trip.
Having seen it in the theatre, I still plan to buy the DVD or BlueRay, assuming it makes it that far.

**********
I'm going to look up the 30 for 30: Slaying the Badger movie.
It's on YouTube, with other things about "The Badger"
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Old 12-22-23, 02:50 AM
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Only 5 minutes in but it seems good. From July so I might be the last person to know of this.
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Old 12-24-23, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat
Yup, good guy. He's a bit younger than I and I followed his career via cycling magazines from the time he was a teenager. It was clear very early on he was born for bicycle racing.

If you watch videos of entire races, or lightly edited races, you can see why he was so successful within the fairly limited context of the Tour de France and World championship. He never had the kind of dedicated team support we commonly see now, none of the longterm contracts and lasting partnership to depend on from year to year. He learned early on under the tour boss/patron system, watching and competing with Bernard Hinault, who may have been the toughest patron in TdF history. Over the course of long races you can see LeMond riding essentially solo, as he had no teammates who could keep up with him, so he would encourage, cajole, badger, bark and demand other competitors to work together to give them all a clear shot at a win. He improvised very well as long, grueling stages progressed, adapting to not only the course and conditions, but to whomever was available from the remains of the shredded peloton.

And he was pretty tech savvy and willing to try anything new, and readily discarded outmoded or incorrect theories if they proved to be useless. I recall years ago he talked about falling for the myth about longer cranks giving some advantages, then later switching to shorter cranks that suited him better. He and Laurent Fignon had access to the same aerodynamic tech for the 1989 TdF -- aero helmets, disc wheels, aero bars -- and Fignon used an aero helmet and disc wheels in the earlier time trial. This detail is often omitted in retrospectives about how LeMond overtook Fignon by seconds in the closing time trial, using the aero bars that had mostly been used by triathletes, but had also been used in one or two previous stage races that same season. I'm not sure whether Fignon's vanity was a factor, but he might have held onto the win if he'd worn the aero helmet he'd used earlier. If I'm recalling correctly, that final TT leading into Paris was a course that was mostly a gradual downhill and with a bit of tail wind that day.

LeMond could also be a bit impatient, snippy and petulant during interviews after tough stages in the Tour, but I figured that was just part of the package with intensely competitive athletes. My background was amateur boxing -- lots of macho attitude among many competitors (I remember Ray Leonard declaring in his final national Golden Gloves before the 1976 Olympics, "I expect to win here.") -- so it was no big deal seeing athletes from other sports who occasionally showed a bit of arrogance and lapses in public charm.

I recall some occasional criticism of LeMond's racing style back then, because he was very opportunistic and savvy about how to win. Because he often lacked reliable team or even a partner who could pull him throughout an entire stage, he'd often stay on the wheels of competitors, declining to take pulls until it suited his strengths... at which time he could be demanding of others. But cycle racing is a bizarre competition that has nothing comparable in any other sport. It's more like playing cutthroat Monopoly than anything else. And he focused mainly on the TdF and World championship, during an era when Europeans tended to compete all year, from the spring classics through the various smaller stage races, the crits that helped pay the bills and return favors to promoters and supporters, etc. LeMond was still an outsider and didn't have that kind of year round support to race the way Merckx, Hinault and others did.

It was also charming to get glimpses of LeMond's home life.

I won't say we'll never see the likes of LeMond again. Peter Sagan has been just as exciting in his own way, and it's a damn shame to see how injuries and lingering effects from multiple bouts with COVID have depleted him. But he's the closest I've seen to LeMond in my lifetime.
wow super interesting post

thanks for sharing all that

what exactly happened to Sagan ? I haven’t followed cycling for 3-4 years? His performance diminished after long covid?
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Old 12-24-23, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by dr_max
wow super interesting post

thanks for sharing all that

what exactly happened to Sagan ? I haven’t followed cycling for 3-4 years? His performance diminished after long covid?
He just slowly faded away as you might expect after a long, hard career. He was still there or thereabouts in the last few seasons, including a few big GT stage wins, but the young guns have inevitably overtaken him and he has just recently retired.
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Old 01-24-24, 04:30 PM
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Watched THE LAST RIDER last night. Not great. Actually dozed off for a couple minutes at one point. A lot of French translation subtitles, and I don’t care for subtitles when I’m watching something onscreen. It’s the same exact info as ESPN’s 30-for-30 SLAYING THE BADGER which is way more interesting than The Last Rider…as others have indicated above.

One star. If you’re going to spend time on this topic, watch the ESPN production.

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Old 01-28-24, 05:34 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.
These Armstrong apologists make me nauseous. We all knew he was doping back then, but his fanbois called Lemond a crybaby, and Armstrong's lawyers joked about Lemond being molested as a child.
Lemond was the only TdF winner and World Champion who advocated for increased doping controls while he was winning.
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Old 01-28-24, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by calamarichris
These Armstrong apologists make me nauseous. We all knew he was doping back then, but his fanbois called Lemond a crybaby, and Armstrong's lawyers joked about Lemond being molested as a child.
Lemond was the only TdF winner and World Champion who advocated for increased doping controls while he was winning.

There are two issues at play. On the bike doping, off the bike *******s.

On the bike doping is binary. You doped or you didn’t. There are no levels of cheating. You doped or you didn’t. Lance and Greg both played in a field chock full of dopers. We know that one of the fellers beat all of the other dopers by doping as well.

Some believe the other feller was able to beat all of the other dopers 100% clean. And to have individual efforts stand as the record times, faster than the times of squadrons of dopers that followed… even faster than suspected mechanical dopers… and these people had better equipment…

So either Greg (who I like) was the single greatest super human cyclist/athlete of all time, a clean man amongst doped boys, or he wasn’t 100% clean either.

I have a hard time believing the former. There is no way in hell he competed 100% clean - no way. And you doped or you didn’t - the level doesn’t matter. Because one dopes at the level they deem necessary to beat the other guy.
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Old 01-28-24, 07:18 AM
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I've watched (I believe) every LeMond documentary and I own and have watched every WCP dvd there is (the LeMond years several times.)
I earnestly believe LeMond never doped, because he wasn't clever or devious enough to lie on camera the way cycling's cancer did.

One-nut admitted to doping to Oprah on television. Do you have any evidence at all that LeMond doped?

I raced in Europe (got my @$$ handed to me, so it was a relief when I read "Dog in a Hat" and recognized amphetamines were pretty widespread on my team.) Before that, I even raced in a Cat 1-2-3 pack in Dripping Springs, TX, outside of Austin with one-nut back in the 80's (dropped again.)
Doping was a huge problem, but to drop a blanket accusation over everyone who raced... I lived through those years and I distinctly remember LeMond on camera stating that doping controls needed to be increased while he was winning.
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Old 01-28-24, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Jughed
There are two issues at play. On the bike doping, off the bike *******s.

On the bike doping is binary. You doped or you didn’t. There are no levels of cheating. You doped or you didn’t. Lance and Greg both played in a field chock full of dopers. We know that one of the fellers beat all of the other dopers by doping as well.

Some believe the other feller was able to beat all of the other dopers 100% clean. And to have individual efforts stand as the record times, faster than the times of squadrons of dopers that followed… even faster than suspected mechanical dopers… and these people had better equipment…

So either Greg (who I like) was the single greatest super human cyclist/athlete of all time, a clean man amongst doped boys, or he wasn’t 100% clean either.

I have a hard time believing the former. There is no way in hell he competed 100% clean - no way. And you doped or you didn’t - the level doesn’t matter. Because one dopes at the level they deem necessary to beat the other guy.
This is the route profile of the 1989 Tour de France Stage 21 time trial:



It was short and downhill; that's how Lemond set an ITT speed that stood for quite a while, well into the doping era. I read that Fignon also set a personal best that day.

Lemond's time trial average speed has since been exceeded by several riders.
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Old 01-28-24, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Jughed
There are two issues at play. On the bike doping, off the bike *******s.

On the bike doping is binary. You doped or you didn’t. There are no levels of cheating. You doped or you didn’t. Lance and Greg both played in a field chock full of dopers. We know that one of the fellers beat all of the other dopers by doping as well.

Some believe the other feller was able to beat all of the other dopers 100% clean. And to have individual efforts stand as the record times, faster than the times of squadrons of dopers that followed… even faster than suspected mechanical dopers… and these people had better equipment…

So either Greg (who I like) was the single greatest super human cyclist/athlete of all time, a clean man amongst doped boys, or he wasn’t 100% clean either.

I have a hard time believing the former. There is no way in hell he competed 100% clean - no way. And you doped or you didn’t - the level doesn’t matter. Because one dopes at the level they deem necessary to beat the other guy.
People forget that EPO was the game changer to end all game changers. Lemond was great in the 1980's, but he wasn't head and shoulders above his rivals. Come the 1990's, when the use of EPO was becoming well established in the peloton, and Lemond began his quick descent, turning from major contender to also-ran. (He said in an interview back then that he couldn't understand why sprinters who formerly would have been 20 minutes behind him on any mountain stage were dropping him easily in the Alps.)

Here are three PED poster boys from an early peak of the EPO era: teammates in Paris-Roubaix who had ridden away from the field and time-trialed to a one-two-three finish in the Roubaix velodrome.

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