More LeMond

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If nothing else, the man is not afraid of a microphone.

VN: Can you be confident in a winner of this Tour?

GL: Yes, because they’re finally making changes. Look at Taylor Phinney, he only just started racing and two years later he won the junior world championship. I recently read an interview with Davis and he thought that Taylor could become a good classics rider. I say, screw that! He’s winning pursuit and time trial events against guys who are 10 years older than he is. That’s what I was doing. I won the Circuit de la Sarthe at 18 against professionals. Your genetic potential does not change in your career. It’s there at 17, 18, the only thing that changes when you race professionally 100 days a year is that you’re trying to figure out how to be at your peak. My ability didn’t change from when I was 18 or 19. I was third in the Dauphiné my first year. So you can see that quality in a rider like Cadel when he made that transition from mountain biking. It is very difficult, and it has been the last 15 years, to see who is really good. Christophe Bassons might have been the best rider in the Tour. We don’t know. We look at history, we have 100 years of cycling, Merckx didn’t come out of thin-air and win the Tour at 28 years old. He was good at 19, 20; Fignon, myself. All these new training programs, oh, I lost some weight, higher RPMs, how can you can lose more weight than 3-4% body weight? All these training theories – physiology has not changed.

VN: Have you returned because of changes in the sport?

GL: I can believe in cycling that is going to change in a very positive way. The sport needed what’s happened to it. It didn’t change after Festina, and it didn’t change after Puerto, or Landis. It needed (what happened) last year, because all of a sudden, there was a crisis. The pressure of sponsors pulling out, then it had to change. I’ve been pushing for an independent anti-doping agency, not associated with the Tour, not the UCI. The anti-doping control people need to be completely independent. They shouldn’t care if cycling is destroyed by a positive.

We have to make sure that the tests are fair. We have to go forward. The biological passport looks at the chemistry of the body, but we also need to be doing testing on wattage and V02 max, but it all comes down to genetics. When you dope, you can change your oxygen intact by 15 to 25 percent, so by the end of the Tour, you can see a 35 to 40 percent increase in power output. Even if you’re the hardest-working person, you cannot do it. We have to get back to a point where talent alone can win the Tour de France. Someone is going to win this Tour, but it might go 5km slower, it would probably be more dramatic.

VN: Do you think there was something the UCI could have done to stop the doping back in the late 1990s after the Festina affair?

GL: Festina, what did it change, nothing? It was all talk, all PR. I was here in ’98, and I was like, good, finally! At least now they’re going to do something about. They didn’t change a thing. When you have the UCI president, Hein Verbruggen, when a rider died of a heart attack and the sport director of his team went to Verbruggen and said, ‘we have to look ourselves in the mirror and change, or we’ll all be dead when we’re 50.’ And when Verbruggen’s response was, ‘if you don’t like the sport, get the hell out.’ That’s a strong sign of what his priorities are. They’d threaten riders if they talked about doping.

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

13 thoughts on “More LeMond

  1. So it’s the guys that show greatness at a young age who could be great? I suppose he forgot the wins a young Armstrong got and his competitiveness in tri. You can’t have it both ways, Greg. You’ve been out of the peleton for a LONG time now and perhaps it’s just time to go be great champion who has moved on in his life.

  2. If everyone is getting a chance to correct their action/direction (Riis?), then LeMond has equal opportunity. I’d rather have him in there mixing up the rotation anyway. This whole deal is absolute bullshit on how it’s been managed. Let him fuck it up a bit too.

  3. Hey Greg…


    Why is it that he has to interject himself, his experiences and beliefs in every answer to every question, even though they have no bearing?

    “Greg, what’s the weather going to be tomorrow/”
    “Well, we are sitting in a low pressure trough, so this pattern of rainy afternoons will continue…much like in 1990, when I was the only clean rider in the peloton and the rains came in the first weeks of the Tour.”

    Damn man, go the fuck away…………

  4. Greg can say what he wants because of his former position as a great champion of bike racing. That’s why he gets interjected into things. Do you think they don’t ask Eddy his opinions? Indurain? Even the great Lance, he’s still all over the place when it comes Tour time, Greg ain’t no different.

    If Greg has to shut the fuck up, then so does everyone else right?

    Greg is the man. I’d always take his side over just about, well, anyone.

  5. So I don’t get what Greg is saying. If the racers who show great potential as youngsters should be great, then Armstrong and Landis should have his support. Floyd was a freak mountain biker, and Armstrong was beating triathletes much older than him as a teenager. Which is it, Greg?

  6. kinda rambly….had he been drinking at the time the interview was done? he’s sounds like an uncle who just discovered libertarianism.

  7. Meh. He isn’t making a lot of sense with his arguments and, yeah, they ask Merckx, Indurain, Armstrong, et. al. about today’s Tour -doped or not – and they, wisely I’d say, offer no comments since they ain’t in the peleton and their speculation, right or wrong, doesn’t “help” the sport. LeMond could take a lesson here since he has no clue if any his named cherubs have ever or will ever dope. He isn’t them.

  8. LeMond is looking for someone to live vicariously through, seems lil Phinney would be his first choice.

    He needs to go disapear somewhere, dye his hair and tell people about his four touchdows at Polk high.

  9. If the riders that started beating him at the end of his career are so much faster because of doping… Why does Lemond still hold the record for the fastest tour time trial in history?

    If his logic were to hold water his time trial speed would have been long eclipsed.

  10. Iron Donut-
    Not exactly. Remember the NY Times article from a week or so?

    “The researchers were primarily interested in learning whether the young men’s athletic performance improved — it did, and markedly so. At maximum effort, the men’s performances improved by 9 to 16 percent. But at a slightly lower level of exertion, performance improved by 50 percent, Dr. Lundby said. Athletes taking EPO can go 50 percent longer at that somewhat lower level of effort, which can make a major difference in an endurance event…”

    Maximum effort aside, it is the daily grind without dope against those that do that kills you. I think that is the real point of his comments.