Greg Lemond is the only American winner of the Tour de France

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Now that Lance Armstrong has had his Tour titles erased from the history books, Greg Lemond is the only American winner of the Tour de France.

A lot of us grew up with Lemond. It was his triumphs that made us fans of professional cycling. He was fantastic on the bicycle.

Greg Lemond in action
Greg Lemond in action

He had so much class. It’s just ridiculous. And he still does. When asked about Armstrong’s fall from grace, this is what Lemond said:

He’d be forgiven for taking a degree of pleasure from the otutcome, but he admits that he’s felt strangely detached as it became more and more clear that Armstrong was going to be nailed. “I’ve felt sad at times to see what’s happened, because it shows the problems facing the sport,” he said. “I didn’t feel any great satisfaction.”

I’d say he showed a fair bit of restraint in that statement. He could say far worse. And, he’d be entirely justified in doing so.

Three times on the top spot at the Tour.

Greg Lemond
Greg Lemond in the golden fleece.

Twice World Champion. He straight up rocked the stars ‘n bars.

Greg Lemond beating Sean Kelly and Dimitri Konyshev to the line in Chambery in 1989.
Greg Lemond beating Sean Kelly and Dimitri Konyshev to the line in Chambery in 1989.

I broke this one out last week. My Lemond. Steel is real. She’s been comfortably ensconced in my basement. No pedals, no problem. Snow all over my lawn. I haven’t ridden outside for a month, at least. From the looks of the snow we’ve gotten this weekend, it’s going to be a while. Don’t worry, I have all summer to work on my tan lines.

Greg Lemond bicycle
My Lemond

I got the frameset a few years back from the fine folks at Sellwood Cycle Repair. I picked up the 8 spd Campy bits mostly from my man Panda. It is a fantastic bicycle. When the warmer months arrive, I’ll be sure to take her out and splash some sunshine on her.

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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

41 Replies to “Greg Lemond is the only American winner of the Tour de France”

  1. Yes we are sure. Because he quit the sport. He could have chosen to keep his edge over the middle-of-the-pack riders who suddenly became as fast as him. Instead he quit, and became part Captain Ahab. But in this version, he outlived the whale.

  2. Great post and that LeMond is a great bike. Throw some pedals on that beast and go get some ice cream.

  3. His quiting is proof he never doped? Thats HILARIOUS. Guess he was that talented to beat all the dudes on amphetamines back then. Lemond fanboys are no different than LA fanboys.

  4. Matt: here’s the diff between LeMond fans and Ol’ Whassisname. There were a billion people with first-hand knowledge of LA’s doping who were either trying to get an audience or dropping serious hints, and folks didnt want to believe it.

    Show me the guy riding an old LeMond, with the ’89 WC poster on his way, who named his dog Greg, and $100 says if you presented him with solid evidence (instead of just snark) of LeMond’s doping, he’d rip the poster off the wall, without a bunch of moral relativism bullshit.

    On the other hand, Jeff Evanshine spilled the beans, soup to nuts, on the VeloNews Bike Forum, and everyone wrote him off as a crank.

    The difference is real, measurable, and observable. Claiming otherwise is the mark of a non-serious person who simply likes to argue.

  5. If you go by this bullshit then he might also have the records for the most wins because those 5 time winners were all doped up too. Eddy got popped multiple times, take away his wins, Anquitile said “if 11 pills kill me give me 10” take his away, no believes big Mig or the Badger rode clean. The only clean tour rider in history…… Lemond. Actually, he may be the only tour winner ever…. Because sure as fuck everyone before him was on something and everyone after him was on something too.

  6. Well I’m on my second Lemond. The first was a Buenos Aires with Ultegra Triple. I put a few thousand miles on ‘er, but she was just too flexy for my tastes, so I sold ‘er for $500. Currently, my “townie” is a Poprad, nice piece with the cable-actuated discs and all, but the 105 makes me pine for Ultegra.

  7. I’ve not followed cycling as long as some of you, so please forgive my naïveté, but when did the accusations of Lemond’s doping start to appear?

    I first became aware of them about the same time the public began to realize that (whatshisname) was probably a cheater.

  8. So, your basis for saying LA didn’t win is because Mcquaid says so?
    Love the shit out of Greg. Those 2 or 3 hours of wide world of sports coverage (for the entire three week tour) were absolutely golden. I reveled the opportunity to speak with him nearly every year for about 10yrs at Interbike. My sporting hero for many years. However, he is but a man, flesh and bones, with just as many flaws as the rest of us. Hates fucking losing just like LA. Hated the fact that LA’s story was bigger than his. He was very bitter just as he was/is about trek fucking up his bikes. Nonetheless, I still fucking love him! And I would if a billion people told me he doped or bullied(pop culture word for pussies and losers) the rest of the peleton.
    Oh, ya, one more thing, I still fucking love Lance Armstrong! So, all you self-righteous whiney blowhards, who were too stupid to realize that he was doping 10 yrs ago, can suck it!
    PS I also love DC and I’m a huge apple fanboy.

  9. LeMond held the fastest time trial for a long time, over dopers (or suspected dopers) that came after him. Makes ya think…

    That being said, I’d have a hard time believing that LeMond was doping much if at all based on the fact that in his “free time” he was running around Europe chasing down sponsors and promoters just trying to get paid.

  10. Lemond doped like a mofo. He just never got caught. Hell, I dope like a mofo. Never been caught either. Of course I can barely shovel my driveway but that’s not the point…..the point is…………I need more beer.

  11. Even in Lemond’s day, everyone had a program. Everyone took their “vitamins”. Lemond stopped winning when new and better programs came along, and he wasn’t willing to get on board.

  12. Lemond never got caught. He was worried when they started targeting Lance so started talking shit to divert any attention off him…Lemond is wayyyy past statute of limitations as is Indurain etc etc…He can say whatever he wants now cuz he’s in the clear…If all other greats doped before did he…lets not be naive here…

  13. BTW…Im a big fan of D.C….but im still a fan of Armstrong. Hes a fucking animal of an athelete…how many dope and never even get close?? Talent still counts there…Kick em when theyre up, kick em when their down…Go Lance!!

  14. Take a look at LeMonds first three of four TDF results vs. the same for Armstrong. Clean or not, LeMond was on a whole different level than than Armstrong. To say any different is joke. LeMond was a pure straight baller who have locked Armstrong in the pain closet permanent if they ever went head to head in their primes with “the program”.

  15. good folks over there at Sellwood. That’s where I bought the little guys 24″ mtb for this last xmas.

  16. I’m sick and tired about all this dope shit. US riders, all who had no experience with dope went to Europe and got shelled. Those who stayed, doped, because they had no choice. Fuck, if there was no long established and pervasive doping in Europe cycling then Lance, Tyler, Floyd, Hincape, Levi and all the rest would have raced clean. Dope or no dope I enjoyed watching a lot of bike racing back then. The tour has lost all it’s star riders. I don’t know who’s riding next year, but I know a lot of my favorites might not be there.

  17. Hell, I’ve been smoking dope for years and I can prove it! I could outdope anyone of those motherfuckers and I ain’t even been to Europe.

  18. Damn, I hate to overcomment— all of you know this— but I gotta side with Mr. biggermig on this one.

    Those who doubt, c’mon up to Warshington State, we got a program for you.

    Stay safe, brothers and sisters.

  19. Who gives a fuck about the doping? Armstrong fucked over some innocent people in this whole mess; not just teammates. If he makes good with them, I’m fine with that, and he’ll be good in my book.
    BTW, LeMond didn’t quit because everyone else started doping– (one big reason )he quit because his ass got shot in a hunting accident and it shortened his career.

    Doping should be mandatory. And they should cobble Alpe d’Huez. That is all.

  20. Greg was clean yo. Lance offered up rewards to anyone who would come forward to say he doped, none could.

    Greg is a straight up G. When Landis was defending against his accusations Greg told him to come clean no matter what, even confiding about his own time as an abuse victim to him. Landis’ BFF threatened Greg with that the day before the trial, Greg went public with a very difficult admission that he had been the victim of childhood abuse.

    You think Greg is gonna be such an advocate for the truth that he’d be prepared to share that, yet keep his own secret about steroids?


    Guess you don’t know why he left PDM either?
    Stick to riding a Trek with a triple, cycling’s less challenging that way.

  21. Triples get the groceries home. Especially in this hilly-assed burg.

    Fenders keep the hiney dry.

    Racks and panniers, always.

    Kickstands are a blessing.

    Some people go somewhere to ride a bike. Some people ride a bike to go somewhere.

    Difference between playing with toys and using a tool, I guess.

    Shit, I’m out of fucking vodka.

  22. Triples get the groceries home. Especially in this hilly-assed burg.

    “Never rode a triple but I guess I haven’t aged to joe’s point where I need one.”

    Fenders keep the hiney dry.

    “Especially one as enormous as joes.”

    Racks and panniers, always.

    “Sure. If your out for a 30 hour ride. I do a couple hours a day. In my world racks and panniers are for pansies.”

    Kickstands are a blessing.

    “OMFG !!!!! I actually agree with joe on something ?? Excuse me I need to go shoot myself.”

  23. Kickstands. Hmmmmmm. They were integral to all bikes when I was growing in the 70’s. Why did they go away ??

    I rode my mtn bike(maker shall remain nameless cause the bike is a POS. I only ride it now and then cause it was my late brothers bike)…..anyway…..I rode it to the local convenience store to get a pack of smokes. Cause you know after a healthy bike ride nothing is better than smoking it all away.

    I tried to lean it up against the brick wall of the building. Nope. No good. Soooooooo……being slightly inebriated I tossed the fucking thing in to the middle of the parking lot.

    Sooooooo…..again. We need to bring back kickstands.

  24. Play with your toys, wanker. Meanwhile I’ll unload the two 30 packs from my panniers. He ain’t heavy, he’s my brewskis.

    Couple hours a day? Bring it on a fixed gear and you might be worthy.

  25. ohyeah, and fool? My main squeeze (daily driver) is a ’93 Fisher HooKoo. So my big cog is a 34t. So fucking what? It’s rare that I leave the big ring. But when I do, the 22:34 gets me up 15% grades no worries. And as to age, bitch, I’m pushing 62. That’s something to be ashamed of? Then by all means, eat a Glock and beat the rush.

  26. joe. Fuck you and your horse. You have the sense of humor of a road stop toilet seat. And the brains to boot.

  27. My sense is that Greg Lemond raced clean. He was enormously talented with a vo2 max that was off the charts and he was mentally tough. And he was very young. It’s not unreasonable to believe that he could beat the best cyclists of his era without PEDS.

    And therein lies the tragedy. Lance Armstrong was probably just as talented. He may not have needed PEDS to keep up with the peloton and perhaps even win a TdF or two.

    That’s the problem with PEDS. Cheating skews the perspective (and perception) of the participants as well as the fan base. No one will ever know what Armstrong could have done clean. Meanwhile, Lemond’s reputation is placed in doubt and his achievements questioned. Ultimately, the sport loses it credibility.

  28. “road stop toilet seat”? Now I see the cause of your antipathy. You’re just jealous because I’m still head and shoulders over you.

  29. What part of “They ALL dope” do people not understand? There are degrees of how often, how much, when, etc. – much like drinking…