Greg Lemond - Fearless



ghostpedal

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Jul 26, 2004
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A couple of days ago, I tivoed the Giro and some other bicycle related stuff on OLN. One of these was called Fearless, and this time it was about Greg Lemond. This show might have been around awhile, I don't know, but this was the first time I had seen it. I came away with nothing but a bad impression of Lemond. His accomplishments speak for themself, but he seemed both arragant and whiney at the same time. I realize that some arrogance would almost be a necessity when competing at a high level, but his seemed overplayed. I really wanted to learn about and like Lemond more, but the viewing actually lowered my opinion of him. I feel it is a shame that such an icon can tarnish his image by his later comments, but it's true. Has anyone seen this show? What is your opinion of the show and of Lemond in general? Even if you haven't viewed it, what do you think of Lemond?
 

Chance3290

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Oct 1, 2004
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I got the same impression of Lemond after watching this same program when it was on awhile ago.
He seemed to come off as a spoiled kid who was used to getting his own way and was then upset when things didn't go to plan.
 

gubaguba

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Aug 7, 2003
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Heres the rub for me. You say you wanted to like Lemond but you wanted him to be a certain way so you could like him. Well guess what he is not what you expected and gee you made up your mind not to like him because he didn't fit into your box nicely. You based this on what a thirty minute interview. For someone old enough to remember his active racing days he will always be an icon. I would follow his races when the only place you could find out what was happening in the tour was to read it in the NY Times. No TV coverage except a half hour wrap up on the last day on ABC. No live internet updates. No other paper covered it and the Times only had about 4 or 5 paragraphs. I thank him everytime I see a race on cable here in the States because historically I know he played a part in creating a market for it here. Inspired countless young riders here myself included. Ever see a pair of Aero bars? Who do you think introduced them to cycling in what was one of the greatest time trials ever. Who is the whinner the guy who lived life fully and overcame obstacles innovated in his occupation or the guy who sit back and passes judgement on him. What episode or Fearless is your life reviewed on...
 

Chance3290

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Greg-Is that you? Just kidding. I would never take anything away from what this guy did. He did bring a lot of attention to cycling in America, not nearly as much as Armstrong, but more than any cyclist other than Armstrong.
But he does come off, in old interviews and new, as a typical spoiled athlete.
I haven't met Lemond or Armstrong, but I've heard good and bad about both. In truth, more people have told me that Lemond is an OK Joe and Armstrong is a snob.
I ride a Lemond because it's a good bike, not because of his name. And I also ride a TREK (aka Lancecycle) for the same reason.
 

ghostpedal

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Jul 26, 2004
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I really didn't have much of an impression of Lemond before seeing the show. Nothing can take away what he did for cycling, especially in the U.S., but that doesn't mean he doesn't come off in the interview as an ass. His past accomplishments were incredible, and required a great amount of talent and determination. With that, he could be a cycling elder statesman of sorts, but he losses some respect with his attitude. Yes, he did a lot for cycling, but there are many riders with talent and determination who want to go pro but never make it. Lemond seems bitter instead of grateful. Of course, a caveat I do keep in mind is that the editing of the show (or any media ever) can warp the truth.
 

House

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gubaguba said:
Heres the rub for me. You say you wanted to like Lemond but you wanted him to be a certain way so you could like him. Well guess what he is not what you expected and gee you made up your mind not to like him because he didn't fit into your box nicely. You based this on what a thirty minute interview. For someone old enough to remember his active racing days he will always be an icon. I would follow his races when the only place you could find out what was happening in the tour was to read it in the NY Times. No TV coverage except a half hour wrap up on the last day on ABC. No live internet updates. No other paper covered it and the Times only had about 4 or 5 paragraphs. I thank him everytime I see a race on cable here in the States because historically I know he played a part in creating a market for it here. Inspired countless young riders here myself included. Ever see a pair of Aero bars? Who do you think introduced them to cycling in what was one of the greatest time trials ever. Who is the whinner the guy who lived life fully and overcame obstacles innovated in his occupation or the guy who sit back and passes judgement on him. What episode or Fearless is your life reviewed on...
You do know that at least from 1985 on they had weekly coverage on saturdays and sundays throughout the Tour and I believe starting in1987 or 1988 ESPN had daily coverage. I have DVD's made from the TV coverage (CBS during some of that time) from 85-88 and then my own actual tapes from 89 and 90. I am a huge fan of Lemond, he is the person who got me started racing, but in this show (not 30 minutes but 90 minutes) he does come off as a bit of a spoiled brat who was always whining when things didn't go his way.
 

SF_Vitus

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Sep 20, 2004
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Chance3290 said:
I ride a Lemond because it's a good bike, not because of his name. And I also ride a TREK (aka Lancecycle) for the same reason.

Ironically, I think Trek owns Lemond bicycles. Am I right?
 

baj32161

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Jul 15, 2004
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I have been a huge Greg LeMond fan since the 1980's..I can put all of the petty bickering aside. I have not seen "Fearless" but this whole "Greg said Lance is dirty" is nonsense. Like I said, I did not see "fearless" but I did see the controversial EPSN interview...where Greg did say...I loosely quote here...."If Lance is clean, then this is the greatest feat in cycling history (which I don't necessarily agree with), however, if he IS dirty than it is the biggest fraud in cycling history." Now, maybe its me, but I don't see an accusation there. I do see the guts to say what many people may be thinking but not saying. He may be privy to information we may not. I also would like to know what all of these LeMond bashers will say IF he is proven right. I am a big Lance Armstrong fan too, and noone admires his courage more than I do, and, in spite of LeMond's thought provoking comments, he will always be an idol of mine
 

Stjtoday

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Jan 16, 2005
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I have "Fearless" tivo'ed and just watched it last Saturday. Greg never mentioned Lance Armstrong's name in the entirety of the show. He never made the comment that he doped. At the completion of the show he made the statement that as he reached his peak and began slowing the whole of racing began moving towards steroid enhancement. He used no ones name, and sad to say his statement was fact.

I thought the guy was a class act, conquered some incredable setbacks. You try riding the tour de france with 40 lead pellets in your body.
 

Long Rider

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I did not see any TV shows about Greg LeMond or see any interviews of him to date. BUT! Check this out: Bicycle Village in Boulder, CO is having some big store event on May 28th, 2005 and they've got Greg LeMond leading a group ride. You have to sign up in advance and I've been told it will be at a leisurely place - thank goodness, there's no way I'd ever be able to keep pace with a rider of his caliber regardless of how many years have passed since he retired from competition.

Having read all of this topic's postings I get the impression that some think Greg LeMond is a such and such. It certainly may be true, really, but I have no clue. But is it fair for one person to define another person's character harshly based on such limited info? Being on camera might have brought out Greg's bad side - people can come across badly at any given time. I mean we all have our good and bad points. Even if it feels good to put another person down, is it right or fair to leap to a broad conclusion based on that TV show? (And I am not necessarily saying that was done above - everyone was actually restrained in their commentary.) Did the editors cut out things that cast Greg in a better light to make the program more "interesting?" Given that I did not see the TV show, mabe I am way off base here - sometimes people have jerk tendancies which help them achieve big things. I'll see if I can gain a first-hand impression of this man on the 28th and can report back another slice of his public character after the ride.

In any case, from his web site I know this, as do everyone else above this post - he won the Tour in 1986, got shot(!) in 4/87 and won again in '89 and '90. What is it with these American cyclists anyway!? Get shot... fight off cancer.... and still win such a punishing and brutal athetic competition, and then win it again? I'll tell you what, I wish I was a tenth as tough as those guys; they are some seriously tough, tough hombres.
 

Chance3290

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Like him or not, riding with Lemond has got to be COOL!

A few years ago I did a ride to benefit a cyclist and lbs mechanic who was killed by a DUI. George Hincapie showed up. I should mention that it was well below freezing, but Mr. Hincapie sat there signing autographs for anyone who wanted one. he spent the ride going up and back along our 400 person pelaton, speaking with people and offering advice. A class act.

To add to your point, on TV Mr. Hincapie seems to come across as someone who doesn't like to be on TV, but I've seen him at races and rides a time or two and he seems to be very personable.
 

wilmar13

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Chance3290 said:
Like him or not, riding with Lemond has got to be COOL!

A few years ago I did a ride to benefit a cyclist and lbs mechanic who was killed by a DUI. George Hincapie showed up. I should mention that it was well below freezing, but Mr. Hincapie sat there signing autographs for anyone who wanted one. he spent the ride going up and back along our 400 person pelaton, speaking with people and offering advice. A class act.

To add to your point, on TV Mr. Hincapie seems to come across as someone who doesn't like to be on TV, but I've seen him at races and rides a time or two and he seems to be very personable.

Hincapie is one heck of a guy in addition to a good cyclist.. but Lemond is a whiner IMO.
 

grampy bone

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Jul 18, 2004
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I've seen the Fearless show on Lemond about 3 or 4 times and I had the opposite feeling that you did. I could see how someone would think he is whiney, but to me, he is just stating the facts. I agreed that his team screwed him out of a possible win in 84. He says things like, "I could have won the tour 5 times if I wouldn't have been shot" and "I beat Hinault at his best" and "I felt that no one could beat me" (not an exact quotes). Although this may seem cocky, its the truth. I like the guy and can relate to guys like him. He says what he thinks and wears his heart on his sleeve.

In the fearless show, I wanted to start cheering when he let Hinault go solo in one of the tour stages, then later caught him and made up all the time he was down & took the yellow jersey. Also, the tour he won by making up nearly 50 seconds in the final time trial is the best tour finish I have ever seen. He is one of the greatest.
 

yak

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May 17, 2004
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I thoroughly enjoyed watching Fignon cry after his loss to LeMond
 

jack rackham

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Long Rider said:
I've been told it will be at a leisurely place - thank goodness, there's no way I'd ever be able to keep pace with a rider of his caliber regardless of how many years have passed since he retired from competition.
Reminds me of an interview I saw with Jack Nicklaus last year. He said "Back in the '60s everybody wanted to play golf like Nicklaus, now most of them do".

I'll bet LeMond feels the same way. I'll reserve my opinion of him as a person. As a cyclist, he was a great competitor and innovator. I ride a 2000 LeMond Zurich and it is the best of many bikes I've ridden. Wouldn't trade it.
 

Long Rider

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Yesterday (5/28 Saturday) morning I had a chance to ride a bike shop's promotional group ride with Greg LeMond. The nature of the route precluded him moving up and down the peloton of 50 or 60 people, but here's my report. The man was friendly, cordial, interested in what I had to say, and kind enough to sign a poster for a buddy of mine who missed the ride due to a horse back riding accident. At mile 2 of the 26 mile ride I misjudged the frictional capacity of a U-turn section of concrete covered in dirt and dust leading into a road underpass and hit the curve too fast. Whoosh! Just like that my wheels slid out from underneath me and I slid several feet on my side. (Reminded me of Jan Ulrich during a time trial in the wet at the TdF last year, wasn't it?) DAMN! THAT hurts! This was the first time EVER in my years of riding that I crashed and I even did a cross-U.S. ride 3 years ago but never raced. (I was run off the road by jerk dump truck drivers in Louisiana, but didn't go down. Was also hit by a car running a red light to make a left turn against the green light I had and I went down - but I cannot call that a crash.) So anyway, I was not damaged too badly - except for my pride. When I took my turn at the front of the group, shoulder to shoulder with the 3-time Tour Champion I said hello and stated that I just came up to say hello and be able to say I rode next to a 3-time Tour champion and that I'd drop back after a second or two. Greg said not to drop back so fast, stay and talk a while. How do ya like that? I described my crash and how I thought to myself that the guy leading the peloton got shot and still rode, I certainly could get up out of the dust and dirt and complete the ride. He chuckled and when he signed my poster at the end of the ride wrote that I was now a real rider since I've finally crashed. Ha! He was good-natured, friendly, and I'm proud to have met the man. Also, the Forum's lively Ms. Susan Repp rode with the group and challenged Greg to a sprint "to the next phone pole" at one point. He let her win all in good humor. There ya have it!