Matt Seaton : Greg LeMond

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by limerickman, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Matt Seaton
    Thursday January 31, 2008
    The Guardian

    We know that it is not what came to Marcel's mind when he bit into the little madeleine cake, but for me, the January edition of Procycling magazine has a morsel of that poignant Proustian recall. The reason is that it is guest-edited by Greg LeMond.

    When Lance Armstrong was still in short trousers, LeMond was the first truly great American cyclist. In the 1980s, he took a hidebound, introspective European sport by the scruff of the neck and shook it to its core. In 1983, at the age of 22, he became world champion and then went on to become the first non-European to win the Tour de France in 1986. But 1989 was his annus mirabilis. His second Tour victory was remarkable not only because, as an American, he won on the Champs Elysées on France's republican bicentennial by the narrowest margin in the history of the event (just eight seconds), but also because, two years earlier, he had been lucky to survive a hunting accident that had left his body riddled with lead shot. LeMond revolutionised the sport, not least in his earnings, becoming the first million-dollar contract cyclist.

    Article continues
    He retired in 1994, relatively young at 33, apparently suffering from a rare degenerative muscular disease. He now believes this was misdiagnosed - since, at 47, he is in pretty good shape for someone with "mitochondrial myopathy". My guess is that by the early 90s virtually everyone else in the peloton but he was taking EPO; he couldn't account for his underperformance, became depressed, and eventually found a diagnosis to fit the "symptoms" of his loss of form.

    It is just a hunch, but an informed one. For the reason I felt nostalgic when reading Procycling was that, a few years ago, LeMond invited me to ghostwrite his autobiography. It didn't pan out. He changed his mind about doing the book; I think he felt his career had somehow been eclipsed by Armstrong's, who had, to boot, published a bestselling autobiography. I hope he does complete the book some day. He was the original pioneer.

    We remained on good terms, though, and I, at any rate, gained by the experience, spending a spell as LeMond and his wife Kathy's guest at their house near Minneapolis. They are warm, generous and open-hearted people. Even if LeMond is, at times, erratic, exasperating and egocentric, you can't help but like him - and all those qualities were part of what helped him realise his potential.

    Regrets? None, only I'd think twice about accepting a lift from him. He spent a couple of years racing cars after retiring from cycling, and it shows. There were moments when I thought my life would end upside down in a ditch in Minnesota, my corpse dragged from a smoking Audi by one of those people Garrison Keillor likes to call "Norwegian bachelor farmers".

    But to go for a ride with LeMond again over that oceanic, frozen, black-earth prairie, oblivious to the bitter wind blowing down from Canada because the crazy energy of his talk, talk, talk is enough to carry you both along? You bet.
     
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  2. bobke

    bobke New Member

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    Based on the self aggrandizement, the bloviating, and the purple prose in your post above, I think we don't have to guess why Greg didn't close the deal on you ghost writing his biography. That is if a grain of what you said is even close the the truth.

    Are you telling us you could have been a contender?
    Having read Proust in the original when I was 14, I can attest that Procycling is not even close to Proust for good and ill, but spare us your pretentious strivings.

    The point is, Greg circulated this story about his mitichondrial myopathy back in the day. Now he claims the rumours of his demise were greatly exaggerated. Except HE spread them.. If he were misdiagnosed...lawsuit? anyone? hello?

    Mitochondrial myopathies are diagnosed based on muscle biopsy, cellular architecture, and now DNA as well as other issues. The lead poisoning is a confounding factor of course, or whatever metals are leeching out of the buckshot in his body. But Greg is far from the first or last dude to have metal shrapnel all over his body.

    At any rate, bottom line is the psychiatric components of mitichondrial myopathy, lead poisoning, childhood sexual abuse or whatever have certainly taken their toll.

    Greg was one of the classiest riders of all time, despite your also liking him.
     
  3. Crankyfeet

    Crankyfeet New Member

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    Is limerickman Matt Seaton? I thought Lim was quoting directly from the article. Are you directing your response at Lim... or at Matt? Sorry if I'm interrupting the dialogue... but I am confused at the pointedness of your post and who it is you are referring to.
     
  4. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    So Lemond's performance relative to other rider goes down and he assumes there must be something wrong with him. Later he finds out that it was because the other riders were using EPO. What's the problem?
     
  5. kennf

    kennf New Member

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    I'm with CF in that I can't figure out who you're responding to. Or why.

    You read Proust at 14. Okay. Great. I'm sure you got a lot out of it.
     
  6. classic1

    classic1 Well-Known Member

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    LOL
     
  7. Drongo

    Drongo New Member

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    Bobke might have read Proust, but he has missed the point of the reference entirely.

    Seaton wasn't saying that a cycling magazine edited by LeMond was as good as Proust. He was comparing his own experience of reading the magazine to the episode at the end of Overture where he bites into the madeleine and is inexplicably seized with happiness, before realising the source: a memory from his past.

    Now, I ate madeleines (in the original), when I wasn't yet 14, and I can tell you they taste nothing like a cycling magazine. ;)

    There is a good discussion of the passage Seaton is referring to here -- it's too long a passage to reproduce in full on this post -- look under the subtitle 'Syllabus'.
     
  8. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    ROTFL. That was excellent.
     
  9. Gregers

    Gregers New Member

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    Doesn't everyone do that? It's just a rite of passage.
    At my school we had to translate this text into Classical Latin and then re-produce it in rigid iambic pentameter. Greek was even more difficult. Mistakes were inevitably punished with a severe beating. Get some proper learning, Mr. Thicky.
     
  10. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    I'm not Matt Seaton.

    And you're correct, like the rest of his posts, they're all pointless.
     
  11. Gregers

    Gregers New Member

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    Don't mock, Lim. He can't help it. What else do you expect from a man with an impoverished education? [​IMG]
     
  12. Crankyfeet

    Crankyfeet New Member

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    I think I found the Proust book that bobke was referring to...


    .
     
  13. helmutRoole2

    helmutRoole2 New Member

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    It's interesting that you make light of the fact that Lemond was victimized as a boy and go on to say that he was the "classiest riders of all time."

    Clearly, you don't understand what the word class means.

    I'll cap on Landis, Hamilton, Armstrong... the whole crew because clearly they doped and lied. That was their choice. Lemond's victimization was not his choice.

    You want to know a class rider? Camazind. One positive test for EPO. One "no comment." One retirement.
     
  14. helmutRoole2

    helmutRoole2 New Member

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    Nice!

    bobke was all, "Damn, this Proudssst is easy!"

    And then the teacher walked by and turned the book right side up and said, "The words are just as important as the pictures, little bobke."
     
  15. thoughtforfood

    thoughtforfood New Member

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    Do you blow yourself like this in public often?

    Are you telling us you are a pretender?
    Having read Playboy in the original when I was 14, I can attest that Procycling is not even close to Playboy for good and ill; the pictures aren't as good either.
     
  16. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    Classical Latin? We had to translate it into cuneiform and from that into cave paintings. Later we had to communicate it to the class by beating two sticks on a rock.
     
  17. TheDarkLord

    TheDarkLord New Member

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    ROTFLMAO. Good one Cranky!
     
  18. plectrum

    plectrum New Member

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    Ok Bobke getting rinsed in this post was also quite hilarious, but not as funny as Astana being barred from Giro ... hee hee!:) Too laughs on one forum, must be a record!
     
  19. Gregers

    Gregers New Member

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    We don't appear to have had much of a comeback from the self-proclaimed linguistic prodigy. C'mon, Brainy Bobke, fire up all those neurons you boast about.
     
  20. Crankyfeet

    Crankyfeet New Member

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    Well he's managed one thing. He's completely hijacked Lim's thread with one on-topic post ironically...[​IMG]
     
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