Greg Lemond, American, 1961 -
Greg Lemond is a bit like one of those characters you got in 1980s American TV series who are designed to be likable - with a likable face, a likable smile, likably honest and articulate, doing likable good deeds, likably wholesome in every way - but somehow just failing to actually be likable. Bobby Ewing in Dallas springs to mind - although any member of the Waltons would probably also fit the bill.
With Greg Lemond, the fly in the ointment was always a, part hidden, combination of that ruthless, raw, American, competitive streak with that explicit, confident, American, certainty that comes over, in Europe at least, as a kind of arrogance.
Greg Lemond, unquestionably, demonstrated great courage (and a huge talent) by blazing a trail for American cyclists on the European cycling scene. Before him it was almost unthinkable that an American would win the Tour de France - but he did so - not once but three times, in 1986, 1989 and 1990.
He also, unquestionably, demonstrated great courage (and a certain integrity) by consistently raising questions about Lance Armstrong’s achievements - at a time when Lance was an All-American folk hero. And, finally, despite his seemingly cheesy, saccharine sweet, public personality, he unquestionably demonstrated great courage by overcoming the serious challenges in his personal life - and continues to support charities for people struggling with ADHD and victims of childhood sexual abuse.
Greg Lemond was a big fan of using the latest in cycling technology - and was fairly good at avoiding those spuriously non-scientific advances which appear with relentless regularity. PMP ‘L’ shaped cranks, anybody? In terms of derailleurs Greg Lemond is notable for briefly departing from the Campagnolo orthodoxy by flirting with Simplex and then winning the 1989 Tour using the elegant, modernist, MAVIC SSC groupset. In this particular photo he is shown using a Simplex SLJ 5000.