Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Special Greg LeMond issue of Procycling

The January 2008 issue of the magazine Procycling will be a special issue about Greg LeMond, with him as a guest editor: "70 pages of sensational stories direct from his Minnesota home".

"Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond has taken a step in a new direction by stepping into the editor's chair at Procycling.

In the January 2008 issue, which goes on sale in the UK on December 20 and across the rest of the world in the new year, LeMond focuses on some of the incidents and issues that are close to his heart, including his radical thoughts on training and how cycling has helped his family through some difficult times.

During a frantic few days at home in Minneapolis, LeMond sets out his vision for the sport, analyzing conventional training methods and explaining why he believes less can be more - in short, why training in a very specific way can make any cyclist faster. He also explains what he would do if he was running the sport, and has some particularly strong views on what should be done to tackle the issue of doping.

On the personal side, LeMond gives his insight into some of the great sporting moments he enjoyed on the bike, including his thoughts on that 1986 Tour feud with team-mate Bernard Hinault and why he thinks he got the edge of Laurent Fignon in the incredible 1989 Tour. He also talks frankly and candidly about some of the personal problems he and his family have faced, and reveals how therapy and cycling has helped them get back on the right track."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Interview on Minnesota Public Radio in 2002

I recently re-listened to an audio interview I had for quite a time, and I re-discovered this was a very very interesting and pleasant one. If you don't know it yet, it's really worth the hour it lasts!

Diana Nyad interviewed Greg LeMond on Minnesota Public Radio at Macalester College in St Paul in 2002, and this interview (almost one hour long) can be listened to through that link. You need RealPlayer to listen to it.

The swimmer Diana Nyad was on the World T.E.A.M. Sports project with Vietnam War veterans that Greg participated to in 1997, and they became friends while riding in Vietnam.

They talked about many many things: doping, Greg's popularity in France, simple pleasures while riding, like spotting rivers for fly-fishing while on races and getting emotional about the smell of eucalyptus reminding him of Northern California, the kindness of Minnesota people, his love for French landscapes... and much more.

A few priceless quotes during this interview:
"Athletes are really idiots most of the time."

"I love sports, but I do recognize in sports there is a mentality that's almost -I don't want to say mental illness-, but there's a point where they take it so far beyond what it should, and that's the only thing I find wrong with sports today, it's gone so far to one extreme."

"I want to know that everybody is clean [...] but it's a total naive notion."

It's pure Greg: he is straightforward, well-spoken, passionate, outspoken and with a tendency to wander on topics... I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did!

Monday, November 26, 2007

El Tour de Tucson: LeMond and Rideclean

Greg LeMond was at El Tour de Tucson last November 16th and 17th, with his son Geoffrey. They rode the 109-miles event. I didn't find out whether they finished... I just saw on that Greg got a flat.

He also spoke about doping before the event in an interview to Tucson Citizen:

While Greg LeMond rides the 109-mile El Tour de Tucson on Saturday, his mind will play on different themes.
One, the prestige he knows he brings to the 25th anniversary, which could have a record 10,000 participants.
Two, one of the most important things in life, health - his own, his family's and even that of the American public in general.
And three, the issue that is rocking his sport to its heels - doping.

"I've known for many years it was a time bomb that would eventually go off," said LeMond, who travels the country to speak about clean riding and health. "And I'm quite happy it has gone off. Now the sport can start over again, go free."
LeMond was the first American to win the World Series of cycling - the Tour de France. He won the event three times - 1986, 1989 and 1990 - the last two being sheer-guts attempts after he recovered from a serious hunting accident that prevented him from reaching the form he had in '86.
Saturday is LeMond's third Tour de Tucson. The first was the 33-miler in 2000, and the second was the full 111 miles, which defied his glory days.
"I blew up when I hit the (Sabino Creek) crossing," he said. "I knew where my hotel was, and I went straight back and had lunch."
He wants to go the full 109 Saturday but knows he'll be far off the pace.
"I'm 50 pounds heavier than at my riding weight," the 205-pound LeMond said.

Greg also wore a Rideclean jersey, and is indicating that they would like to work with him as a spokesperson.

Monday, November 19, 2007

1 in 6, it's the horrible statistics of men having suffered forms of sexual abuse in their childhood.

I just found out that Greg LeMond got involved with the nonprofit

Go visit their website for more information.
This organization has for mission to help men start recovery from sexual abuse in young adulthood, and not in the more observed late 30's or 40's.

Greg became a board member in September. The newsletter from 1in6 indicates:

Most recently Greg's courage and personal fortitude was made obvious when he spoke publicly for the first time about his own abusive sexual experiences in childhood. His recovery and desire to reach out and help others has brought him to a place of wanting to be involved with 1in6 as we launch our outreach and program efforts. We applaud Greg's candor and forthrightness in speaking about the issue and welcome him with great excitement to the 1in6 founding board.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Anti-Doping panel

Greg LeMond was participating in a panel discussion about doping last Tuesday in Chicago, hosted by the Chicago Bar Association.

A report on that panel can be found in Cyclingnews, along with a few pictures.

Here are a few quotes from Greg:

Greg Lemond began his speech by talking about how he entered the sport and then the basics of cycling's history of doping, paying particular attention to the final years of his career. "One of our team-mates left our team to an Italian team, saying 'This [doping] is what they are doing - you either provide the same thing or I am leaving.' The coach we had at the time refused and I still respect him to this day," explained Lemond. "That rider saw us before the Tour that year and just laughed at us, saying we had no chance. He said he had ridden the Tour of Spain and didn't feel his legs, not because he was in great shape, but because he had been doping."

"I lasted six days in that Tour de France that year, and that guy died of a heart attack seven months later," added Lemond. "That is when I retired from cycling."

"Most Americans think I am outspoken about this because of Lance Armstrong's success, or Floyd Landis," continued Lemond. "Unfortunately the only time most people have read what I have said about anti-doping in the sport has only been during those years."

Lemond said he is beginning to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel for cycling, in regards to the doping scandals. "Finally we have a sport that wants to change, now that there has been an economic impact. So I am more optimistic than I have been in many years. I spoke with the Tour de France director this year and I think for they first time the organizers want this to change - they need this to change, because it is crumbling underneath their feet. But it is going to be a slow process."

In regards to what Thompson said about the lack of fairness inherent in the current system, Lemond disagreed. "I want fairness - I don't want a an athlete to be falsely accused," he outlined. "But within the sport of cycling I don't know of one false positive that was not, years later, that it was positive. Unlike the defense attorneys, I think the process is skewed [in favor of] the athletes. The governing bodies have to live to a higher standard than even our criminal justice system. The criminal lab's standards are so low relative to scientific labs. And circumstantial evidence still does matter."

In short, Lemond reiterated his stance on anti-doping to an audience not made-up of cycling enthusiasts, putting it this way. "I see these athletes like Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton - they're not bad people, but they get in a situation where the tests aren't reliable or not testing and they feel that they have to keep up and compete."

It's not the first time that Greg LeMond is mentioning Philippe Casado dying a few months after leaving Gan. This experience seems to be quite at the heart of his anti-doping fight. I hope that Roger Legeay, the coach he is mentioning, has stayed 'incorruptible' all along.

I'm kinda glad to see Greg pointing out himself that it's a pity that so many people think he started speaking up against doping only since Armstrong won more than 3 Tours. I wrote a letter to Cyclingnews a bit ago about that, and I was mentioning in that letter an interview he did to "Le cyclisme international" in 1993 or 1994. He was already talking about Ferrari there. I tried to get back my hands on that issue, but didn't find it yet (too many movings in my life... ). It had Greg on the cover, in a Gan team jersey crossing his arms. If anyone has a scan of that, don't hesitate to share it somewhere!

I'm quite fed up with reading so often that he should have spoken out before, that it shows he is just jealous, while he did speak up! I'd like that there exists somewhere on the internet a real physical proof to refer to, showing that he did...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A must-see youtube video

A young Greg LeMond interviewed in 1983, one month after his victory in the World Championship, in a still slightly hesitating French.

This interview is conducted just after le Grand Prix des Nations, in which Greg LeMond finished 2nd and put himself in the first position of the Super Prestige Pernod.

He talks about being totally unknown in US even as a world champion, and about how he sees the future of his career: making a comfortable living thanks to cycling, and not having a career "à la Merckx" with wanting to win all, but focus on the big races and enjoy other things in life, and finish his career healthy...
A must-see!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mr Clean

For any fan of Greg LeMond, I highly recommend reading this piece by Benjamin Strong: Mr CLEAN: Greg LeMond and Pro Cycling's doping problems.
(And for non-fans, maybe a few things to learn... )

It relates in very well put words the atypical position of Greg against doping throughout his career and recently.

It includes some quite rare pictures, including this one, of Greg at age 16, winning one of his first European races in Belgium. That's one wonderful picture in my opinion, so vintage, looking like it could come directly from the 40's... so contrasting with later pictures in Greg's career.

The piece finishes with:

In more ways than one, Greg LeMond has courageously defied the social convention of keeping quiet about anything shameful. Although the record books tell a different story, the Tour de France has had no worthier champion than him.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Great blog ! and a german interview

Greg LeMond was interviewed by the german Tour Magazin. If anyone got a hand on this interview, don't hesitate to share ! I'm trying to find that magazine, not so easy in France... But I keep hope ;-).

On another note, Thierry has a great blog about Greg's victories and defeats, with some very rare pictures ! Go visit: The Best of Greg LeMond.

Friday, October 5, 2007

LeMonds, father and son...

Recently, when talking about father and son in the LeMond family, one refers to Greg and Geoffrey... But this time I just found a recent picture of Greg with his dad. Though I didn't see any picture of Greg's father since the beginning of the 1990's, I'm pretty sure it's him. They were in Las Vegas at the end of September for Interbike. I'll post more pictures of Greg at the Interbike, where he was for LeMond Fitness and signing autographs, in a couple of days. If you were at the event, took pictures yourself, have anything you'd like to share, let me know ;-)...

The blog wasn't started yet when Mrs Bertha LeMond passed away at the beginning of last June, so I'll use the opportunity here to send all my thoughts to the LeMond family after their loss.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival

Greg LeMond was with his son Geoffrey at the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival on September 15th. He finished the Chequamegon 40 at the 291st position (time 2:41, with a flat...) and Geoffrey finished at an impressing 58th position (2:23).

I found a few pictures (seems like they were both riding Trek):

Greg on the starting line. He had bib #1.

A bit muddy after the race... but obviously happy

And bib #159: Geoffrey

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Who does actually blast the image of sport?

In the last post I made a link to the article in the Denver Post untitled: LeMond blasts image of sport.

I know journalists are just looking for sensational titles sometimes, but that one is really quite annoying. Greg speaks out against doping, and fact is, doping exists in cycling, big time... Up to a nauseating level. Should it be denounced? Sure it should.

On the Competitors Radio Show, Greg said:
"For some reasons in today's world, they love to shoot the messenger instead of listening to the messenger, and I'm just saying "okay, how do we solve this problem?" and a lot of the messengers that are saying this are immediately getting punched upon, and the problem is not going away. It's not me by speaking out against drugs that's causing this bad publicity for cycling, it's those who choose to cheat and take drugs. That's what's causing the damage."

Who is blasting the image of sport now? Greg LeMond... or Vinokourov, Kasheshkin, Rasmussen, Landis and oh so many others?

I picked up my side long ago.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Another interview: more anti-UCI comments

The Denver Post has another interview with Greg LeMond, where he is even more straightforward about his opinion on the UCI

What more can be done? LeMond said start at the top.

"You've got to get rid of the UCI (international governing body)," he said. "There's corruption in the UCI. It goes back. You have certain athletes donating money for doping machines. Ethically it crosses a barrier. It sends a message that: Are all the riders really being tested? That's what's going on in the minds of the peloton."

He also expresses his doubts about inside-team testing, with this memorable quote ;-):

"Pro teams for 15 years have been doing their own testing. They've been testing how to get away with it."

LeMond optimistic

Greg LeMond was interviewed by Zak Brown for Daily Camera, while he was in Boulder, CO, for the Tour de Cure.

He is talking about his view on the UCI. I highlighted a few things that seemed the most important for me:

LeMond upbeat about cycling's future

A Tour de France filled with negative news isn't even a month removed, and one of America's greatest cyclists, and one of its most outspoken, says he is "the most optimistic I have been in years" about the sport.

Greg LeMond, the first American to win the Tour de France, was back Friday near the scene of the Boulder-based Coors Classic, which he called his "favorite race," even over the Tour. LeMond is in Longmont for the Tour de Cure, a charity ride for the American Diabetes Association that will happen today.

His has been a highly sought-after voice in the wake of this year's Tour, which ended in a victory for Spain's Alberto Contador only after whole teams dropped out and the race leader was booted in the middle of the race. LeMond has never been shy to speak about controversy in the sport, and he talked at length Friday about what can be done to help the sport he said he has always loved.

"I think we're fleshing out a lot of people who are leaving," he said. "I think a lot of people are leaving not because they can't get sponsors, but because (investigators are) getting serious. The guys that have been getting away with it don't want to be caught."

LeMond spoke Friday night about changes in the international doping system, including criminalizing offenses and taking testing away from governing bodies, and also about the bright future of Boulder's Taylor Phinney. LeMond has routinely spoken about doping, and even questioned the doping innocence of seven-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong in the past.

When he returned to France this year and spoke with Tour director Christian Prudhomme, he suggested drastic changes in the way the sport is policed, and sticks by those suggestions.

"I was asked what I thought could be done, and the first thing I said was to divorce yourself from the (International Cycling Union)," LeMond said. "They're in a war in a fight over TV rights. The UCI has been negligent in the sense that they've known what's been going on in cycling. But they have done a much better job under (UCI head) Pat McQuaid, no doubt."

Other changes he suggested were to sequester riders two hours before race so there is no unsupervised access to the riders, randomly testing 20 riders every day and lowering allowable hematocrit levels from 50 percent to 46 percent, which would eliminate the ability to use EPO undetected. LeMond acknowledged the difficulty of testing for blood transfusions, which are undetectable. But he did suggest to eliminate all injections - even vitamin injections - unless they are administered by a race doctor.

They may seem like drastic changes, but the sport has reached a point where drastic measures are likely needed after the cheating improved testing has revealed.

"How is it that one team can perform and never have a positive, and then all these riders go to different teams, and they're all busted?" said LeMond, who won three yellow jerseys. "So within the athletes, there's kind of this, 'What's going on,' and it forces them to kind of try to keep up."

The biggest change would be to criminalize doping in cycling, which has proven difficult. But, he says, by increasing the penalty for cheating, those trying to root out cheaters would have much more leverage.

"There would be the ability to plea-bargain prison sentences, so when riders get busted they can rat out the system and come back to racing in much heavier testing," he said. "It needs to be criminalized because they are trafficking in illegal drugs. They are prescription drugs, but they are being illegally distributed throughout the peloton. You make sure it's very transparent, and then that increases the credibility of the sport."

Because of his status as one of America's best, LeMond will likely always be asked to evaluate this country's cycling. With high-profile doping cases involving Boulder's Tyler Hamilton, disputed Tour de France winner Floyd Landis and the cloud of suspicion over Armstrong, some have questioned whether the sport can recover in the U.S. It doesn't help, LeMond said, that cyclists like Greg Strock said in 2000 that the U.S. cycling federation injected him with illegal doping substances when he was a junior racer in 1990.

"Our federation is not the greatest example. So basically I don't trust our cycling federation," he said. "And even if we do have education, no matter what, athletes are competitive, and they need to know that if it's really being caught, they don't have to (dope)."

LeMond does see hope in Boulder's Taylor Phinney, the son of one of LeMond's greatest contemporaries, Davis Phinney, and gold medal cyclist Connie Carpenter. The younger Phinney recently won the junior men's world time trial and appears to be poised for a stellar career.

"He could be one of our most talented riders coming up. At first I thought, 'Oh, I'm so happy for him,'" said LeMond, who won the Coors Classic in 1981 and 1985 . "And then I thought, 'Oh, I'm so sad for him.' Because I don't know if I was the parent, and my son would have won the worlds, that I would allow him to pursue it on the professional level. I am optimistic that there is a change and it's shifting, and that maybe Taylor Phinney can have a chance like I did where you don't have to decide to either sell your soul to be part of a sport or having your dignity and be proud of doing it on your own."

LeMond will ride today in the Tour de Cure, and was hoping to do the century ride to Estes Park. The rides begin at 6 a.m. at the Boulder County Fairgrounds, and riders can register today. There will also be a festival at the fairgrounds during the rides.

So... Greg's very low consideration of the UCI is once again made clear here. Another point that I find interesting, and I've been wondering about that possibility when the cases of blood doping were talked about during last Tour -and particularly the fact that autologuous transfusions were undetectable- : wouldn't it be possible to check for needle marks on riders? Of course the exam can seem borderline too invasive, and there's the possibility of simple vitamin injections... Greg suggests to have a control on those injections too. Why not?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Videos of "La Légende du Tour"

I uploaded on Youtube videos of "La Légende du Tour" dedicated to Greg LeMond, that was shown on French TV during the Tour 2007. Here it is:
part 1 (some rare footage of a young Greg on the Circuit de la Sarthe in 1980, and on the Dauphiné Libéré in 1983)
part 2
part 3
part 4
part 5

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

De Mondenard: "only one person"

Greg LeMond has been interviewed about the last Tour de France, and here is what he said:

Red flag' on Evans' rival
From correspondents in New York
July 27, 2007 THREE-time Tour de France champion Greg LeMond said today that it was unfair to brand Michael Rasmussen a cheat without looking at those around him.

And he warned there was a "red flag" on the new man in the yellow jersey, Discovery Channel rider Alberto Contador from Spain, who stands between Cadel Evans and an historic Australian victory in Paris on Monday (AEST).

Indeed, LeMond believes there should be no champion this year.

In a dramatic few days on the crisis-hit race, long-time leader Rasmussen was sensationally turfed out by his Rabobank team.

France's No.1 team, Cofidis, pulled out after it was revealed that Italian rider Cristian Moreni had tested positive for testosterone, while Astana also quit following favourite Alexandre Vinokourov's dope test failure.

"If Rasmussen got caught, and if you want to be equal, you have to implicate other riders, too," LeMond said.

"You have a lot of riders against whom there's a lot of evidence and relations to certain doctors. Those riders are getting away with it.

"Alberto Contador and Rasmussen are at 60kgs each and both are climbing as fast as (Marco) Pantani did. That's a red flag right there," he said in a reference to the late Italian, a superb climber who won both the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia in 1998.

"Contador has been involved in Operation Puerto'" he added, citing the doping scandal that rocked Spain.

"I'm not pointing fingers at Contador. I'm just saying that if you point fingers at Rasmussen, you have to look at the riders next to him."

LeMond said he thought the Tour de France would be better served if it didn't name a champion this year.

"I would prefer to see a non-Tour de France winner," he said.

"It's more symbolic."

However, he said the opinions sprouting around Europe, that the latest scandals will spell the end of the Tour, are wrong, although he does believe the reputation of cycling as a competitive sport is in jeopardy.

"The Tour will survive," LeMond said.

"The Tour is an event. It has a glorious past. It has a history. The Tour will never go away. During three weeks, riders become actors. Actors with a story to tell. If you remove those actors, and replace them, you'll still have the drama and the flavor the Tour brings.

"What I'm pessimistic about is the credibility of cycling as a whole.

"Each time we thought things are looking better, then we take a dive."

LeMond said the positive tests revealed only the tip of the iceberg, that drug cheats still abounded in the peloton, and riders were under pressure to keep quiet about it.

"There's a strong omerta," he said. "But it's changing."

The doping control system needs to improve to hasten progress, he said.

"There's too many loopholes," said LeMond.

"For instance, none of the riders are tested before the start of the race. The only tests occur early in the morning, which means they can pretty much do anything they want before the start.

He called for a body independent of Tour officials and the International Cycling Union to take over, with funding by the government and more punitive measures for those caught cheating.

Agence France-Presse

Almost the same thing, in French:

27 juillet 2007
Greg LeMond: "Pas surpris"

Triple vainqueur du Tour de France, Greg LeMond n'est pas étonné de voir la Grande Boucle à nouveau touchée par des scandales de dopage. L'Américain fait part de ses doutes quant au nouveau porteur du maillot jaune, Alberto Contador.

-> Etes-vous surpris par les affaires qui ont éclaté sur le Tour de France ?

- Pas vraiment. Quand vous regardez la vitesse à laquelle certains coureurs grimpent les cols, ils vont aussi vite qu'à l'époque de Pantani. Ce qui me choque, c'est la relation que peuvent encore entretenir certains avec le Docteur Ferrari. Ils pensent qu'ils ne peuvent y arriver sans lui.

-> L'équipe Rabobank a-t-elle bien fait de renvoyer Michael Rasmussen du Tour alors qu'il n'a pas été contrôlé positif ?

- Si on a puni Rasmussen, alors il faut impliquer d'autres coureurs contre lesquels les preuves sont bien plus grandes. Ce n'est pas normal que ces coureurs puissent s'en sortir. Quand je pense que Floyd Landis (contrôlé positif lors de sa victoire en 2006) s'est défendu en clamant que les échantillons testés par le laboratoire français étaient manipulés, que les Français étaient contre lui et qu'il n'y avait pas de culture de dopage en cyclisme... Soit Floyd est un grand naïf, soit il est vraiment de mauvaise foi.

-> Pour vous, il y a donc encore des coureurs dopés dans le peloton?

- C'est évident. Les coureurs savent bien qui est dopé et qui ne l'est pas. Prenez Contador par exemple (ndlr: Alberto Contador, le nouveau leader). Rasmussen et lui ont le même gabarit. Ils pèsent aux alentours de 60 kilos et tous les deux grimpent aussi vite que Pantani en son temps. C'est déjà suffisant pour lever le drapeau rouge. En plus, son nom a été associé à l'affaire Puerto. Je ne pointe pas Contador du doigt. Mais je dis juste que si on a attrapé Rasmussen, alors il faut regarder de plus près ce que font ses concurrents.

-> Pourquoi les coureurs continuent-ils à se doper s'ils savent que tôt ou tard ils vont se "faire coffrer"?

- Si vous regardez de plus près, très peu de coureurs se font attraper. Il y a trop de mailles dans le filet. Et il en sera ainsi tant que nous ne modifions pas les méthodes de contrôle. Par exemple, aucun des coureurs n'est contrôlé avant le départ de la course. Les seuls contrôles se déroulent tôt le matin. Ce qui veut dire qu'ils peuvent faire à peu près ce qu'ils veulent avant le départ. L'UCI et les organisateurs du Tour font du bon boulot. Mais pour obtenir des résultats durables et éradiquer le dopage, il faudrait créer une structure indépendante, dans le même genre que l'AMA mais que pour le cyclisme. Cette entité serait financée par les gouvernements et aurait un pouvoir punitif. Je ne vois que cette solution pour aboutir à davantage de transparence.

-> Devrait-il avoir un vainqueur dimanche sur les Champs-Elysées?

- Non. J'aurais préféré que les organisateurs n'octroient pas de maillot jaune. Cela aurait été un geste symbolique.

-> Le Tour de France a-t-il sérieusement perdu de sa crédibilité selon vous?

- Je ne m'en fais pas pour le Tour. Il survivra. Le Tour, c'est d'abord un événement avec une histoire, un passé glorieux. Durant trois semaines, les coureurs deviennent des acteurs. Si vous retirez ces acteurs et vous les remplacez par d'autres, le Tour gardera toujours de sa saveur. Là, où je suis assez pessimiste, c'est pour l'image du cyclisme qui a pris un sérieux coup. Chaque fois qu'on se dit : ça va aller un peu mieux, on replonge."

Of course you can read reactions about that on the net, many people, as usual, just wishing Greg didn't speak out, and wondering why he should be listened to.

One of the reasons he should be listened to is that he was one of the first to speak out against doping, and has been right so far in all his 'allegations'... Had he been listened to earlier, maybe cycling wouldn't be in the situation it is now. Like it or not, he has been a messenger all along. Many people would like to be able to prove he doped, in order to make him a non-legitimate messenger. Fact is, Greg is one of the least suspicious riders of the Tour de France history. I'm not saying that just as a blinded fan. I'm not the only one saying that.

Dr. De Mondenard, a physician who's been very outspoken against doping, so outspoken that he often comes off as vindictive, said on July 26th on the german channel ARD:

'I have set up more than 4000 dossiers about professional participating in The Tour De France since 1947. All of them connected in some way to doping. There is only one person I have found nothing. It's Greg LeMond'.

This interview can be watched here.

Believing that Greg LeMond was clean can be seen as only a belief. I guess it will never be proven for sure. But the absence of any suspicions about him is a fact. With speaking out, he's been ready to put himself in a position where his past as a clean rider has be questioned, and precisely and exhaustively checked. What came out of it? Zero suspicion.That's a fact.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Vélo Club again... and Greg on Le Tour

I put a little video of Greg appearing on Le Vélo Club here:

Also in the 'news', but a bit late: Greg talked about the end of the Tour 2007 with PezCycling:
Greg LeMond on le Tour: The Finale Begins.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Photos de l'Etape du Tour

The site Velovelo has a few pictures of Greg LeMond and Geoffrey at L'Etape du Tour. I'm putting them here (click to enlarge)

Geoffrey managed to find cycling socks Ac/Dc! And he's wearing the jersey Chicago Northwestern University (wildcats). I wonder what Greg's jersey belongs to. Any idea?

Again, I'm sorry to have to report some more Landis' bashing. It's basically just the same as the NPR interview I talked about before , now reported in Times Online. Don't hesitate to express yourself about that, there, here and elsewhere. It seems that a few Landis' supporters already have jumped on the "LeMond is a pathological liar" bandwagon. Funny how some people have to wait for their idol stating something against Greg to immediately have the same opinion. That reminds me of Armstrong's "LeMond is bitter"... I'm afraid we will now have to deal with the "liar" characterization for a bit... Same old same old.

Last, but not least, thank you to the people who suggested to share things about Greg and/or help with the blog. You can email me at (Sorry.. I have to make a little riddle here, I don't want spams... ;-) )
"lemondXX at gmail dot com" where XX are the two last numbers of Greg's birth year. Should be easy...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Au Vélo Club

First, before talking about Greg LeMond's appearance on the "Vélo Club" after the Tour stage finishing in Briançon yesterday, a little point about Floyd Landis... I wasn't sure I wanted to mention that at all. But well, his attacks on Greg are becoming sickening. And I think with the last interview he did on NPR, he crossed a new line. I mentioned here that Landis already qualified the call that his manager made to Greg as a "bad joke". He now insists, and goes farther... characterizing Greg as "clearly insane" and borderline insinuating that Greg could have made up the childhood abuse and/or that he should be over it now. Highlight of this trash:
Landis: "Look, if that happened to Greg Lemond, that's a terrible thing. But he's 50 years old now, and he has a problem with lying, and he never should have been there."

"Trust but Verify" (a blog dedicated to Landis doping allegations) reports this interview and recaps the part about Greg. Go read it there for the full thing.

Hard to make a transition... Anyway, Greg was on the set of the talk show Le Vélo Club that takes place after each stage of the Tour de France, along with his two sons Geoffrey and Scott (who just sat in the back...).

He looked smiling and tanned and in very good shape. I should be able to put a little clip on my youtube account soon. Greg seems to have lost quite a bit of his French. He mentioned briefly that it was nice to see that cycling was so popular in France still while in US it turns a lot about doping recently, and that he believes that the Tour de France is a very special event whose popularity will never fade.

He was sitting close to Laurent Fignon, and they were shown footage of Greg's victory on the Tour 1989. Greg looked a bit embarrassed and then he mentioned that in his mind Fignon also won that Tour, and that he could have won it if he had also used the Triathlon bar. To which Fignon answered that it was nice of Greg to say so, but that they fought fairly, and that the result was good as it was, otherwise they wouldn't be there still talking about it.

Greg talked about 'L'étape du Tour' that he rode last Monday, and a bit of it was shown, showing Greg and his son posing on the starting line. He said that his son was in the 30 first, but didn't manage to get a proper "ravitaillement". He also said that he had made a bet of 10 euros with a friend for who would finish first, and really pushed himself to arrive before that friend and finished more tired than on any stage of the Tour during his career.

Here are some screencaps of this show. Geoffrey (black shirt V neck) and Scott (green shirt) are sitting behind Greg. The last cap shows Greg and Geoffrey posing with Bruno Cornillet (one of Greg's former teammates on Z and GAN).

Click on it enlarge...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Interview in Vélo 101 - part 2

First of all, Greg finished l'Etape du Tour, in 8'44'' (701st out of about 7000). Congratulations!

The second part of the interview Greg and Geoffrey LeMond gave to Velo 101 is out.

They both have some quite harsh words about Armstrong.
(once again, this is my translation...far from perfect, my apologies...)

Geoffrey asked about what he thinks of Lance Armstrong:
[G. thinks for a long time] I'm not sure what to say. For 8 or 9 years, or even in 1993, I was close to Armstrong. He had had hard words against my father. I was a kid, he was criticizing my dad. I saw him again in 2000 in New York. And after that, my dad talked about his (Armstrong) relationship with Ferrari, and all went for the worst. He did a lot of things to discredit my dad. It was actions of a guilty guy, trying to justify himself. He made the life in my family a lot harder than it should have been. Therefore I'm mad at him. He is simply a liar and a cheat.

For you Greg?
I'm glad that Lance is out of cycling. As an American, I was sincerely happy to see him win the Tour, eventhough we didn't have the best of relationships. I went through a hard period during my career, when I had to fight for two years to come back, so when he won in 1999, I found that great. After that I heard about his relationship with Dr.Ferrari, and I had the dream that after the affair Festina, things were going to change, the peloton was going to ride slower, people were going to start speaking out. In 1999 I heard from a mecanician from the Festina Team what was still going on. For me, it's really hard to appreciate cycling when you don't know anymore who is the best. That's the problem of those past 15 years: who was the best? For me it was Jan Ulrich, who had more talent than the others. In 2000 I heard from mecanicians from the US Postal what was going on. After that it became hard to watch the Tour.

No suffering... There was no suffering. I climbed the Ventoux yesterday, which the pros are doing too...

When in 2000 you see Armstrong talking in his earphone when he drops Pantani while climbing the Ventoux, it's not normal, it's nuts! I didn't want to criticize an american cyclist, I found that bad, but I couldn't accept that after Festina, Armstrong was seeing someone like Ferrari, for the image of the sport. It's the wrong message. If you want to carry the right message, to show you're against doping, you don't see Ferrari. I only stated that I was disappointed that he was seeing Ferrari. Five or six days later, he called me and instead of asking why I said that, he only told me that I couldn't have won the Tour de France without EPO. I said it wasn't true, but he insisted on 1989. I told him "in 1989, I didn't even know EPO, and if I had been the first to use it, I wouldn't have won by 8 seconds, but by 8 minutes." Because we know now that at the end of the Tour, the difference in power can be 20 to 30% more with EPO. I told him that for my first Tour, I finished 3rd, at 23, then second and then first. My results were regular, aside from the hunting accident.

After that for six years he did all he could to break my relation with Trek. He is a guy who abuses of the system, even with his cancer, for his image, for his money. In my opinion, he's been protected by Verbruggen. In 2000 I heard that he gave $500,000 to UCI. In 1999 his urine is tested positive 6 times. In 2000 it's clear as the one of a baby. I don't think Armstrong is a mean guy, neither that he is a bad or a good person. But his way of saying "I train better than the others, I'm more motivated". The other riders are training as hard, but they don't have the same possibilities.

If you consider cycling for the past 30 or 40 years, since Merckx's years and before. People were training for 30,000 km, a hundred days a year. In 1990 I win the Tour after having suffered mononucleosis all winter long. I couldn't end a race. In april I was in bed and rode hardly one hour a day. And I came back in May, and was going up and down during the Giro d'Italia, then I was a lot better at the Tour of Switzerland and around the Tour, I was competitive. I won because I had a good team, good tactics. The secret of good training is to know how to work and rest, finding how you can stay fresh to reach your maximum at certain times. If you overtrain, you can also lose your strength and your sensations.

The body has some genetic capacities that training cannot change. You can't climb the Alpe d'Huez 20 times and then pretend that you can win the Tour because you did that. If your VO2max is 80, watts are there or not. In 1991 you see an increase in power outputs of 10-15% and then it just climbed more after. I was a pro for 14 years. The first year I was 3rd on the Dauphine Libere. I don't think I was any stronger 10 years later. I just had more experience to know how to reach my highest level with good timing.

That's why I'm mad at doping. I saw my team Z win the team classification in the Tour 1990, and in 1991 we couldn't follow anymore. In the Giro we were all dead after two weeks and I quit. Even on the Tour de France my teammates lost 10 minutes in the first mountain stage. We know now that your hematocrit naturally decreases of around 10% on the Tour, while with EPO it can climb by 20%. In the end of the Tour it makes a difference. We couldn't fight against that.

I saw a lot of cyclists quit like me around 32 years old, thinking "I quit, I'm too old." We were trying to find out why the peloton was riding so fast. My way has always been to try to stay in front of the peloton, but then, I couldn't do that, and I thought it was my age.

What is your hope for cycling? Are you watching the Tour 2007?

Greg: Since 2006 and the scandals I hope that things are going to change. Even with all this, cycling remains exciting. I think the Tour will survive, but it needs a true solution against doping, with a way of testing or putting down the hematocrits back to 44-45%, or you can't start the stage. Between the moment where the doctors are testing for hematocrits in the morning and the beginning of the stage, transfusions are possible, so cyclists should be isolated over that time, no contact with the team or team doctors. They get coffee, drinks. Then you test them for their hematocrit, bovine hemoglobin and testosterone. Then we will know, there won't be the bias that the hematocrit drops over the stage. It's one solution. For the public, and for the riders, all will be more comfortable, they won't think anymore that you need to take something to be at the top. If they trust in that, well trained riders will be more competitive.

Geoffrey: Yes, I'm watching, because I love cycling. But the fact that some people can go win the Tour thanks to doping, it's absurd, it's ruining it and its image for a lot of people. With more scandals coming out, people are getting fed up, but it's a necessary step. Landis is getting through this okay, there's no verdict yet, and that's not logical. Riis admitted he doped in 1996. In 1997 scandals are about Ulrich. 1998, it's Pantani, who died because of doping and from 1999 till now, people want us to believe that Armstrong lived with no doping. Beat everyone without PED's then, it's impossible. In 2006 the Tour champion is convicted of doping, he denies it. Landis was positive to testosterone, there's a mistake, he took other things, not only testosterones but maybe also things that can't be detected.

What's your feeling about the Landis affair?

Greg: For Armstrong I say that I am disappointed that he is seeing Ferrari, he calls me and with telling me I couldn't win in 1989 without EPO, he admits himself that he took some. Honestly, I'm disappointed, with all I knew from the mecanicians from US Postal, I couldn't support Armstrong. He threatened me, I spent a lot of money for lawyers to be able to keep my bike company, he almost made my life a nightmare. He is a guy who has power and abuses it.

For Landis, I don't understand a thing. I sponsorized his team in 2001, I spent four hours with him in the bus after the Fleche Wallonne, I met him at the team presentation. When it was learnt that he tested positive, I was doing a charity ride and I told the press that I was wondering, that I was hoping. I met his family at the Tour of Georgia. Nice people, I couldn't see a link between those people and doping. But he left his family when he was 15. Then he called me and asked why I said so. I said "you're not only a cyclist, you're the winner of the Tour de France, tested twice positive to testosterone. After the Puerto affair, cycling is down on its knee, so if you did it, for your own good and for the sake of cycling, you're the one who should speak out, say you cheated. That's the method."

Cycling needs that people speak out. I am in favor of reducing punishements for those who speak out, who give the names of doctors and managers, who will have to go away. Even a 6 months suspension only, with accepting that each day his blood is checked. It will be sure he's riding clean.

Even Bjarn Riis, or Jérôme Chiotti, who was badly treated after admitting he doped, those guys have to be recognized, put fowards, because they have to be helped, kept in the sport, to be examples for young riders. Everybody makes mistakes. At 25 years old you are easy to influence and impresse so it's easy to make mistakes. The system has to change, not the riders. Pantani was controlled with a hematocrit of 53% and was treated as a criminal, got depressed, took cocain and destroyed his health.

Last question: the Tour had a great success in London. Do you think it would be possible to see a start in United States?

Geoffrey: I don't think so. The history of the Tour de France comes from stages like L'Alpe d'Huez, Le Tourmalet. Europe is better for cycling. Definitely...

Greg: Why not? it'd be fantastic. Felix Levitan thought about it. But you need two or three days of rest to get over the jet lag. All the riders should arrive from Europe to not be advantaged. But it's possible and it'd be fantastic

Sunday, July 15, 2007

L'Etape du Tour: Greg LeMond dossard numéro 1

Greg and his son Geoffrey will ride l'Etape du Tour tomorrow July 16th, and Greg has been given the bib #1!
He said in the interview to Vélo 101 that he was just hoping to finish it... I have the feeling that he can do a bit better than that.

They also rode the "Maratona dles Dolomites" last July 1st, and finished the 138km and arrived together in 5h44. Greg finished 43rd over 1200 in his age category, and Geoffrey 40th over 348.

Here's a little pic of Geoffrey during that event.

And for people having access to french TV and le Vélo Club: Greg is planned to appear there on Tuesday, July 17th!

Greg sera invité du Vélo Club de Gérard Holtz le mardi 17 juillet.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

"L'Express" interview from July, 12th, 2007

The French magazin L'Express of July 12th, 2007, has a quite long interview, with a few funny pictures, of Greg LeMond about doping. Nothing really new there: he's coming back on his relationship with Armstrong and the Landis affair... Here and there he is exposing a few things I didn't hear before, for instance about the atmosphere in the peloton and in his team around 1991-1993.

I translated the full thing, as best as I could (and I'm far from being a professional translator), trying to make
it really close to the french version but still readable. I have my doubts about how the interview was actually conducted. It must have been done in english, so already one translation altered the original thing. Some parts sound a bit "artificial" in the french version.

People who already dislike Greg will for sure be shocked by his words. He has some quite harsh words about both Armstrong and Landis, but also about Vinokurov. And of course about Dr. Ferrari. I think his tone is even more straightforward than I ever heard before.

The article in french can be read here.
L'article en français peut être trouvé ici.

Greg LeMond

"Doped riders are like drug-addicts"

This man is a pioneer: the first American to win the Tour de France at a time (1986) when cycling was ignoring globalization. That year, Greg LeMond wins over his teammate Bernard Hinault, and the picture of the two champions crossing together, hand in hand, the finish line at l'Alpe d'Huez, was shown worldwide. LeMond won again the Tour in 1989 and 1990, before leaving a peloton where EPO was beginning its carnage. Today this wealthy 46-year-old businessman does not recognize anymore the sport that made him a king. The victories of his compatriots, Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis, tarnished with allegations of doping, leave him with a bitter taste in his mouth. As far as the anti-doping war goes, "the revolution is still to accomplish" for him.

E: The Tour de France just started in an atmosphere of suspicion. What do you think about it?
GL: When you see that Alexander Vinokurov, one of the favorites, announce that he works with Dr Ferrari (italian doctor with a very suspicious reputation, allegedly at the origin of EPO in the peloton), it is unbelievable! Vinokurov talks about him as the best physical preparator in the world. But there is no secret. As far as training or diet go, revolutionary methods do not exist. This doctor is known only for one thing: doping. The UCI should say: "if you work with that man, you cannot compete in the Tour de France."

E: You won your third and last Tour in 1990. The following year, you finish 7th, far behind the spanish Miguel Indurain. Was EPO already spread in the peloton?

GL: Looking back to it, I think that everything changed that year. I was riding with the Z-Team, and maybe in all my career I never had such a level of fitness. A few days before the start, I did the same test as I always did before my preceeding victories: two and a half hours of riding behind a derny (motocycle shielding the cyclist from the wind while training) along a canal in Belgium. I was never over 80km/h before, and then, I rode at 85km/h, with a heart rate of 180 beats/minute! The first day, I finished 2nd of the prologue, I called my wife and said: "Get the Champagne ready! There's no competitors..." And it was true. The only dangerous guy, theoretically, was Chiappuci, a "domestique". During the first stage I broke away and took the yellow jersey. It got bad on the fifth day, around Reims. To avoid falls, I usually try to be in the first ten of the peloton. But here, I had a really hard time to stay in front. The guys were riding like motocycles! I called my wife: "Actually, maybe I'm not in so good shape."

E: You didn't understand what was going on?

No, I didn't. I did only later. Years later. When the first admissions came, the first deaths... During the Tour 1991, in the time-trial in Alencon, I thought I was winning by 5 minutes. I was flying! But Indurain beat me by 8 seconds. I thought then that it was my old problem of allergy that was impeding me. Later, in the stage Quimperle-Saint Herblain, the peloton rode at a record average speed close to 50km/h. I was close to Charly Mottet, an experimented cyclist, and we looked at each other about 30km from the finish and said: "Waw... what is going on?". Over all those years, we searched for explanations to our debacles in over-training and revolutionary methods. It was turning us crazy. I remember that during the Giro d'Italia, the coach of the Z-Team, Roger Legeay, decided that we needed to be put on a diet: no fat, no olive oil, no dessert. After two weeks, the whole team abandoned. We only had skin on our bones.

E: You never doped?

GL: No. And I didn't always understand what I was told. I am American, not french or belgian. For long I didn't get the subtilities of the language. When I was asked if I was "medically taken care of properly", I was answering that I wasn't sick. When asked if I was well "prepared", I was showing my training schedules books. It's probably in 1988, after my hunting accident, that I was the closest in touch to doping. I signed with the dutch team PDM and they had decided to try "things" on their riders. Their doctor was asserting that I needed to be physiologically "re-equilibrated" because I had lost a lot of blood the preceeding year. Luckily that year I hardly raced. On the other hand, Gert Jan Theunisse, one of the leaders of the team, was banned from the Tour de France after being tested positive to testosterone.

E: What was your state of mind when you left the peloton in 1994?

GL: It wasn't my world anymore. Roger Legeay, who was my coach for all those years, is telling that I had only one expression in my mouth at that time: "I am tired". One of my teammates had a discussion in 1993 with a spanish rider from the team Once. He came back like crazy and yelled at Legeay: "Here is what the others are taking, testosterone, EPO, growth hormones... So if you want us to get results, stop threatening us of cutting off our pay by two and hire a doctor!" The following year, Casado left for an italian team, Jolly Componibili. I met him on the roads of the Tour of Switzerland. He was laughing. He explained to me that two laboratory buses were following his team all the time and that he finished the Tour of Spain without any pain. He kindly teased me and went away. Three weeks later I decided to quit cycling. The next year, Philippe Casado died of a heart attack. He was 30.

E: Ten years after the end of your career, you took firm positions against doping, and put yourself in a position against your compatriot Lance Armstrong (seven times winner of the Tour de France). How was your relationship with him until then?

GL: In 1998 he called me and invited me for dinner. I think that at a point he must have thought that our stories were similar. I came back to the top after my hunting accident. He wanted to come back after cancer. That evening Lance told me that he wanted to win the Tour de France. I thought: "It's impossible. He never finished in the top 30 before..." He looked like he wanted to be my friend, but he also looked annoyed to be compared to me. He didn't look comfortable. He's someone who lives with a rage inside of him. I don't think he is a happy man. But in 1999 and his first success in the Tour, I believed in his great comeback. After the Festina affair (Richard Virenque team was banned from the Tour 1998 for doping), I thought that the peloton had been cleaned. I didn't have contact with Armstrong anymore, but I was happy to see an American at the top of cycling. And I had my bike business: an American winning the Tour, it was all good for business!

E: In 2004, in the book "L.A. Confidentiel", you ended up putting in question the honesty of his victories.

GL: All I said about Lance at that point is that I was disappointed that he was working with Dr. Ferrari. Being seen with that guy, that was insane! After the book was published, Lance called me. He threatened to find ten people who would assert I took EPO to win in 1989. I answered that I did win the Tour before EPO appeared, and that my victories were not a miracle, but obtained after two years of suffering and work. There's no mystery: I know my respiratory capacity and his. He has the one of a Fiat, I had the one of a Testarossa! From then on I started receiving threats from people around him. I was told to take back what I said, to apologize... Armstrong's agent and lawyer, Bill Stapleton, even made false apologies published in USA Today under my name. In October 2005, I was called to testify at the trial between Armstrong and an insurance company, which was refusing to pay him because of doping allegations. There I only said again what I said about Dr. Ferrari.

E: Now you are in a conflict with another compatriot, Floyd Landis, winner of the Tour 2006...
GL: It felt like the story with Armstrong was happening all over again. I was really surprised because I thought that Floyd, by opposition to Lance, was a "good guy". When I learnt that he had been tested positive on the Tour 2006, I declared: "If he cheated, it's terrible. But in that case, he should say the truth and save this sport". A few days later, on August 6th, Floyd called me. We had a long conversation, very human, almost friendly. I told him that he could free himself from a so heavy secret and try to start back on new basis. To encourage him to break the wall of silence, I told him a very personal story: I was the victim of sexual abuse. I wanted to make him see that at certain points you need the courage to talk. We agreed that this conversation should stay between us. But after that, to defend himself against doping accusations, Floyd Landis made a lot of comments on a website. He wrote about me: "I'd rather ask Satan for advice than calling Greg LeMond". He also wrote really low things about me, things like: "If I told you what Greg confided to me...". He was insinuating that I was a bad person, that I admitted to him that I did something terrible... I was flabbergasted when I read that.

E: Since then, your relationship kept on deteriorating...
GL: Last May, I was called as a witness at the trial between the USA Anti-doping Agency and Landis. I wasn't sure that I wanted to go, but thinking back of how he tried to damage my reputation, I told myself: "I'm going". The day before the hearing, I got an anonymous call (LeMond found out the same evening that it was a call by Will Geoghan, Landis' manager and friend, and that Landis was with him when the call took place). The man was trying to intimidate me. He was refering to the sexual abuse I suffered. But Geoghan was making up a new story, talking about an uncle that would have molested me. Actually it was a friend of the family... (his voice is breaking). I instantlly thought that this affair was going to be thrown on the public place. It was sickening. I hung up. I called back the number that was written on my cellphone screen five minutes later. Landis' manager first pretended to not understand, to not know who Floyd was... It was crazy. The next day I explained in court what happened. I had the proof that Landis and people surrounding him were able to do anything. I got convinced he was guilty. He is a liar: I don't think he can be consider as a Tour de France winner.

E: How does the american audience see the affairs concerning Armstrong and Landis?

GL: American people don't want to believe that they doped. People don't want to know, especially about Lance. His cancer makes him untouchable. Today several sportsmen are in the middle of a network of evidence. They are not caught shooting a gun, but with the smoking gun still in their hand. It's not enough. People put too much admiration and hope in their heroes. They can't admit the slightest doubts. Telling them that their champion cheated is like attacking them directly.

E: Which means do you suggest against doping?

GL: Most importantly tests should be conducted by laboratories that are totally independent of sport federations. Some simple measures could also be taken: first, develop a reliable test to detect growth hormones, one of the main products used. Then, lower the allowed blood cells count, which is 50% today. This pushes those who have a count below that to take EPO to reach just that limit... Finally, why not conduct retroactive controls, going 10 years back (the idea is to use recent methods to analyze old samples from preceeding years)? In case of doping, the victory or the title would be taken back.

E: It goes with the risk to have to cross the names of the ten last winners of the main races!
GL: If it's what it takes, then let's do it! Either the race remains without a winner, or you go down in the classification to find the first clean rider... If those tests existed, some sportsmen would think on longer terms. Today if you're not caught right away, it's okay. Doped riders have the mentality of drug addicts. They don't think anymore about the consequences of their acts. If you knew, right from the beginning of your career, that you could be caught ten years later, you'd have another view on competition.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Interview on Vélo 101

Greg and Geoffrey LeMond are interviewed by the french Vélo 101. They are spending a month in Europe now, riding in the Alps, and doing l'Etape du Tour next Monday (July 16).

Nice reading... I may translate a bit more when I have time (or if there are requests...). Greg indicates that he only wants to finish l'Etape du Tour, and that he didn't lose enough weight yet to do more (10 kg so far... ). He's training seriously since last January. His son Geoffrey is riding since March 2006, but not decided to get pro... with worries about doping: "Now is not the right era to become pro", to which Greg adds: "Even if he could become pro, I wouldn't want it".

To the question: "Did you ever dream that your children become pro?",
Greg answers: "No, the life as a pro is difficult. Mainly since the 1990's.. those years have destroyed for me the possibility for my kids to do pro racing. There is so much difference between over-programmed riders and natural ones."

Geoffrey is asked about his memories about his father racing:
"I remember a lot. In 1989 (he was 5), I was walking along the Champs-Elysees with my grandfather. I think that even if my parents were trying to just distract me during the Tour, I was following well what was going on in the race. On the Champs-Elysees, I remember giant champagne bottles with Laurent Fignon's face on them. During the final TT, I was watching my dad. He won, and some people took me, policemen, they carried me towards journalists, then to my mom, and then only I got with dad. It's something really memorable. It was a bit risky, I was a bit afraid with all the fuss."

I can't help but put the pictures here:

A next part of the interview will be published on Monday, where LeMond will talk about Armstrong and Landis.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A bad joke?

Landis' tour to promote his book "Positively False" made him appear on NPR, and in this Q&A, he is asked whether or not he knew about his manager's plan to "blackmail" Greg LeMond. Landis answers that he wouldn't characterize Geoghegan's call as blackmail... and that all it was was a bad joke, and that LeMond shouldn't have come to the hearing and had nothing to do there, and that the whole situation should have been avoided, but that there was nothing he (Floyd) could have done about it.

The moderator insists that if it was indeed a bad joke, it was one of horrible taste. Couldn't agree more on that...

And nothing he could have done about it? How about that post on the Daily Peloton Forum? Landis didn't have only a passive attitude in this... He started it, he called Greg, he wrote that post... How about apologizing publicly on that forum for the threatening post, taking it back, explaining LeMond's secret wasn't something damaging for his character at all and was something of private order that he shouldn't have mention?

Nope... really nothing he could have done. Just wear a black suit...

In another Q&A session, when asked about Greg, Landis answers:

"Greg LeMond needs help," Landis said. "That's really all there is to say about that. He had no reason to be at that hearing. He added nothing to the case from either side. All he did was distract from the facts of the case."

How nice of him to be concerned about Greg! Just a bad joke... and Greg is messed up so all he says is worthless...

How can you say publicly about someone you hardly know that he "needs help"? How depreciating and condescendent is that?
Belittle those who oppose to you is the attitude of a coward.

On a totally different note, and in french: Greg's going to be the "legend of the Tour" portrayed today on the french channel France 2, in the pre-show before the live broadcasting of the stage.

Greg sera la légende du Tour évoquée aujourd'hui sur France 2 par Jean-Paul Ollivier. Diffusion entre 13h50 et 14h30.