Monday, September 29, 2008
Really nice complete interview, highly recommended ;-)!
Friday, September 26, 2008
Don Catlin will be paid by team Astana, to perform "independent" (add sarcastic laugh here...) testing on Armstrong. As was pointed out by LeMond in this press conference, Catlin will conduct tests concerning steroids and EPO use, but no measurements of Armstrong VO2max, power outputs... or anything else that might help uncover blood doping. Talk about transparency...
Photos of the press conference are here.
And this is the article from VeloNews about this conference:
Armstrong press conference turns tense
By Neal Rogers
Posted Sep. 25, 2008
A scheduled Lance Armstrong press conference at the Interbike cycling trade show in Las Vegas turned tense Thursday morning when three-time Tour de France champion Greg LeMond questioned his plan to disclose his blood and urine values during Armstrong’s 2009 comeback season.
Armstrong announced Wednesday in New York City that he is working closely with Don Catlin, who formerly ran UCLA’s World Anti-Doping Agency accredited laboratory. In an attempt at full transparency, Catlin will post Armstrong’s biomarkers online for the sports community to see.
LeMond, who has been at odds with Armstrong for years going back to the Texan’s relationship with controversial Italian doctor Michele Ferrari, sat in the front row and was granted the first question by Armstrong.
LeMond immediately brought Catlin’s methods into question, claiming that VO2 max, oxygen intake and power output can be used as indicators of whether a rider has used illicit performance-enhancing methods.
Catlin, whose background is in laboratory testing for banned substances, answered LeMond by saying, “that’s not my area of expertise.”
LeMond told Catlin and Armstrong that it might not be Catlin’s area of expertise, but it is an area that Australian researcher Michael Ashenden has studied.
Armstrong, who was joined on the podium by Catlin and American teenage cycling phenom Taylor Phinney, then interjected, telling LeMond, “We are here to talk about a few things — the global cancer campaign, my comeback to cycling… I appreciate your being here, but it’s time for everyone here to move on.”
Lemond replied, “So the whole history has just been passed over?”
Armstrong then moved on to the next question.
LeMond drew a similar line of questioning later in the press conference, and after several minutes Armstrong quipped, “Greg, I almost feel like we should have a fourth chair up here” before cutting LeMond off and again taking other questions.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
It finishes with this:
Whatever the outcome of the legal wrangling with Trek, it's apparent Greg LeMond loves the same thing we do: endless ribbons of pavement on which to ride, a clear 75-degree day, and the company of fellow cyclists to remind us why cycling will always matter.With Armstrong coming back next year (makes me nauseous to just write it... ), it's nice to get little reminders on the positive aspects of cycling.
And about LA coming back, it's reported here and there that there has been a little tense moment this morning at the Interbike 2008 in Las Vegas, to which Greg LeMond participates with LeMond Fitness, when Greg asked a question about doping to Lance Armstrong during a conference the latter was holding. There's no report yet about what was actually said, but I'll try to keep us informed ;-).
Thursday, September 4, 2008
The Bobke Strut blog has a great post about his win, with a lot of material, links and pictures, that I had never seen before. I highly recommend a visit there!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The videos are from this site and can be seen there too. My purpose for copying them on youtube is just to make the interview easier to find and have the three parts close together.
Well, actually, the main reason is so that we are able to watch the interview without having to endure the horrendous Trek commercial that precedes each part of it ;-) ...
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I hope there'll be videos or pictures available somewhere.
As other news, several articles (for instance that one) mention that Greg's favorite for the Tour is Cadel Evans.
And I'm editing this post to add that I just found this video interview of Greg on Versus. Several things to comment on in what he said. I hope to have more time later to come back on it ;-).
And edited again, to add this other video on Versus. Nice one ;-)
Sunday, July 6, 2008
And the latest news is the following: Greg LeMond was on the Tour de France today, for the 2nd stage (Auray - St Brieuc) and shared his will to participate in the anti-doping fight and in the changes that are needed to clean cycling. He gave interviews that are reported in many media sources. Here's a link to the most complete interview, as far as I can tell... One of the main points he made is that cycling does not need UCI anymore. Here's the quote:
"The UCI is just there to stamp licenses and make the regulations. The solution for cycling is very simple: organizers and riders should create their own federation and take over the sport"
I couldn't agree more ;-).
He was invited by his former teammate Eric Boyer to follow the stage, and Greg could be seen briefly on French television, beside Bernard Hinault in an interview conducted after the stage.
Here is also a video of one of the interviews Greg did this morning in Auray.
It is also indicated in the media that Greg drew big crowds around him and was asked for many autographs. His presence on the Tour didn't go unnoticed, and that's good news...
Thursday, June 19, 2008
There have been quite a few news about Greg LeMond recently, and I'll catch up with putting them as updates in the next few days, promise!
And for a start, Nicolas, one of the blog readers, has had this really nice idea as a tribute to Greg: he recreated a 1983 Gitane bike, looking strikingly exactly like what Greg was riding in 1983!
Here is the story of this very special bike, by Nicolas:
Hi everyone & thank you Claire for your kind words.
This is my "new" bike. In fact it is a Trek-US Postal 2003 bike that was given to me by my brother. I've never been an Armstrong fan so I wasn't too excited about the painting & stickers so...
I tried to make this bike as close to Greg's 1983 Gitane bike, the one he had when he won his first rainbow jersey. I was 9 at the time and this is when it all started for me as a Greg LeMond fan. You see, we had this habit with my father & older brother to race on our bikes, pretending we were champions. 1 week before the actual race in Switzerland, we made our own world championship. My father was Fignon, my brother was Hinault and I was Greg. Needless to say...I won. Then the real Greg won too ! That was a sign.
This is my tribute to Greg and the great many years I spent since then enjoying his victories and inspiration over & over again.
This bike has been painted in the same electric blue, I added yellow tape on the handlebars and switched from shimano to campagnolo group to get as close as the 1983 modolo brakes as possible. I finally found good reproductions of Gitane decals on e-bay Australia.
What's really funny is that I took the bike to get this done only 2 weeks prior to Trek dropping LeMond bikes.
I appreciate the kind of irony this bike gives to that story.
And here is Greg riding this bike ;-) :D !!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Among other quotes:
"He is American cycling"
"THE best of all time was Greg LeMond"
and after LeMond won the Junior Worldchampionships in 1979, at age 18:
He told me "I'm gonna win the Tour de France", and I told him "You're crazy Greg!"
Sunday, April 13, 2008
They claim that Greg LeMond's comments against doping and Armstrong hurt the sales of the LeMond brand. If it was so true, why don't they show actual figures of sales? All they seem to be able to come up with are a few angry mails by potential buyers and retailers. In the presentation on YouTube, they show the sales numbers until 1999, showing the increase in sales, but nothing after Greg LeMond's supposedly hurting comments in 2001. Unless they can come up with some graphs showing a clear correlation between his comments and a drop in the sales, their arguments are unconvincing. Unconvincing, and thus seeming as unethical as it looks at first sight: they want to ignore doping and assert that speaking out against it is hurting cycling (and not sure about Trek that they care about cycling, just about selling bikes probably...).
As Greg LeMond really well put it himself:
"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."
As for LeMond bashers -but I doubt that they come here- they really need to get informed, read what LeMond actually said, and not repeat again and again the same argumentations already made by other people, and simplistic interpretations of what Greg LeMond said, without knowing the real quotes.
I highly recommend this post on the Boulder report, which invite people to "open their mind" about Greg and his stance against doping. It's a really nice post, and it says a lot of what I think myself, but that I wouldn't be able to express as well in my approximative english. There's even one comment by someone who admits to have changed his opinion about Greg after reading it. I'm quoting here the end of this really nice post:
But before you damn Greg, before you write him off as an embittered ex-pro and accept the meme that he says what he says only because he wanted to be the only American ever to win the Tour de France, look at the man's life, in full. Look at what he really said. Look what's happened since. Look at the state of the sport today and ask yourself if he said what he did because he hates the sport, or because he loves it. If you were in his position, that's what you'd want, too.
Also from several comments I read on some blogs and forums, I know that this interview on the competitor radio made a lot of people "open their mind" and admit after listening to it that they didn't see Greg anymore as "bitter", but rather as well-spoken and having a coherent and well-informed opinion against doping. I guess people coming here already know about this interview. If not, don't miss it! It's really worth every minute of it.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
It's actually the title of an article by Bill Lyon, published at the end of the Tour de France 1990, explaining that LeMond was never better than after having had to face strong adversity.
I must admit that I may have been over-optimistic in my last post with thinking that times were changing regarding internet posts about Greg LeMond. Though it's true he does get a lot more support than two or three years ago, you can still easily find here and there "LeMond is bitter" when reading about Trek vs. LeMond. I must also admit that it annoys the hell out of me, especially when a large number of these posts are starting with "The truth is, LeMond is just jealous..." But well, it comes from the same people who keep on reharshing: "Truth is, Armstrong never tested positive". Yep, if that's their kind of truth, LeMond's supposed bitterness is easy to disregard.
In his interview on Fora.tv to which I put a link a few weeks ago, Greg expressed that he was well aware of what was written about him on the internet. And I can't help but thinking that he must be incredibly strong mentally. I couldn't bare to read about myself half of whats' written about him... But this man seems so confident in his opinions, so sure that he is doing what is right, that he doesn't seem to really care what some people can think or say. For that, I truly admire him.
And since I find it a nice read, and a really good memory about Greg's career, I'll put the article here:
IF YOU WANT LEMOND TO WIN, TRY TO KILL HIM
Author: Bill Lyon Knight-Ridder News Service Edition: FINAL
With apologies to that incomparable aerialist Michael Jordan, to that geriatric bringer of heat Nolan Ryan, to that ubiquitous merchandiser of jockdom Bo Jackson, to that lord of the rinks Wayne Gretzky, but the best athlete in the world right now is . . . A skinny, scrawny shrimp with a cherubic face and a crooked smile who doesn't look as if he could be a threat at even, say, a brisk game of checkers.Ah, but hunched over the handlebars in that aerodynamic tuck position, legs as tireless and relentless as a metronome, he becomes something of a human bullet and brings a whole new dimension to, and appreciation of, the notion of human locomotion through pedal power.
In short, Gregory James LeMond is hell on wheels.
He won the Tour de France yesterday. It is the longest, biggest, richest, most important bicycle race in the world, and before LeMond came along, hardly anyone in the American sporting public was aware of it. But now he has won it three times, twice in a row, last year by all of eight seconds, thereby giving a whole new meaning to winning by a nose, this year with a glorious and gutsy and irresistible rush on the next-to-last day, on the very day that he called it, called his shot, and now it has reached the point that if he doesn't win it every year you are going to hear people who don't know spokes from sprockets bleating: "So what's wrong with LeMond and that Tour thing, anyhow?"
LeMond has done, imagine a youth from, say, Brazil, going to Canada and learning how to play hockey and then winning the Stanley Cup. Frequently. Only one other American had ever even entered a Tour de France before LeMond, who was a stranger in a strange land involved in a strange sport.
Now the French embrace him. He has won them over with his grit. They adore his boldness, how he metamorphoses from this inoffensive wisp into this single- minded fang-bared killer in the sport that so enflames their passion. And they love that he has taught himself their language, and it probably does not hurt that his name sounds French, although his ancestry is mostly Scotch- Irish, and that basically what he is, is a kid from Nevada who was nuts for skiing until one winter there came a drought and he was stuck biking and got hooked on that. He won the Tour this year breezing, laughing, on cruise control. Yet, as recently as 10 days before, he had floundered along in 35th place, an alarming 10 minutes in arrears of the leaders, there were ominous headlines. But then he has been grievously underestimated before.
It is not necessary to know anything about cycling to understand that Greg LeMond is long on gumption and perseverance. His whole life is a miracle of will. Soon after he became the first Yank to win the Tour, in 1986, he lay bleeding to death, gutted by a shotgun blast in a hunting accident. He lived, but then you knew that. Before winning his second Tour, he had to overcome an emergency appendectomy, tendinitis, a broken wrist and a serious leg infection. Before this year's Tour, he spent five weeks fighting a virus, and then had food poisoning for dessert.
It has become abundantly clear that the surest way to make Greg LeMond win is to try to kill him. He still carries an estimated 30 small lead pellets, No. 2 buckshot, inside his barbed-wire body. "The doctors said there's really no danger leaving them in," he once explained to a horrified interviewer. "Your body forms scar tissue." By now, his body has had a lot of practice. The race itself is a manufacturer of scar tissue, on both the psyche and the physique.
The Tour de France is a crusher of will, a destroyer of spirit and an agony of the body. This year's route covered 2,112 miles and yet the
average speed was more than 24 miles per hour. That's with a couple of fairly serious mountain ranges, the Alps and the Pyrenees. There were attacks and counterattacks, breakaways and switchbacks, impossibly steep climbs when a biker stands straight up and barely can keep up with a pedestrian, followed by terrifying descents at 70 miles per hour where the merest brushing of one wheel against another can trigger a crash that swallows 30 riders. As a matter of fact, LeMond Which, of course, meant he was a mortal lock.
Again. Of course you have to be a bit mad to climb onto the saddle to begin with, submitting yourself to more than 2,000 miles and three weeks of soul-searing excruciation. But to appreciate what Greg Winning on cruise control crashed this year. Got up bleeding, with the middle finger of his braking hand swollen and useless. That's the end of him, they said.
Which, of course, meant he was a mortal lock.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
You can also get the full complaint filed by LeMond against Trek there:
It's a lot about Armstrong and comments Greg made about him. I know I'm far from being objective about this, but I really don't see where Trek is trying to go by saying that Greg hurt Trek sales with being outspoken against doping. That's as close to being doping apologists as it gets...
Also from the complaint filed by LeMond, this little quote is quite interesting:
On November 27, 2007 (...) an attorney for Mr. Armstrong contacted Mr. LeMond's attorney. Mr. Armstrong's attorney indicated that he would like to broker a "truce" between Mr. Armstrong and Mr. LeMond because Trek would no longer be in a position to temper things between Mr. Armstrong and Mr. LeMond (...). The suggestion of a truce was interesting since Mr. Armstrong had only recently inserted himself and sought to damage Mr. LeMond's position in a property dispute that Mr.LeMond had in Montana.
Looks like someone is afraid of Greg. One can wonder why?
This affair puts into light how much the vision of the present state of procycling is a two-speeds thing, just as the peloton was/is still since the mid 90's.
A growing portion of cycling fans and journalists no longer have their heads in the sand and cannot accept anymore the statement that being outspoken against doping is damaging for cycling. Another part, which was the majority still a few years ago, thinks it's still possible to keep going with procycling in a status quo, and that people like Greg are damaging the sport.
I can imagine that, a few years ago, the same news that Trek wanted to drop LeMond bikes would have triggered on the internet a lot of comments in the spirit of "good riddance!". Now you can read here and there that people decided they won't buy Treks anymore... Reading posts on boards and blogs from a few years ago, compared to now, is really interesting. The contrast is striking.
Clearly, since about the beginning of 2007, the wind has turned. The Landis affair, the total fiasco that has been the Tour 2007, confessions by Riis, Zabel and others... how can you not want cycling to change?
As for cycling innovations, in the fight against doping, Greg has been ahead of his time. It's a sweet-sour feeling now, seeing people start to see that he was right, and at the same time wishing he's been heard before...
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
From the VeloNews article, it's quite clear it's because of Greg's comments regarding Armstrong:
"Greg's public comments hurt the LeMond brand and the Trek brand," Burke said.
I'm not sure yet what to think about it... Maybe it has to do with Richard Burke's recent death. Greg had nice words about him:
Greg LeMond, who sold his bike brand to Trek in the early 1990s, called Burke a visionary.
"My heart goes out to the Burke family and the entire extended Trek family," LeMond told VeloNews.
"He was a visionary in the world of cycling and together with his son, John, built an incredible family business. I will always remember him as a man of integrity and he will be dearly missed."
Maybe his relationships with John Burke, son of Richard, is not so good.
As Greg said himself, it's no fun having a muzzle, and his deal with Trek has been a big one for long.
Let's wait and see what will come out of it...
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
It's about 1 hour long, and nothing really new is discussed, but it's still really worth the hour. Greg looks in great shape, and as usual, sounds passionate about cycling and eager to see it becoming clean. It also appears that Greg gets online and is well aware of what's being said about him on the internet. I'll put transcripts of some of his quotes in future posts.
I'm also embedding the video here. Enjoy!
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Matt Seamon started working with Greg to write his autobiography, but the project was aborted, and Matt Seamon says a possible reason was that Greg felt his career was eclipsed by Armstrong's. I imagine there's more to it than that... maybe Greg wasn't ready yet to tell his full story. I just hope that one day we will be able to read his own point of view on his life and career.
As Matt Seamon says:
"I hope he does complete the book some day. He was the original pioneer."
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I'm quite a bit frustrated... I'll be in Northern California just a bit before, leaving on the 15th :(, missing the event by not much.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
And to start the year, two little news about Greg:
There's a short extract of the Procycling issue dedicated to him here:
Procycling talks to Greg LeMond.
And the panel about "Legal Issues in Drug Testing Athletes", held by the Chicago Bar Association last November and to which Greg participated, was aired on CSPAN, and they now have a PodCast of it.
Go to this CSPAN site and subscribe to the Outside the Beltway podcast, or use directly the following xml:
and get the January, 2nd 2008 episode... Greg is introduced at about 1'16''05, then makes a little presentation about his career, talks about his retirement with 'a bad taste in his mouth', talks about doping... And in the end, with the rest of the panel, answers a few Q&A.
If you want it and have trouble getting it, contact me: lemondAB@gmail.com, changing AB by the 2 last digits of Greg's birth year ... (sorry 'bout that, just my loose attempt at trying to avoid spams).