Greg LeMond

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
LeMond at the start of the last stage of the Tour de France 1990 in Bretigny-sur-Orge.

Gregory James LeMond (born June 26, 1961 in Lakewood , California ) is an American retired cyclist . In 1986 he became the first non-European professional cyclist to win the Tour de France . After recovering from a serious hunting accident, he won the tour two more times in 1989 and 1990.


LeMond began his professional career in 1982. According to the wishes of his sporting director at the time, Cyrille Guimard , he should have started the tour in 1983. Lemond got this too early and he had a passage written in his contract after he was entitled to a four-week break after the Tour de Suisse. After he surprisingly won the road cycling world championship in Switzerland in 1983, many experts believe that he could have won the Tour de France in 1985 . The management of his team La Vie Claire decided, however, that LeMond had to further subordinate his own ambitions to those of his team captain Bernard Hinault . Hinault finally won for the fifth time, LeMond came second. In the 1986 Tour de France , the two riders swapped positions. LeMond became the first American to win the tour, allegedly supported by Hinault to say thank you for the previous year; in fact, Hinault had attacked several times to win the sixth Tour victory.

On April 20, 1987, Greg LeMond was critically injured by his brother-in-law in a hunting accident . Dozens of pellets remained in his body after the operation. There are three balls in the heart, five are said to be in the liver and cause creeping lead poisoning. Nevertheless, he returned two years later and was able to win the Tour de France two more times in 1989 and 1990.

Combine Maillot by LeMond, Tour de France 1985 .

LeMond's 1989 Tour de France victory was the closest in the history of the Tour: He finished the race eight seconds ahead of his French rival Laurent Fignon . LeMond took over the yellow jersey on the 5th stage, Fignon took it from him on the 10th stage. After the 15th stage, LeMond was back in front for two days before Fignon recaptured the overall lead on the 17th stage. At no point in the race was the gap more than a minute. Before the last stage, an individual time trial with the finish line on the Parisian Avenue des Champs-Élysées , Fignon led by 50 seconds. LeMond finally won the time trial with a 58-second lead over Fignon and was therefore back in front in the overall standings. In the 1989 Tour de France time trial, LeMond was the first to use a triathlon handlebar , which helped him get into a more aerodynamic position on the bike. He also used a teardrop helmet. Both items, which he had previously tested in the wind tunnel, were considered decisive for the victory.

In 1989, LeMond also won its second road cycling world championship and was named Athlete of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine .

LeMond won the Tour de France in 1990 without a single stage win. In the same year he was named World Sportsman of the Year by the French sports newspaper L'Équipe . In 1994 he retired from cycling.

In the course of the investigation into Floyd Landis in 2007, it became known that LeMond was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. LeMond had told Landis about his experience in confidence over the phone in August 2006. Landis later threatened LeMond that he would leak the information if LeMond testified against him, but then apologized. According to LeMond, he has already undergone several years of psychotherapy to process his abuse trauma.

Until 2008, the American company Trek sold racing bikes with his name. He worked as a TV expert on the tour for various broadcasters.


LeMond is married and has two sons and a daughter.


Web links

Commons : Greg LeMond  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . Frankfurt June 30, 1983.
  2. LeMond and Hinault: The Legendary Battle of Tour de France '85. July 21, 2017, accessed May 25, 2018 .
  3. ^ Project Mr. Nice Guy . In: Der Spiegel . No. 27 , 2009 ( online interview).
  4. 1989 Tour de France by BikeRaceInfo. In: Retrieved May 26, 2018 (English).
  5. from May 18, 2007: LeMond: Landis camp threatened me
  6. Greg LeMond. NNDB, accessed July 26, 2015 .
  7. ^ The Outer Line: A new gold medal for Greg LeMond. In: September 23, 2019, accessed on September 23, 2019 .