Listen carefully to the names. Steve Bauer, Laurent Fignon, Pedro Delgado and Gianni Bugno, Greg Lemond. A lesson in cycling history, found in the youtube attic by Cycling Weekly
For many, Greg Lemond is only a name bandied about in the press covering the numerous doping scandals in the past few years. And the mere mention of his name is enough to polarize a conversation in cycling groups.
But before all that, Greg Lemond won races, prestigious races. He was the first American to win the Tour de France in 1986. After taking two years to recover from a serious hunting accident, he came back and won the race again, in back to back years, 1989 and 1990. To cap off his 1989 comeback, Lemond won the 1989 Worlds in one of the toughest course under pouring rain.
This essay attempts to convey the emotion, the pain, the ecstasy—in essence, the craft—of cycling, by accurately recreating the 1989 World Cycling Championships in Chamberey, France. One or two of the names may be wrong, and the author makes his apologies for any discrepancies. With all the elements of a great race—from the heroics of the hometown favorite and the strategies employed by the various teams to the absolute talent displayed by a seemingly out-of-it Lemond, rising from despair to deny his defeat and capture the rainbow jersey from opponents—it is, in my opinion, one of the epic races of all time.
And remember Greg Lemond the cyclist.