Colorado Avid Cyclist Interviews Greg Lemond, Winner of the 1989 Tour De France
Denver, Colorado -
Colorado Avid Cyclist has reported on an interview with Greg LeMond, winner of the 1989 Tour de France, where he discusses the trauma he experienced and the resilience that resulted into his victory. LeMond’s victory in the 1989 Tour de France is interesting because it is regarded as one of the biggest sports upsets of all time. He overtook Laurent Fignon in the final time trial, allowing him to win by the smallest margin in the history of the race. The documentary film about his victory, “the Last Rider,” was recently released in select theaters in June 23.
The 1989 Tour de France is considered to be one of the best moments in sports history because American Greg LeMond was able to grab the championship from France’s Laurent Fignon, who felt so confident in winning the event, he even started to celebrate the night before while on the train to Paris. LeMond and Fignon had fought it out in the world’s biggest cycling event for a distance of more than 2,000 miles and a duration of three weeks. LeMond had managed to win Stage 19 Villard-de-Lans to Aix-les-Bains but Fignon remained on the lead up to the final time trial.
Cyrille Guimard, Fignon’s sports director, had explained that the premature celebration with champagne was Fignon’s way to irritate his rivals and to hide the fact that he was suffering from saddle sores. But despite the physical pain that Fignon was suffering from, he never imagined that LeMond would be able to overtake his 50-second lead going into the final time trial.
Greg LeMond, unaware of Fignon’s saddle sores and wearing a specially designed aero helmet and riding a modified time trial bike with aero bars and a rear disc wheel, LeMond gave his all and emerged victorious with a mere eight-second lead over Fignon, while the defending champion Delgado took third place. Up to the present time, LeMond’s win is the smallest winning margin in the history of the Tour de France and it remains the fastest ever time trial for the event.
What most people don’t know is that LeMond himself was also hiding a secret of physical and psychological traumas that he has been suffering from for years. He had been suffering from the psychological trauma of having been a victim of sexual assault. This was a closely guarded secret that even his wife, Kathy, was not aware of. Furthermore, he had to contend with the physiological trauma of have been accidentally shot with a shotgun. These traumas were compounded with shame, depression, and other dysfunctional family dynamics but he did his best to manage his suffering and fought to be among the top cyclists in the world.
He was able to overcome the impact of TDF winner and former teammate Bernard Hinault’s betrayal after announcing he would support LeMond to victory in the 1986 Tour de France. He went on to win the race in 1986 despite Hinault’s betrayal, riding defiantly despite rumors of attempts to sabotage his performance.
In 1989, he found himself riding alone again in the Tour de France because he was not regarded as a serious contender for the championship and his team was not strong. Thus, he had to rely on his own strength to get through the various stages of the TDF while also contending with the traumas that burdened him. Despite these disadvantages, he went on to win the 1989 TDF, which make his win even more remarkable.
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