The President of France wasn't the only VIP at yesterday's finish. American Greg Lemond was also present in Briancon. The first U.S. rider to win the Tour had completed the Etape du Tour the day before, recording a very respectable top-700 finish in the field of 8,500. Undoubtedly, Greg had wheel-sucked off of our own Martin Dugard and Rob Klingensmith (read about it in their active.com blogs) before dropping the two bloggers and heading out on his own!
Lemond has been making news lately, but for all the wrong reasons. It seems like every time there is a doping incident or allegation, especially one involving an American rider, the press calls up Greg for his comments. Lemond, who raced as a pro for 15 seasons and besides his three Tour victories was also Pro Road Champion twice, doesn't shy away from the attention and speaks his mind--something that both Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis did not appreciate.
Lemond's motives for his missives seems to be that he feels doping is ruining the sport he so loves and he wants to clean it up. But, others have asserted that he is jealous of the victories of others, especially Lance, who has replaced him as America's most accomplished cyclist. And in the bigger picture some wonder why he has to say anything at all. Why can't he just respond "no comment"?
Is Lemond doing a good thing or a bad thing for pro cycling, most notably, the popularity of the sport in the U.S.? Why does Lemond seem to be right in the center of every cycling controversy? Hopefully, in the near future, Greg will give a more concise reason for why he feels so stridently. With two sons in their early 20s who appear to be more interested in fishing than cycling, it is not clear that one reason for his behavior is that Lemond is trying to keep the sport clean for his offspring.
Greg was an incredible ambassador for the sport in the U.S., and his actions and results opened a lot of doors for future American professionals in Europe. I think a lot of Lemond's comments are spot-on. I would just like to know his motivation. Anybody else got a feeling on this?