domingo, 18 de noviembre de 2012

Greg Lemond. One of the greatest. Part I.

Greg Lemond was born the 26th of June, 1961, in Lakewood, California, he arrived in Europe thanks to Cyrille Guimard and Renault-Gitane. He had been junior worldchampion in 1979 in Buenos Aires and signed for Renault Gitane in 1981.

He was very ambitious, and it is interesting to read the letter he wrote in 1978

Photo Anglade

The American was early used to good places in good races , such as Dauphine or Criterium Internacional.

But his explosion took place months later, in the second part of the 1982 Goodwood and the Tour of  l´Avenir............

In this 1982 season, the young American was impressing people with top three places in Mediterraneo and Tirreno...............but the best had to come.........

5th of September, Goodwood,.................Lemond had been sick in the last days , but he was excited of doing  good race, and once it started he felt strong, he showed agressivity, and attacked several of the chaser his American mate Jock was confusing , it seemed to be a problem in the USA team.

The young Lemond was fighting against superb riders, such as Kelly or Saronni.

But as usual the key part of the race was in the last lap. Boyer attacked and got close to the finish line..............a gold medal was posible for the first time for an American.............but the polemic event happened............with one kilometer left, Lemond left the group like a rocket, passing Boyer..............but unfortunately Giuseppe Saronni was on his wheel and counterattacked to win the World´s, Lemond couldn´t react, being just front of Sean Kelly....he raised his was a success for him........but not a good final kilometer for the American squad.


Lemond was confirming his supposed status.......but his mate waas really angry, he had lost the rainbow jersey beacuse of Lemond´s has been a polemic movement and that was wha the press said. In spite of that Lemond had shown an innate talent..........he should be watched in a future ( a near future in fact).

In case someone was doubting about his abilities, three days later the Tour of L´Avenir started and Lemond thrashed, winning three stages ( including the two individual time trials) and finishing with more than ten minutes to second classified, a young Scottish, whose name was Robert Millar, another promising rider who had performed very well in the World Championship of Sallanches in 1980, and who would be one of the best climbers in the following decade.



This victory finally put Lemond in the middle of the sights in cycling, he was very young, he had talent, and he was with best manager, Cyrille Guimard, and with the best rider, Bernard Hinault..........would Lemond be Hinault´s successor?, would he make his first appeareance in the 1983 Tour?........who knew.......but Hinault and Guimard were not as closed as they had been and perhaps Lemond could take profit of that situation.

Thre were good young French riders, but cycling was turning into a world sport, and that was only the beginning.

When Guimard planned the 1983 season, it was a fact that Lemond would not race the Tour, but the Vuelta, helping Hinault.
He would do the first part of the classics and later Dauphine and Switzerland.............but this will be a different story in a different chapter.........

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario