I'm afraid that I can't hate him as much as some folks do. He'll always have a tiny soft spot in my heart because he made me fall in love with this sport which has brought so much enjoyment into my life.
But, from what I've read, and from having met and interviewed him, I can certainly tell you that the man is living in the past. He thinks that he was really the biggest champion that the sport has ever seen and that a lot of the glory that he deserved was stolen from him by the likes of Lance Armstrong, Bernard Hinault, and a whole host of others.I think it's sad, really, that someone who is in the position to really help the sport and build a really positive legacy for himself, has decided to lower himself so far down into the dirt with mud slinging and crazy conspiracy theories.
Although, I think we can all agree that if the issue of the secret motorcycles isn't addressed soon, the sport is never going to recover.
In light of LeMond's decision to open his mouth and be an ass again I wanted to share the little essay below. I didn't write it - I wish - and I don't know who did. It's been floating around on the Internet for a long while now with no name attached so we can't even thank that brilliant writer.
It explains, in great detail, about the Tours de France That Greg LeMond Should Have Won (TDFTLSHW).
Minneapolis, MN -- Greg Lemond today released a statement that said he has, reluctantly and with great sadness, been forced to add the 2006 Tour de France to the long list of tours that he should have won. Lemond initially believed, and was even quoted in an earlier interview as saying, that this was the first clean Tour de France in many years. However, in light of the recent positive doping test of tour winner Floyd Landis, Lemond has concluded that, in all likelihood, he himself should have won the tour this year.
This brings the total number of Tours de France That Lemond Should Have Won (TDFTLSHW) to 167. Lemond first won the tour in 1986. However, as he has explained many times over the years since, he should have won the Tour in 1985, but was lied to by Bernard Hinault and cheated out of the race victory. Lemond next should have won the Tour in 1987 and 1988, but was incapacitated by a shotgun blast from his brother-in-law. While the incident was ruled an accident by the police, Lemond believes that his brother-in-law was working with Hinault and a young Texan by the name of Lance Armstrong to remove him from the sport.
Lemond came back to win the Tour in 1989 and 1990, but lost in 1991 due to the fact that, as incredible as it may sound, every other rider in the Tour de France besides Lemond was taking performance enhancing drugs. Lemond believes these drugs were supplied by Bernard Hinault, who realized that if nothing were done, Lemond would continue to win the Tour for the next 50 years. The drug-tainted Tour would continue through 2005, including the reign of Lance Armstrong. In the absence of doping, Lemond clearly would have won the Tour from 1991 to 2005, bringing the total number of TDFTLSHW to 21.
Going back before 1985, Lemond believes that in all likelihood, he would have won the Tour de France each year since his birth in 1961 if a) he had known about it and he had not had the small stature and limited leg length common to children between the ages of 0 and 10. As Lemond explains, clearly it would be unfair to him to discount the Tour wins he should have achieved were he only able to reach the pedals of his bicycle. This brings the TDFTLSHW to 45.
While Lemond concedes that some may believe him to be "stretching it" by including in his TDFTLSHW years from Tours before his birth, he claims that if one is to think about it logically, the only possible conclusion is that the greatest bike rider in the history of the Tour would absolutely have won the Tour since its inception in 1903, if only he had been alive at that time. It was not Greg Lemond's fault that his parents were not alive and able to conceive him in time to ride the initial Tour in 1903; thus, it would be unfair to strip him of the Tour wins that he rightly should have been awarded.
Note that there have been 11 years since its creation in 1903 that the Tour de France was not held due to the two World Wars. Clearly, stopping the Tour due to worldwide war would have been unfair to Greg Lemond, had he been alive, and would have in all likelihood, been a move orchestrated by Bernard Hinault, had he himself been alive, to keep Lemond from winning the tour. Thus, Lemond believes that these years should also be included in the TDFTLSHW, giving him a total of 103 wins.
Finally, Lemond explains that he has included the years between the invention of the bicycle to the first Tour de France (1839 to 1903) in the TDFTLSHW. Had the French had the foresight to create the Tour de France in a more timely manner, Lemond would have definitely won it each and every year, again assuming he had been alive (see above). Obviously Lemond cannot be blaimed for the shortsightedness and general ineptitude of the French, and therefore the victory from the Tours de France that should have been held in these years must be credited to Lemond, bringing the final tally of TDFTLSHW to 167.
Note that while Lemond has not yet been able to rationalize including years before the invention of the bicycle in the TDFTLSHW, he has created a company to pursue such an effort. The company is hard at work on a rationalization and hopes to produce one for him within the year.