Thursday, February 11, 2010

Greg LeMond vs. Trek Bicycle Suit Settled

Greg LeMond, (in the pic, chasing down the legendary Tour e France champion Bernard Hinnault) is the first great American cyclist of the modern era.  LeMond's achievements on a bicycle were amazing and had he not been the victim of a hunting accident which certainly shortened his career he might well have eclispsed Lance Armstrong in the minds of cycling fans.  At the link you can read the wikipedia entry on LeMond.  After his retirement in 1994, LeMond continued in cycling with his own line of bicycles which until recent years were distributed by Trek, the behemoth of American bicycle manufacturing.

As with many retired athletes, LeMond's post-celebrity years have not been all roses.  He has demonstrated a sort of Joe-Lieberman-whiny quality that is frankly off-putting.  LeMond became the scold of cycling.  He correctly denounces "performance enhancing" drug regimes in the sport but then by innuendo he implies everyone is a "doper."  The problem with LeMond is that you ssupect that you aren't hearing fact, you hearing a bitter competitor who resents being eclipsed in the minds of cycling community by Armstrong.  It really is sad. 

By the way, you will notice I used the expression, "cycling," road cycling which is the sport that LeMond, Lance Armstrong competes in is called cycling, not bicycling.  Armstrong also competes in "mountain biking" events, but when you talk about the most famous bicycle races, you are talking about "cycling."

According to wikipedia, "the bicycle is the most efficient self-powered means of transportation, in terms of energy a person must expend to travel a given distance. From a mechanical viewpoint, up to 99% of the energy delivered by the rider into the pedals is transmitted to the wheels."  The bicycle "double diamond" design has not changed much in over a hundred years, oh, and check the pic
even Leonardo Da Vinci designed a bicycle.

So LeMond spent a lot of his goodwill (apparently successfully) suing people. LeMond also gives speeches that heap innuendo on Lance Armstong's achievemants in the sport implying that Armstrong's results may not be purely athletic.  Trek which sponsor's Armstrong, and which distributed LeMond bicycles dropped the LeMond line in retaliation for the LeMond criticism.  LeMond sued.  And as I said a week or two back, LeMond and Trek settled the lawsuit according to VeloNews.  LeMond's bicycle line will no longer be distributed by Trek (it really was not selling well anymore) but Trek will donate a couple hundred thousand dollars to a charity of LeMond's choosing.

By the way, no knock on LeMond's bicycle design, at all--bicycles to a large degree are fashion driven, and not dissimilar to basball mitts of my generation bearing the name of the star of the moment. 

5 comments:

  1. According to a Trek spokesperson, the LeMond settlement funds for that charity will be coming from their special "Tunica" account as soon as that account's administrator gets back in town. What a hoot.

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  2. Not terribly face-saving! Poor, Greg, pretty damaged ego.

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  3. When one is without fact, they will always resort to character assassination. Morons will buy it as valid, and parrot the quotes. However, some pay attention, and in this case... give the thumbs up to Greg Lemond for attempting to promote integrity in sports.

    By the way, it's quite easy to spot a drug user. And Lance is a very obvious one.

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  5. In my view, Greg Lemond has lost much of his credibility. Perhpas he's not doped and perhaps Armstrong has...but it seems that Lemond is completely disregarding the ethics of how one choses to live their life TODAY. Armstrong is actually accomplishing something everyday (Ok...some will say his ego is feeding it...but who cares??) Lemond is walking around with old files and repeating the same old war stories about VO2max and about how many Watts are possible on this mountain or on this one...your song is old and tired!! Perhaps you were good and genuine then then, Greg...but holy smokes...you need to have a look in the mirror now...what are you accomplishing??? Just please stop blaming everybody and man up!!! Former amateur cyclist

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