Fearless Greg Lemond wrote:New topic, don't know if there is another, if there is, please merge this one with it. Rules are simle, which rider, top ten, little explanation, maybe a nice picture with it.
Since I raced as "independent" in Brittany in 1964, I had the opportunity to race in criteriums with a huge number of the stars of the mid sixties, such as Anquetil, Bahamontès, Van Looy, Beheyt wearing his world champ jersey, Simpson, Janssen, Altig, etc, etc. Since I had raced with his brother Philippe earlier in the season, I used that to start conversation with Maître Jacques.
Living near Geneva, of course, it's easy to go watch the TdF, Tour de Romandie, Tour de Suisse sometimes. Before a TT I remember being allowed by his team to go see Boardman's famous Lotus bike.
In Switzerland they have pro-Am handicap races which gave me the opportunity to race when I was approaching 50, with people like Glaus, Zberg and Pascal Richard. In 1986 and 1988 I also entered and finished Bordeaux-Paris when it was pro-am.
Once, about 10 years ago, I was passed on the Telegraph by Simoni, Di Luca and 2 of their teammates whom I had seen earlier in the Maurienne as they were getting their bikes off the team car.
Christophe Moreau, Jalabert and Virenque trained around here regularly. Once I caught Virenque on a slight downhill, but the conversation was short, he didn't seem very pleased to have to talk to a cyclist who could be his father.
Going home from work, once, I spotted LeMond coming out of his hotel (Novotel) in Prévessin, France, not far from Geneva airport, and it so happened that I had a couple of Tour de France magazines - he , as winner, was on the cover - and I had just bought them for a friend in College Park (Md). So I stopped to have him sign them.
Much later, in 2006, I happened to be in the same peloton as him in the Etape du Tour after the first mountain pass, so I went to speak with him for a long while (He insisted on speaking French). (later Olano caught our group and of course exchanged a few words)
In Valloire at the end of the 80's I had a conversation with Hinault ("acting" as PR for Look) who was really pleasant and relaxed.
In 1995, in l'Alpe d'Huez was staying in the same hotel as Pantani (everybody applauded him when he walked in the restaurant), Chiappucci, etc (4 teams where staying there). At dinner I happened to be at the same table as Thévenet ( I told him I had first seen him at the world road championship in Montreal in 1974 when I hadn't the faintest idea who he was - he had been in a very long breakaway - I was too busy with life in those years to follow cycling). I had watched the tour go by at hairpin number 1, the best spot, this was before barriers.
I remember once going- on my bike of course - watch the finish of a Dauphiné stage in Annecy, must have been 1992. Herrera had caught Jeff and won. After the stage I was near the Peugeot team cars and saw Pensec, Millar coming in completely destroyed. Then another guy came in, he looked like he had just gotten out of bed, as fresh as could be. So I started to talk with him, he was Laurent Madouas. After that encounter I went to support him and talk with him whenever he raced in the area. He is such a nice guy (he is friend with Bobby Julich)
As for Bobby Julich, I have already talked another time on this forum about the time when I was in the same hotel as the US team in Lugano for the world championship and happened to be with him in the elevator which gave me the opportunity to strike conversation)
Well, I better stop.
As for Fignon, I avoided him, as I would have LA (although I did applaude them both on the road of course)