- Jul 4, 2009
....so its back to another variation of the woulda should coulda argument that you keep reverting to in this thread is it?...rhubroma said:I think Lemond had more natural ability than any in his generation, but I don't think he ever really exploited his true potential.
The fact alone that he was off hunting in early 87 was itself a demonstration of how unprofessional and lax he could be when not getting ready for the Tour.
Guimard said he thought Greg to have been the only champion that didn't actually have to "train" to win the Tour, which implied that he could do it on raw talent alone. Of course Lemond did actually train, but imagine if riding in today's sport when athletes start preparing for the July event over the winter the races he probably would have won. By contrast Lemond fattened up nicely over the winter and carried too much weight right up until June.
Today he would have had to be a more complete professional to even be competative, though even back then had he been European he'd probably not have put on as much weight over the winter and this would have reflected in his results. Merckx even said he thought Greg had the potential to win every type of race, but didn't because he missed something in his preparation. While Stephen Roche said that Lemond was the strongest rider he ever faced during his career: which means Greg was the strongest rider of his generation.
One thing I can't approve of in his career is thus that he won far less than his actual talent could have permitted and that he, especially after being shot, turned toward the Tour as the complete barometer of success. What a pitty for his own legacy and to a certain extent for the future of the sport.
...which got me thinking....in that kinda woulda coulda shoulda universe LeMond would have never had a chance because I would have won at least 10 Tours, 6 or 7 WC, all the classics...because like I had a major dehabilitating accident, I had the numbers, I trained like an idiot, and I just loved donuts mmmm....