1. in the first, longer ITT lemond knew he could have beaten fignon by more because early in that stage his TT handlebars shifted and he wasn't able to maximize efficiency. so going into the last TT he knew he had a chance despite the shorter distance.
2. some 7-eleven riders had used TT handlebars at the Tour Dupont/Tour de Trump earlier
that very year. lemond got the uci to accept them as legal
before the first ITT stage. fignon even tried some out and decided against
them for the final ITT. hardly cheating.
3. lemond has many times expressed how he benefitted from the latest techno advances -- many, many times -- see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuA_3cQ31r4
in this interview he even says that they both won the tour that year because 8 seconds is nothing. he laughs about guimard who was always at the front of every technological advance but refused the TT handlebars. but -- no matter -- choosing untested advances to ride with on the biggest stage ever shows guts.
4. lemond has also said that he tested later and found that he lost a fair amount of time because of his penchant to dip his head up and down thus making the aero helmet become like a shark's dorsal fin hitting the air.
5. finally, i would much prefer to hear what lemond (or mottet, or delion) have to say about riding a 3 week tour. because they did it, constantly having to plan when and where to burn energy as they weren't just going to get a refill. how completely ludicrous it is when we have to listen to a rider today talk about their "preparation". it is meaningless for reasons that are made clear in the clinic.
my only argument against lemond's comments is that they are irrelevant unless professional cycling can purge the use of blood bags entirely. i do not mean to bring clinic material into this thread -- but i wanted to express my one critique of having a lemond article on form/shape/prep for a grand tour today.