The Lance Armstrong Story - What Did Greg Lemond Think? David Walsh Interview Pt. 5

Uploaded by globalcyclingnetwork on 12.01.2013

You mentioned very briefly Greg Lemond who is now the only American winner of the Tour
de France tell us how he kind of came into your life in terms of your investigations?
Well before he came into life in terms of the investigations I’ll just say one thing
about him, I went on the 1986 tour where he got into a battle with his teammate Bernard
Hinault and that was the greatest Tour de France I’ve ever seen, that was an extraordinary
race and Greg Lemond was by some distance the most talented bike racer I’ve ever seen.
I’ve never seen anybody just look so natural on a bike, Greg even in the middle of a Tour
de France when he made an attack or when he reacted to an attack he looked like he was
just on a fun ride and he had the most extraordinary physiological capacities and the most beautiful
shape on the bike I. I loved the way he rode the bike and he came into my world because
after I bought the stuff out about Lance working with Michele Ferrari you know Armstrong, Armstrong
basically said Michelle is an honest man I don’t apologise for working with him and
I rang up Greg two weeks after the story came out and I said Greg what do you make of this
and he said well when Lance, when Lance won his first Tour de France I cried he said,
I was so happy, and I totally believed this was a great thing for cycling. He said but
now that I’ve learnt he’s working with Ferrari I have to change my view because I
know Ferrari is the dirtiest doctor in doping I know that from my experience and he said
Lance should not be with him and we talked about it and then Greg produced what was in
many ways the quotation that would define the whole debate at that time. He said if
Lance’s story is true it’s the greatest comeback in the history of sport, if it’s
not it’s the greatest fraud and of course that was just raising the question that it
might be a fraud. Armstrong of course went insane with anger and Greg then was vilified
by Armstrong, you know Greg was unbelievable pressure put on him he lost his bike business
I mean Armstrong could exercise unbelievable influence if he wanted to to to do you down
or damage your business interests or destroy your character you know he was, he was a formidable
and very dangerous enemy Lance, and he didn’t mind using his power to destroy other people.
As you just mentioned Greg probably out of a lot of people had a lot to lose in terms
of business for speaking up about Lance Armstrong, he’s come recently and since Lance has been
found out as it were he’s almost put himself forward for UCI presidency so to oversee the
sport and international governing body, is that something you could see him do either
temporarily or long term, is he the right person for that?
I think he could do it on an interim basis but I don’t think Greg is you know got the
kind of personality character to be president of the UCI. I think that would tie him down
in a way he wouldn’t enjoy being tied down. I mean Greg does lots of things he has lots
of different interests and er he definitely wants to help cycling and thats why he said
he’d be prepared to put himself forward on an interim basis um, but cycling needs
somebody who would be able to devote a huge amount of time to creating a new form of leadership
and I’m not sure who it will be. But what we are sure about what everybody is sure about
is that cycling needs new leadership, it needs people that can do the job and be credible