A few weeks ago, Twitter & Facebook started to relay that proposal coming from Greg LeMond’s HQs in Minnesota. “Join Team LeMond”. It was alink to a new Strava group. I have to admit, I kind of jumped in my seat when I saw this for the first time because, well : I have waited my whole life for this.
Team LeMond first appeared in 1987. At the time it was a clever and predictable career move : the defendant of the Tour de France putting his name on a line of cycling products… I think at least 80% of the Tour de France winners have done this at one point or another. I’m not even counting the retired cyclists who have done such a thing in one way or another.
At that time, the Team LeMond products were not so different from any other. Here are a few examples :
Frames were also manufactured with the Team LeMond brand labeled on it.
Then there are, of course, some jerseys that were made even with a Tour de France look :
So, whatever happened to Team LeMond, you might ask ? Well, in short : a turkey hunt. As the Team LeMond product line came to life, the team leader was taken down. 1987 was a blank year. 1988 wasn’t much better. Talk about bad timing.
By 1989, Greg LeMond was actually wearing what was left of the Team LeMond products : socks & gloves. He even raced on a Team LeMond Pro bike in the U.S like in the Trump Tour.
There’s an interesting variant about the gloves. For the first few stages of the Tour de France, Greg used the world champion gloves with a straight line. These are rare but not impossible to find today. You can find them in our Collection gallery of the blog.
However, for most of the last week of the race, Greg had switched to an oblique design. I have never found those anywhere. My guess is that it was Greg’s personal batch and they never reached the market. I might be wrong.
By 1990, Greg LeMond had joined a proper team (“Z”) and regarding his business, he chose to focus on the “LeMond” bikes which lead him all the way through the 90’s and most of the 00’s.
In 2008, Trek, now distributing LeMond bikes, decided to give up the brand, because their new poster boy would not allow them to continue supporting Greg LeMond. It lead to a dark period where Greg’s name was thrown into the mud… Until facts came out. And as Greg LeMond was vindicated, the image his name carried took a new turn, and that’s the whole point.
In the fall of 2013, Greg LeMond shared with the world he wasn’t done with LeMond bikes, with great success. In a more discreet mode, he paid a visit to former pro rider Marcel Tinazzi, now manufacturing cycling clothes as “MS TINA” and posed wearing a brand new Team LeMond kit. It is the same kit Greg was wearing when he posed with Hinault on top of l’Alpe d’Huez last summer. Mr Tinazzi told me in july these were not available to the public… Yet.
However, as Greg took the road in Megève last june, he was wearing the same Team LeMond kit. I was lucky enough to be given a prototype kit by Greg. There are a few noticeable differences between this and the final design as chosen by Greg.
Quality is amazing. I would range this kit right next to Rapha or Assos, in terms of quality. It is a very light fabric, staying close to your body. Sleeves are made of the thinnest fabric I’ve ever seen and yet, they stay in place at all times. Very cool. Shorts are really good too and I just love the sobriety of their design.
As I was climbing wearing the Team LeMond kit in Megève, I caught a nice English speaking couple. When I went in front of them, the girl took my wheel and I heard her say “now I’m officially part of Team LeMond”. That’s the whole point. I’m convinced a lot of people want to be a part of Team LeMond. And rather than wearing a pro kit or a random brand, they want to display a name that actually means something.
Today, the idea of “Team LeMond” carries more weight than ever. It is about values. An idea of cycling. Stay true to yourself. Do your best. Enjoy the ride. We need to spread the word. Team LeMond on Strava is a good idea, a nice start. Take it to the next level, please. Make these kits available. Re-issue the 1989 world champion gloves. Give us the opportunity to stand for those values.
Now go and join Team LeMond on Strava here
By Nicolas – NL_LeMondFans