Lance Armstrong is the most recognizable name in American cycling for his sustained time at the top and his spectacular fall due to cheating. Since Armstrong and Floyd Landis were both stripped of their titles, the only American to win the Tour de France is Greg LeMond, and he did it three times. Where is Greg Lemond today, and what is his net worth?
Greg Lemond is first American cyclist to win Tour de France
Greg LeMond introduced competitive cycling to America in the mid 1980s. Prior to LeMond, the Tour de France never made the sports news. Instead, it was just known as a long bike race in France that no one cared about because Americans weren’t involved.
LeMond changed that winning his first title in 1986. Unfortunately, LeMond was unable to defend his title in 1987 after he was accidentally shot in a hunting accident. LeMond sustained life-threatening injuries as his body was pierced by 60 pellets from a shotgun blast.
The next two years LeMond made a slow but steady recovery. In 1989, his first time back in France, he won his second Tour title. He was named Sports Illustrated‘s Sportsman of the Year, the first time ever for a cyclist. LeMond returned again in 1990 and stood atop the podium for a third time at the race’s conclusion.
LeMond raced competitively another four years, but never came close to winning the Tour again. He later noted that “something had changed in cycling.” He retired in 1994 and was inducted into the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame in 1996.
LeMond questions fellow Americans including Armstrong
Greg LeMond was one of the first-ever cyclists to speak out against doping after winning the 1989 Tour de France. He questioned the relationship between riders and unethical sports doctors and viewed the growing problem as the doctors treating the riders as lab rats and ultimately, the riders paid the price.
In 2001, LeMond publicly criticized Armstrong and his relationship with Dr. Michele Ferrari. LeMond could have never anticipated the blowback, but it was intense. After a month of pressure from Trek, the bike company that represented both LeMond and Armstrong, as well as pressure from Armstrong, LeMond apologized. It was the beginning of a war between the two American cyclists that would last for years.
LeMond again criticized Armstrong in 2004 after his victory, Armstrong’s fifth title in as many years. “If Armstrong’s clean, it’s the greatest comeback. And if he’s not, then it’s the greatest fraud,” LeMond told the London Sunday Times.
Armstrong wasn’t the only one in LeMond’s sights. He also questioned fellow American Floyd Landis after his 2006 Tour victory. In retrospect, LeMond knew all along what was happening. History proved him to be correct, but it was a torturous journey as he lost a successful business, faced various forms of litigation, and most painfully, he felt the wrath of the cycling world that had once adored him.
Where is Greg LeMond today, and what is his net worth?
From 1990 to 2016, Greg LeMond and his wife Kathy lived in Minnesota. In 2007, LeMond revealed that he was sexually abused as a child and became a founding board member of the non-profit organization 1in6.org, whose mission is to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood live healthy, happy lives.
In 2013, LeMond was involved in a single-car accident where his vehicle slid off an icy road. He suffered a concussion and a compression fracture in his back that required him to wear a brace for three months.
Through the years, LeMond has been an entrepreneur and started a variety of businesses. He has been involved in real estate, owned multiple restaurants, but his main interest has been in cycling businesses. LeMond, who has a reported net worth of $40 million, founded LeMond Composites in 2016. The company manufactures high-volume, low-cost carbon fiber composites in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where he moved in 2017.
In 2019, the United States House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill, submitted by California Representative Mike Thompson, to award LeMond the Congressional Gold Medal, which honors those “who have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient’s field long after the achievement.”
LeMond has endured more ups and downs in his life than the French Alps he successfully traversed 30 years ago. Fortunately, LeMond has become a better person for it and he will leave a legacy he can be proud of because he knows he achieved it legally through good old-fashioned hard work and determination.