Greg LeMond, three-time Tour de France champion and the only American to ever win the prestigious race without having his titles stripped, has announced he has been diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer. The 56-year-old cyclist revealed that he was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) after experiencing bouts of fatigue over the past year. While CML is not life-threatening, it can be difficult to manage and treatments can often result in side effects like extreme fatigue. Since retiring from competition in 1994, LeMond has been an anti-doping advocate and is recognized as the only American Tour de France champion after Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis were stripped of their titles for doping offenses. In recent years, he's spoken out against cyclists who continue to dope despite increasing scrutiny from authorities and fans alike.
Greg Lemond at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas in 2012.
Greg Lemond was one of the most popular professional cyclists during his career. He won three Tour de France titles, two World Championships, and an Olympic gold medal. His aggressive riding style and attacking tactics made him a fan favorite. After he retired from racing, he became involved in promoting cycling as a recreational sport for people of all ages and abilities. He also started the LeMond brand which produces high-quality bicycles and gear. Greg Lemond is considered one of the greatest cyclists of all time and his legacy continues to inspire new generations of riders.
A young Lemond (left) with another cycling legend and teammate, Bernard Hinault (right) at the 1986 Tour de France, Hinault wore the yellow jersey 79 times before this event and even held it until stage 17. But Lemond won the general classification and marked a new era, after this event Hinault would never attain the general classification jersey again.
Since his retirement from professional cycling in 1994, Greg LeMond has been involved in a number of philanthropic endeavors. In 2007, he joined the board of 1in6.org as a founding member, a non-profit organization that seeks to improve the lives of men that suffered childhood traumas. Lemond also started the LeMond Cycling Foundation Training Academy, a training program for young riders. He is also an active advocate for safer cycling conditions and was instrumental in getting inducted into the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame in 1996, soon after retiring from the sport which made him world-renowned. All of these achievements have endeared him to fans who appreciate his commitment to giving back to society what it gave him.
In a statement on his own website, Lemond stated, "No one ever wants to hear the word cancer but, admittedly, there is a great relief, now, to know why I was feeling poorly," wrote LeMond, 60. "My doctors and I have decided on a treatment which will begin this week. I should be feeling better in a few weeks and for the near future, my daily schedule will be altered only a little and I have been told that in a few months, I should be in remission.”
As the most successful American cyclist in history, Greg LeMond’s impact on the sport is immeasurable. His story is one of grit and determination, from his humble beginnings in Reno, Nevada to his three Tour de France victories. We wish him all the best in his fight against this disease.