LeMond Wins 1st Big Test of Tour de France
Greg LeMond took over the Tour de France race leader’s yellow jersey today after a magnificent and unexpected time trial triumph.
LeMond, the only American ever to win the world’s most prestigious cycling race when he last competed in the Tour in 1986, made the first major test of this year’s race--a 45-mile individual time trial from Dinard to Rennes--look easy.
He clocked 1 hour, 38 minutes, 12 seconds to beat last year’s champion Pedro Delgado of Spain by 24 seconds.
“I’m very happy and surprised as well,” said the elated LeMond, who has suffered a series of illnesses and injuries, including an accidental gunshot wound in a hunting accident, since his 1986 victory.
“I knew I was feeling all right, but I didn’t know if it would last. Now my real test will be in the mountains.”
Race favorite Laurent Fignon of France finished third in the fifth stage time trial, 57 seconds behind LeMond.
LeMond moved up from 14th place to take over the yellow overall leader’s jersey from Acacio Da Silva of Portugal, who had held it since Sunday’s first stage.