|Greg Lemond, Alpe D'Huez, 1991|
I've been marinating on this for a while and I'm quite surprised that I haven't seen this particular subject covered anywhere. I'm talking about the mega-feud between Trek Bikes and Greg LeMond that went down a few years back.
For those who don't remember, here are the cliff notes:
1986 - Greg LeMond is the first American to win the Tour De France.
1987 - Greg Lemond cheats death after he is shot in a hunting accident.
1989 and 1990 - Greg Lemond wins Tour De France again, this time with shotgun pellets still in his body.
1990 - LeMond starts Greg LeMond Bicycles. The world notices, but the company has money woes.
1995 - LeMond partners with Trek bikes and sells a crap-ton of bikes.
1999 - Lance Armstrong "wins" Tour De France with one, uh...one of his twins missing.
2000 - Lance Armstrong "wins" Tour De France again, still with only one powerball.
2001 - Greg LeMond expresses his concern that Armstrong may be hitting the syringe.
2001 - Trek gets pissy that LeMond is calling out their star (Armastrong) publicly.
2002 - 2005 - Armstong keeps "winning" the Tour. Over and over and over.
2008 - LeMond keeps publicly calling Lance a doper. Trek severs it's relationship with LeMond, labeling him as a jealous crazy person who can't cope with the fact that another American has made the cycling world forget all about him and his three TDF wins.
2013 - Lance cries on Oprah. Says he cheated the whole time. Somewhere Greg LeMond screams "I %^&%#@! told you!!"
Now what you don't hear about is that Trek never went back to the only American to ever win the TDF to apologize. (The other American "winner" of the TDF besides Armstrong was Floyd Landis, also stripped of his title for doping).
Let me straighten something out before I go any further; I don't dislike Trek Bikes as a company. I like their products and have owned two Treks (one road and one mountain), three Gary Fisher mountain bikes, and a LeMond road bike. To be honest, I liked my Trek road bike much better than my LeMond. So I don't wish any ill will on Trek. I just think that trashing a guys reputation for what ultimately was the truth and not making amends for it is a pretty crappy deal.
Article from 2008: Trek ends relationship with LeMond