Thursday, January 8, 2009

"Lemond Employs The Helmet, The Disc On The Wheel And The Posture Created By The Unique And Controversial Handlebars"

From Wikipedia:

The 1989 Tour de France was the 76th Tour de France. In the closest tour in history, Greg LeMond was behind by 50 seconds on the final ride into Paris. In that time trial LeMond put his bike in a huge 55 x 12 gear and rode it 54.545 km/h (34.52 mph), one of the fastest time trials ever in the Tour de France. He made up 58 seconds on Laurent Fignon, ultimately winning the race by 8 seconds. Since 1989 there has not been another individual time trial to finish the Tour de France.

The final time trial was over a course approximately 25 kilometres (15.5 mi) long, with a net elevation loss of 75 metres (247 ft). The riders had a moderate tailwind. LeMond's effort was the fastest individual time trial for a distance longer than 10 km ever ridden. A November 1989 Bicycling magazine article, supported by wind-tunnel data, estimated that LeMond may have gained 1 minute on Fignon through the use of the new aerobars. He also could have gained 16 seconds by wearing his aero helmet with a slightly elongated tail section for better aerodynamics, while Fignon rode bare-headed with his ponytail exposed to the wind. Fignon did perhaps gain a 5-second advantage by using a disk front wheel, while LeMond used a 24-spoke bladed radially spoked front wheel. Fignon finished third in the final time trial with an average speed of 53.59 km/h (33.33 mph).

"It doesn't get any easier, you just get faster" - Greg Lemond

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