Greg LeMond exhibition opens at Rapha Cycle Club NYC

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American cycling legend Greg LeMond poses with a selection of his race bikes at the LeMond exhibition opening at Rapha Cycle Club NYC. Photo by Marco Quezada.

High-end cycling apparel maker Rapha is celebrating US bike racing pioneer and three-time Tour de France Champion Greg LeMond in a special exhibition at their Rapha Cycle Club NYC retail store running through March 16. The exhibition opened on February 3rd with LeMond as the guest of honor, and features an exhibition of the apparel and gear he made famous not only through victory, but for the technological advances they represent.

A close look at the Bottecchia LeMond rode to victory in the ’89 Tour de France reveals the Coke can shim used to keep the aero bars snug. Photo by Marco Quezada.

“When you tell the Greg LeMond story it’s this history of an incredible champion and technological athlete,” notes Rapha North America Communications Director Chris DiStefano. “On the one hand, Greg sat down and wrote all these goals to win and they really came from this place of loving bike riding. On the other hand, he has this mindset that allowed him to see advantages in technological changes to his bike and apparel.”

LeMond is widely acknowledged as a road racing pioneer, not only paving the way for future US competitive cyclists, but for ushering-in an era of technological change in the sport. He famously used an aerodynamic helmet and clip-on aero handlebars—shimmed with pieces of a Coke can—to miraculously overtake Laurent Fignon in the final stage of the 1989 Tour, erasing a 50-second deficit and leapfrogging the Frenchman for the race win in dramatic fashion.

That bike, along with the one he rode to victory in the 1986 Tour de France victory—the race’s first carbon fiber bike—are among six on display in the exhibition. Also on display— multiple World Championship and Tour de France jerseys, as well as the first full-zip jersey used in competition.

“We’ve seen a great response since opening the exhibit,” says Rapha Cycle Club NYC Manager Matt Spriggs. “Everybody knows who Greg LeMond is—especially in the U.S.—but we’re finding plenty of people have never seen a yellow leader jersey in person, and have only seen LeMond’s bikes in photographs.”

Video: Greg LeMond famously used an aerodynamic helmet and clip-on aero handlebars to help overtake Laurent Fignon in the final stage of the 1989 Tour de France.

No, this was not his hunting shirt. This modified jersey helped the LeMond engine stay cool on the way to one of many podium finishes. Photo by Marco Quezada.

Visitors can view the history and note the technological innovations first hand through March 16 at the Rapha Cycle Club NYC. Word is Rapha hopes to bring the exhibit to their San Francisco store in the future.

Six of LeMond’s race bikes are on display through March 16th at Rapha’s NYC Cycle Club.

Here’s a complete list of items on display:


1986 TDF Look/Hinault
1989 TDF TT Bottecchia
1989 Worlds LeMond/TVT carbon tube
1990 TDF LeMond/TVT carbon tube
1989 TDF Bottecchia
1991 TDF LeMond/Calfee


1989 TDF ADR yellow jersey
1991 TDF team Z yellow jersey
1984 Renault Elf World Championship jersey
1990 Team Z jersey
1986 La Vie Claire jersey
1986 TDF Combined jersey
1989 World Championship jersey
1985 Coors Classic Jersey
1984 TDF Podium White jersey
1993-94 GAN team jersey
1983 Renault Elf jersey
1986 TDF La Vie Claire yellow jersey
1990 Team Z World Championship with first full zipper
1978 National Team jersey
1990 Team Z World Championship jersey
1983 Critérium du Dauphiné yellow jersey
1991 TDF Green jersey
1991 TDF Green jersey
1982 Renault Elf spring jersey- wind block front
1983 World Championship jersey
1991 TDF yellow Team Z skin suit
1984 Renault Elf World Champion skin suit
1990 Team Z World Champion skin suit

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)
About the author: Emily Neuman

A veteran of the both the bike and hospitality industries contributor Emily Neuman can spin a tale, then mix a drink to go along with it. Though she only found Cycling (hey, some people capitalize god) in the past few years, her quiver of bicycles reflects an enthusiastic gusto for the sport/culture/funness. Road, mountain, cross, commute—it doesn’t matter. Emily on a bike is a rolling smile that emits squeaks of joy and excitement.

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  • Ron says:

    Pretty cool & while I love LeMan, I call bs on Ralpha. Overpriced gear from a company run by art school dudes. And all their videos are BS too. Road cyclists don’t have friggin’ beards, yet 90% of their riders do. And stupid tattoos. Lame BS.

    Ralpha is the Gap of the Cycling World. Convincing white people to pay triple the price of other manufacturers for the same quality gear. The fact that they have the nerve to charge $150 for summer mitts proves that their insane. The problem is they have the training to deceive people. I’m not buying what they’re selling.

    • JamesD says:

      Why whine about it? You sound like the typical crybaby that is jealous of other’s success. They found their niche and filled it. It has nothing to do with “convincing white people” – WTF is that about? I happen to be hispanic so I find that thought laughable and you as well Ron. I have some of their gear and to me, it is worth the price. When I ride, I don’t want flashy graphics and designs that will be dated in 5 years. Rapha for me fits the bill, it is very understated and yes, somewhat conservative but I know I can still wear it 10 years from now and not look out of place. Now, if YOU can’t afford it, that is YOUR problem. Just stop your bitching – you look silly.

    • Mark Wynn says:

      Free market capitalism, Ron. If bs marketing to rubes were a crime, most businesses would be behind bars. However, thanks for your opinion … as that’s a key element in freedom of speech and free market capitalism as well. I suspect you are spot on.

  • Ron says:

    Ha, they are, or they’re insane.

    From everything I’ve ever heard from people who’ve met LeMan, he’s a good dude.

  • Graham says:

    America’s greatest cyclist,I once read that Armstrong told lemond that you don’t need to take epo to be a winner,is that true?

  • Steve says:

    Meet and road with Greg at the trek 100 a few years back. Parked and geared up right by us. Still fast as hell! Great guy, I know he would have 5 if he did not have the accident.

  • Steve M says:

    If he had not suffered the hunting accident, he easily would have won 86-92 for a real 7 in a row. I remember seeing some of the 86 coverage on CBS with Hinault and Lemond so far ahead of the pack on a mountain stage it was outright ridiculous. Yes, Greg was truly that dominant.

  • The Best Kisser of Hue says:

    Hey Greg if you’re reading this I just have to say thanks for being such a cool dude when we rode thru Vietnam back in 97 with Micah and Charlie and Diana Nyad and all those other nut jobs. Epic adventure, epic partying, and some comedy I will never forget. Hey this article doesn’t mention you’re also a 3X World Champion. THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME MOFOS

  • Daniel levin says:

    Hi Greg ,

    Did quit a few races in the 70′s with you though
    Never as talented. I remember your yellow Cinnelli when you were racing
    Intermediates . Always impressed how you and your Dad use to attend races together. Great memories and exhibition .

  • David Nania says:

    Greg, you were one of my first bike riders I looked up to you and Big Mig. Indurain. Not just for your abilities but also for your true sportsmanship! I did at first like Lance, but the way he quit the de France when he was with Motorola kind of bothered me. Then when I here he had cancer I felt really bad. WHEN it all came out about him and the doping I felt betrayed, It’s not just being a Winner, it’s how you got there that counts! YOU are a true WINNER, Thanks!!!

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