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.”
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