slow down to the point where I could
barely pedal. I slowly recovered and
all I did was try to limit my damages.
I lost a minute and a half. A lot. I was
happy I kept myself from losing more
than that. I would have been out of
the race. That day I lost a lot of time
to Fignon. The next day he took some
more time out; three days before I was
8 seconds down.
When we got back to the team
hotel that evening, you could see
that the car’s front bumper was
gone, the back bumper was gone.
I remember all these dents on it.
Jose told me about how Guimard
was trying to get up to Fignon, and
Jose knew exactly what was going
on, that I was not riding well. He
did everything he could to prevent
Guimard from talking to Fignon.
They were crashing into each other
behind us. He kept him off a while the
first time. When Guimard finally got
around to talk to Fignon the first time,
De Cauwer did everything he could
the next time to keep him from getting
back to Fignon. It probably saved my
race. It was a delay of 30 seconds. It
was great. That was the race that went
on behind the race. The directors are
watching the race, and they see it from
a broader perspective. A good coach
knows his rider and other riders too.
Guimard knew me, because he was my
former coach, and he knew Fignon,
and he knew there was an opportunity.
Had he not been able to get up there
to relay the information, Fignon might
not have attacked. He didn’t know
that I was hurting even more than
he was. That was probably my most
memorable Alpe d’Huez.
1990: LeMond vs. the
Little Old Lady
It went from that to the next year,
where I got second place on Alpe
d’Huez. I think the most exciting
part of that year’s race was when my
teammate, Ronan Pensec took the
overall lead from a break that got ten
minutes on the first day. It was good
for me, because I was able to ride the
Tour without being in contention after
the first day, because they had such a
big lead. It gave me the chance to ride
myself into a little better shape. I had
been sick that year with mono and had
been totally wiped out. I only started
feeling better in May and June. I was
always in survival mode, but I slowly
pulled back the time that I had lost.
The story from that day isn’t from
Alpe d’Huez though. It occurred