A young LeMond makes his first appearance
Friday 30 July 2021
In 1979, in faraway Argentina, the UCI Road World Championships for Juniors were organised for the fifth time. A lot of unknown riders were at the start, a few of them would later make great pros. One of them was Greg LeMond, who became world champion for the first time in Buenos Aires. Although he did not cross the line first.
Two riders stood out in the road race of the UCI Road World Championships for juniors. American Greg LeMond and Belgian Kenny De Marteleire raced to the finish line together escaping the rest of the pack. The two would decide in a sprint who would become world champion.
The finish of that world championship was on the race track of Buenos Aires. To make the last straight line a bit narrower, the organisation had put car tyres in the middle of the track as a demarcation of the track. During the sprint between LeMond and De Marteleire, the latter closed the door for the young American, leaving Lemond on the other side of the tyres. De Marteleire won the sprint, but was disqualified after the finish and dropped to second place. Thus LeMond won his very first UCI Road World Championship as a junior.
LeMond would go on to become world champion twice in the elite men's field and win the Tour de France twice.