In this excerpt from How Bad Do You Want It?, pioneering American cyclist Greg LeMond races against the clock—and his rival Laurent Fignon—in an individual time trial stage of the Tour de France.
Team 7-Eleven’s sprinter Davis Phinney has dropped out of the Tour after crashing heavily on today’s Stage 15. This leaves the team relying on Phinney’s usual lead-out man Ron Kiefel to contest the sprints. Fortunately, Kiefel has shown that he has the legs for the Tour, narrowly missing a stage win to Peeters on stage 7.
Was it his failure to mount disk wheels, the accumulated fatigue from riding 1,000km at the front of the bunch, or simply “un jour sans,” as a French report has suggested?
Saturday afternoon’s stage is a 56-km team time trial, an event La Vie Claire dominated in 1985, winning by over a minute. But now, in 1986 on the road from Meudon to Saint Quentin, something very, very odd happened.
Frenchman Thierry Marie (Systeme U) won today’s opening stage of the Tour de France, a 4 kilometer individual time trial snaking through Boulogne-Billancourt.