VN Archives: LeMond’s 1991 hour record attempt

A look back at the cover of VeloNews magazine; 29 years ago Greg LeMond was conducting tests for an hour record attempt, mountain bikers were looking for sponsors, and more.

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The last half century has produced countless amazing moments in pro cycling, and VeloNews has been there for almost every one. This year we celebrate our 48th birthday. With 48 years worth of magazines in our archives, we want to present some of the more memorable VeloNews covers, feature stories, and interviews from our past. Our hope is these curated snippets from our past help motivate you to pursue your passion for the sport you love.

For our first edition, we present the cover from February 11, 1991.

Lennard Zinn chronicled Greg LeMond’s preparation for the hour record, which led LeMond to test himself at the wind tunnel at Texas A&M University. Zinn wrote:

Apparently, a local country music station got wind of LeMond’s arrival, and its broadcast brought flocks of local cyclists to line up in the rain, hoping to get the superstar to sign their LeMond posters.

Interestingly, LeMond’s lowest drag measurement (5.6 lbs. at 30mph) was not on the time trial bike with any of the aero bars. Rather, it came when he was riding on his regular road bike with his normal stem height and his Drop-In bars! And he achieved it with a very narrow hand position (on the very ends of the Drop-Ins); a low, flat back; and his head down. When this result was shown to LeMond, his response was, “I know it’s fast. That’s how I got away at St. Etienne!” (The St. Etienne stage was a turning point of the 1990 Tour de France, when LeMond took almost five minutes out of race leader Claudio Chiappucci.)

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