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With the Tour on a rest day, and while Schleck plots victory, and Contador rests, we shall look back to a pivotal moment in American cycling.  Two things happened to make people in the U.S. take notice of cycling:  Greg Lemond, and Team 7-11.

How did a person in the 1980s get into cycling?

Below are some videos explaining the history.  Lemond was a Tour winner in the later 80s until he got shot.  But he made a dramatic comeback.  It was really Lemond that hooked a generation of people to love the hardest sport in the world.  Lemond’s rise was difficult even before his gun accident:  he has to defeat one of the greatest Tour winners of all time, who was also on his team, The Badger, Bernard Hinault.

Lemond on Team Z

Team 7-11 was an 80s team that did not turn pro until just before Lemond won the Tour.  Though Lemond never road for them, they had their own series of riders that inspired:  Davis Phinney, Andy Hampston, and of course, Bob Roll.  They were the first American team in the peloton.  Though they were not successful in terms of winning the GC in the Tour, they won stages, and even held the yellow for a time.

If not for Lemond and Team 7-11, there would be no rise of American Cycling.  Enjoy the rest day.

http://www.vsimgcdn.com/swf/flvPlayer_4.2.3.swf?rev=203

http://www.vsimgcdn.com/swf/flvPlayer_4.2.3.swf?rev=203

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