On the other hand, his last few years have been anything but pretty. The Landis case was a personal and public nightmare for him, and he's made it clear that Armstrong infuriates him. But what he rarely talks about is the fact that the amount of lead in his blood has increased fourfold from just a few years ago. "They did a study; anybody over two micrograms [of lead] is at 60 percent more risk of heart attack or stroke," he tells me. "Mine's 20."
While Armstrong has essentially fled from professional cycling, LeMond is slowly returning to it. He is invited to antidoping summits and greeted like a hero at cycling events. After years of being treated like a crazy uncle in the attic, he's now being listened to; and if there's one thing Greg LeMond likes to do, it's talk. It's getting on toward 11 pm, and I've been here since 8:30 in the morning.
"He's a great guy, on the inside," Kathy says when he's out of the room. "He went through a difficult period, and worked hard on himself. But he never really has changed."
Just then the LeMonds' 17-year-old daughter Simone comes home with a classmate named Taylor. She's the youngest, with her father's brash outspokenness. "Are you writing about how my dad is five years old?" she asks.
Tonight she's peeved because her dad won't let her get a driver's license. "He says my eyes 'glass over' when I'm driving," she pouts.
There's already tension in the house because my questions have rekindled LeMond's anger toward Armstrong and Landis. "I'm gonna hold Floyd accountable for what he did to me," LeMond vows.
Yester the dog senses the unease in the air. "He's overkill for us," Kathy says, "but if someone tries to carjack me, he will jump through the open window at them."
There are still a few kinks to work out. Yester recently trapped the electrician in his truck; now he slips away from Kathy, jumps up, and snaps at Taylor, nipping her in the side. He doesn't break the skin, but the girl is terrified; weeping, she flees out the front door.
"Mom!" Simone screams. "I can't have this! We've got to get rid of him!"