From the head of the Tour de France to the head of his cycling empire
KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (WVLT) – He’s a three-time winner of the Tour de France and he’s building his cycling empire right here. Greg LeMond said WVLT East Tennessee could become a hub of job creation, part of what he calls the “Carbon Fiber Valley”.
“There is a lot of talent to be drawn from here,” said LeMond.
The man known for leading the pack in the yellow jersey now runs his own brand.
“It’s the only thing I think comes close to being like the bionic person,” LeMond said of his e-bikes.
Greg and a handpicked team from Oak Ridge Lab founded LeMond Composites in 2016. They now sell e-bikes and soon race bikes.
“You get the impression that our bikes are not just an accelerator. You have to pedal. But when I ride it, I feel like I’m in good shape for the Tour de France, ”said LeMond.
“I was a huge fan of Greg LeMond,” said Ryan Jezek.
This is Chief Engineer Ryan Jezek. Greg hires locals and brings in new taxpayers.
“I moved here for work,” Jezek said.
From Nevada. Ryan says the new technology is having an impact on people like us.
“All the things that benefit the professional pilot will also benefit your weekend warrior,” Jezek said.
LeMond noticed that European cyclists and commuters wanted a little extra juice. He thinks it’s more than a trend in America too.
The real key for LeMond is to reduce the cost of expensive carbon fiber technology. And Greg has very big ambitions. He says that in 6-7 years he wants to be the first bicycle company in the world.
“We’re going to have a road, a mountain, gravel. In each of these categories, we will have an electric bike version, ”said LeMond.
“Our base model is $ 4,500,” Jezek said.
A quick eBay search is all you need to see – it’s pretty standard for a carbon fiber electric bike.
“It’s not an exclusive brand just for high performance road bikes,” said LeMond.
Greg said he wanted LeMond to buy a high-quality bike for under two thousand dollars, at the customers’ doorstep. Now the assembly team is turning keys and saving ounces. Like other bicycle companies, the pandemic has caused an increase in demand — which they are still catching up to.
“We are going to be able to reduce that time frame,” Jezek said.
“If you want to work in the bicycle business,” says Greg of his new business in West Knox County, “we’re in the perfect area for that. “
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