Rarely does the performance of a single athlete or team arouse the
interest of this whole country. Bobby Fischer did it in chess, Mary
Lou Retton in gymnastics and the 1980 Olympic team in hockey. I
believe that Greg LeMond's victory in the Tour de France (An
American Takes Paris, Aug. 4) is of the same epic proportions. LeMond
has made tremendous personal, physical and emotional sacrifices to
learn and train with the best cyclists in the world. He has overcome
the stigma of being an American interloper in a European sport to win
cycling's crown jewel. I expect that American interest in competitive
cycling will grow exponentially over the next few years. For this, I
think, LeMond deserves to be SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's Sportsman of the
PETER M. DURESKA
An American won the Tour de France. Incroyable! Vive LeMond!
Greg LeMond wins the 83rd Tour de France, becoming the first
American and first non-European to win this grand 23-day endurance
contest; he beats the best (Bernard Hinault, et al.) at their best on
their home turf; he does it with style, guts and sheer talent,
pulling off one of the truly great athletic feats of the century; and
you decide to put Dennis (Oil Can) Boyd -- a run-of- the-mill pitcher
currently suspended with admitted emotional problems -- on your
cover. I am sure you had your reasons, but whatever they were, they
were not good enough.
SAMUEL W. HEED
West Chester, Pa.
It's too bad Oil Can Boyd wasn't the first American to win the
Tour de France. Then you could have left him off your cover and he
could have thrown a major league tantrum.