Influential coach Eddie Borysewicz dies at 81
Edward Borysewicz, a major figure in the development of American bike racing who coached notables like Greg Lemond and Lance Armstrong, died on Tuesday, reportedly due to complications from COVID-19. The longtime cycling coach was 81.
Borysewicz, who became known as Eddie B, followed a brief career as a competitive racer in Poland with a long one as a coach. After working as a juniors coach in the early 1970s in Poland, he moved to the United States and became a coach with the US national team, where he began developing a number of young talents, including Greg Lemond, who would ride to a junior world road title in 1979.
He continued to develop American talents over the next several years. Although the United States boycotted the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, the US cycling team would secure four gold medals, and nine medals in total, in the cycling events at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
Controversy arose after it emerged that the organization’s elite athletic’s director Ed Burke had overseen blood transfusions, which were not illegal at the time, for members of the team. Borysewicz denied having been involved, but he and Burke were fined by the federation. Transfusions were then banned.
1985 saw the publication of Borysewicz’s book “Bicycle Road Racing: The Complete Program for Training and Competition,” which became an popular training manual.
He left the national team in 1987 and then started the Sunkyong amateur team, which went through a few iterations on the way to becoming Subaru-Montgomery, which signed a young Lance Armstrong for the 1990-1991 seasons. The team would later become U.S. Postal Service. Borysewicz left the squad in 1997 before Armstrong returned to the team in 1998.
Following his departure from the pro cycling scene, Borysewicz continued to coach in California, and continued to do so over the past several years.
According to reports, he died in Poland due to coronavirus complications.