After cyclist Greg LeMond, three-time Tour de France champion, retired from professional racing, he settled in Medina with his wife, Kathy, and their three children.
The couple bought the stately brick Georgian in 1990, the year LeMond won his last Tour de France; he retired four years later.
“We decided it was a good place to raise our kids,” said Kathy, who has connections to Minnesota and Wisconsin; her hometown is LaCrosse, she attended Gustavus Adolphus College, and has family in the Twin Cities metro area.
The LeMond family played tennis, biked and walked the trails on their 40-acre country estate, which became a private retreat from Greg’s international fame.
Before moving to the Twin Cities, the LeMonds had a home in Belgium. “In Europe, Greg was very popular. We had people who slept in their cars in front of our house and took some of our landscaping as a souvenir,” said Kathy. “In Minnesota, people treated us like anyone else.”
Their six-bedroom house, by builder Ken Durr, was built in 1988. “We loved the Georgian style,” said Kathy. “Greg collects 18th-century American furniture — so it was a good fit for the house.”
The LeMonds hosted many charity dinners inside the 11,500-square-foot home — with guests spilling out the spacious living room’s French doors onto the bluestone terrace.
Inside, a two-story Italian marble foyer opens to a grand Tara-style staircase leading to a circular balcony on the second floor.
Scores of French doors under 10-foot-tall ceilings open to a terrace and landscaped grounds, which include a tennis court.
The library, clad in cherry paneling, is warmed by a woodburning fireplace. A light-filled octagon-shaped sunroom faces east and south.
Two years ago, Kathy transformed the 1980s kitchen into a modern black-and-white cook’s dream outfitted with a 16-foot-long Carrara marble island, top-of-the line appliances, built-in coffee bar and two dishwashers by the sink.
“I like everyone to sit at the island when I’m cooking,” she said.
The lower-level walkout features a TV/media room and adult amusement area with a full wet bar. There’s also a nanny/in-law one-bedroom apartment with a kitchen and bathroom on the second floor. An added bonus is two four-car garages — one is attached, and the other is an outbuilding with a shop.
The LeMonds recently moved to Oak Ridge, Tenn., to oversee their new business LeMond Composites, a carbon fiber manufacturer. Their country estate in Medina is on the market for $4.985 million.
Kathy already misses the Minnesota friends they’ve made over the past 27 years — as well as the wooded acreage, especially when it’s ablaze in autumn color.
“In the fall, I don’t think there’s a prettier place on earth,” she said.
Patty Napier and Carrie Fleischhacker, Coldwell Banker Burnet, 612-860-3603, have the listing.