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Laurent Fignon is being buried today in Paris…
The great French cyclist Laurent Fignon is being buried today at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. He died on August 31st after battling Pancreatic cancer. Laurent was 50 years old.
“The Professor” was an amazing cyclist who literally rode with “panache” winning three grand tours - The Tour de France in 1983 and 1984, and the Giro di’Italia in 1989 and countless Grand Tour stages, classics, and criteriums.
Sadly, he’s often remembered for losing the ‘89 Tour on the last stage in Paris to the U.S.’s Greg Lemond by 8 seconds after having a 58 second lead at the begining of the time trial stage. It was the smallest margin of victory and loss in the Tour’s history. The video images of his collapsed body at the end that finish line are burned into my mind.
The loss was an epic burden for a long time but seems to eventually made peace with it, carrying himself with grace. This Summer, he continued to provide commentary for France TV during the Tour de France with multiple reports saying his voice was a barely audible raspy whisper. His race analysis was sharp and insightful as ever.
This video is part one of a French program “La Legende - Laurent Fignon.” Part two is also on YouTube and I recommend watching it if you love cycling. Practice your French and enjoy the footage of some seriously bad ass old school pro bike racing. Click here to read more about The Professor.
Rest In Peace Laurent Fignon. My thoughts are with his family and friends.