Bike culture: the difference between a winner and a loser can be a ponytail. So cruel was the reality of Laurent Fignon. For although he won some of the biggest races, it is for a loss of eight measly seconds we remember him.
Laurent Fignon was born outside Paris in 1960. The young Laurent’s main hobby was football, a sport which he performed with some success. It was not until after a period of pressure from fellow gang as he tried his luck in the saddle.
And the tour was the first bike race as he took part in 1976, Fignon won. The former cyclist and Manager Cyrille Guimard soon discovered the great talent and gave him a place in his large stable Renault-Elf-Gitane. So in 1983, he participated in the Tour de France. The then-22-year-old parisaren soon became a name on everyone’s lips.
Laurent Fignon was recognized for his ponytail, his round glasses and their expressive appearance. His nickname was “the Professor”. So worst professors like was his image but not always. At one point, an angry spat Fignon on the intrusive press cameras, a prank which attracted much attention and made him notorious in many circles.
Up in the saddle, it went better, after a few stages realized the competitors that he was more than an odd figure. With mästercyklisten Bernard Hinault injured as there was for the first time in years a real chance for someone else to put themselves at the top of the cykeltronen in the Tour de France. The fight over the stages were rock hard. Gradually fell competitors away, and when Laurent Fignon finally resigned as the Victor, he was also the youngest person to have won the competition since 1933.
With the # 1 position in the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia takes Fignon a central place in cycling history. But despite bike lights, it is a loser many remember him. In the 1989 edition of the Tour de France was the battle between Fignon and LeMond has been smooth. Before the last pace stage of Paris, there were many who believed that the Laurent Fignon, who was in the lead, would be at the top of the podium after the end of the day.
The main competitor Greg LeMond started namely ahead of the Frenchman who went last, acting as leaders. Laurent Fignon thus had a good chance to run on the American’s time, he also had a 50-second head start on.
But Fortune smiled not against Laurent Fignon on this day. Instead of an expected final victory he saw themselves defeated by eight measly seconds — the smallest margin of victory in Tour de France history. The eight seconds has undoubtedly become something of a recurring topic of conversation in the cycling world. One of the most common explanations to Laurent Fignon lost wont be equipment and vanity. Lemond used the novelties that tempo bows and a covered helmet to minimize air resistance.
Laurent Fignon had a more common “kohorns”-rule and not used by any helmet. After his active career, Laurent Fignon with organizing bicycle races, including Paris-Nice.Furthermore, he continued to create a fuss by their statements in the press.
With clear reference to the stringent doping controls in France, he had said that “directeur Sportifs don’t do any good job anymore. They are incompetent and has no authority of its riders. The French teams are performing so poorly depends not only on the consequences of doping. ”
A successful French cyclist WINS in rule the French audience’s hearts. But not Laurent Fignon. For he was far too pugnacious. What you can never take away from him is a series of great victories, which over time hopefully will shine brighter than the eight short lost seconds.