Two-time Tour de France champ Lauren Fignon dies

Biking great Laurent Fignon passed away from cancer today.

Fignon was a two-time Tour de France winner, taking back-to-back yellow jerseys in 1983 and 1984; he could have easily won a third, losing to Greg LeMond in one of the most memorable races in Tour history.

In 1989, LeMond was attempting to make a comeback after a nearly fatal hunting accident, racing with 37 shotgun pellets in his body — including two in the lining of his heart. Fignon held a seemingly insurmountable 50-second lead heading into a final individual time trial; yet LeMond used an early aero bar to finish improbable 58 ahead of Fignon, winning the tour by the closest margin in TdF history.

BikeRadar quotes LeMond honoring Fignon as a great champion.

“It’s a really sad day. I see him as one of the great riders who was hampered by injuries. He had a very, very big talent — much more than anyone recognized,” LeMond told France 24 television.

“We were also team-mates, competitors, but also friends. When he lost the Tour de France in 1989 it was one of the few where I felt we both won,” said the three-time Tour de France champion.

“The saddest thing for me is that for the rest of his career he said he won two Tours de France, when in reality we both could have won that race.”

Lance Armstrong honored Fignon, the winner of 76 races over his career, as a “dear friend and a legendary cyclist,” and goes on to add “We will miss you. RIP LF.”

Fignon admitted to doping during his career, but did not know if they may have contributed to his illness.

He was just 50-years old.


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One comment

  1. Thinking more on this: Doping in the 80s would have been cocaine, right? and probably some MJ as well? I don’t know the cancer risk of coke, but marijuana can substantially increase the risk of lung cancer.

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