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  Laurent Fignon    

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Laurent Fignon was born on August 12, 1960. He died on August 31, 2010.

The French rider won the Tour de France twice and the Giro díItalia once.

He was also 2nd in the Giro d'Italia once and 2nd in the Tour de France once plus 3rd in the Vuelta a Espana and Paris-Roubaix.

In addition he won the Milan-San Remo Classic twice.

Fignonís 1989 season started with a bang when he won both the Milan-San Remo Classic and Giro díItalia.

Most everyone, however, will remember that he lost the Tour that year by a mere 8 seconds to Greg Lemond in what would be his last significant placing in a major event.

Laurent Fignon rose to prominence in the 1983 Tour de France. Only 22 at the time, Fignon was hired to ride as support for Bernard Hinault.

Hinault then injured his knee in his Vuelta a Espana victory and didnít start the Tour de France.

Fignon was allowed to assume team leadership status since his strength was apparent as the Tour de France unfolded. Fignon went on to win the 1983 Tour de France that year in front of Angel Arroyo of Spain and Peter Winnen of Belgium.

The next year, 1984, he successfully defended his title in front of Bernard Hinault of France and Greg Lemond of the USA. Hinault had switched to a rival team after Fignon's victory in 1983.

Fignon also placed second in the 1984 Giro díItalia behind Francesco Moser of Italy. Fignon won the Mountains Jersey in the 1984 Giro d'Italia as well.

Fignon had some minor injuries for the next year or two.

Fignonís significant results resumed in 1987 when he placed third in the Vuelta a Espana behind Luis Herrera of Colombia and Raimund Dietzen of Germany.

In 1988, Fignon won the Milan-San Remo Classic then placed third in the Paris-Roubaix Classic behind Dirk Demol of Belgium and Thomas Wegmuller of Switzerland.

In 1989, Fignon won the Milan-San Remo Classic again then won the Giro díItalia in front of Flavio Giupponi of Italy and Andy Hampsten of the USA.

Fignon appeared destined for victory in the 1989 Tour de France, but was denied victory there by Greg Lemond who overcame a 50 second deficit in the last stage, a short 15 mile (25 km) time trial.

What could have been a pinnacle year of achievement was perhaps viewed as an utter disappointment.

The final stage in the Tour de France that year provided a turning point in the career of Fignon.

Fignon continued to ride, but never again did he achieve a significant result. He retired from the sport in 1993.

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