Laurent Fignon

French cyclist Laurent Fignon was born in Paris on August 12, 1960, and passed away there on August 31, 2010. He started riding professionally in 1982 with the Cyrille Guimard-led Renault-Elf-Gitane squad. He won the Tour de France for the first time at age 22 the following year, and he did it again in 1984. During the Étoile de Bessèges in 1985, Fignon had an Achilles tendon injury that required surgery, thereby destroying his chances of winning the Tour for a third year in a row. The primary sponsor of his squad also made the decision to stop their eight-year association. With Système U, a French cooperative supermarket chain, as their new sponsor, Fignon and Guimard established their team, France Compétition, as well as the business Maxi-Sports Promotion.

Fignon is the only Frenchman to have won the Giro d’Italia as of 2022; he did so in 1989. However, his most well-known and disastrous Tour performance was perhaps his second-place result in 1989, where he came in second to Greg LeMond by the slimmest of margins (eight seconds) in Tour history. Fignon formed the Laurent Fignon Organization, which planned cycling and other sporting events for businesses, after quitting racing in 1993. From 2006 to 2010, he co-commented on French television’s coverage of the Tour de France.

Throughout his career, Fignon and teammate cyclist Bernard Hinault had a tense relationship. In a 1985 interview, Fignon stated that he rode to make enough money to never need to work again. He had a very somber outlook on his career as a professional cyclist. Also, he was well known for detesting women’s cycling. Fignon tested positive for doping twice throughout his career. In 1987, he was banned from the Grand Prix de Wallonie after testing positive for amphetamines, and in 1989, he was prohibited for three months following a team time trial in Eindhoven after testing positive for doping.

Fignon’s Greatest Achievements:

1983Winner of the Tour de France
1984Winner of the Tour de France
1984French National Road Race Champion
1989Winner of the Giro d’Italia
1989Winner of two stages and overall at the Niederlande-Rundfahrt
1989Winner of Milan-San Remo
1992Winner of a stage at the Tour de France

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