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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:07 pm Reply with quote
Wisey
Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 631
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Surely, you must be mistaken....... Shocked
Ahh, Laurent. He was such a nice boy Rolling Eyes .

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:38 pm Reply with quote
nicolas
Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 543
Location: Paris, France
Chapter 8 : the 1st few races. First, fignon talks about the training camp and how hinault appeared fat as if he had not been riding for a whole year. Apparently he was grumpy and asked the younger riders to slow the pace. Of course they tried and made fun of him but as a response he won the opening race of the season. Pure hinault.
One of the first races of the 1982 season was the tour méditerranéen. At the start of the first stage, a strong wind started to blow. Having won a lot of races on windy conditions when an amateur, Fignon was confident about his chances... But... Only 10km into the race, the ti-Raleigh team reminded everyone that they had, infact, as mr fignon puts it, invented windy conditions on a bike and started going at it. Needless to say, the Renault rookie ended up with 20minutes deficit.
A bit frustrated, fignon decided to aim at the climber' s jersey, which he won.
During the last ITT, he was to go just before zoetemelk and had anticipated for the dutch to catch him, which he did. But fignon played a little bit, following mr z at a short distance only to cross him in the last climb. Zoetemelk did not appreciate that but as a result ended 2nd and fignon 6th.
Then Laurent fignon wins 2 minor races consecutively. Apparently, he was up front, attacking all the time, getting on some people's nerves.
So, during the following race, one of the "captains" of the peloton, Raymond Martin , mocked him when he missed the decisive move. To which fignon decided to go... He caught the 4 riders at the front, including team mates madiot and berard. He thought berard should win because the race finished in his hometown of Nice . But Guimard specfically asked berard and madiot to work for a reluctant fignon. He eventually won the sprint and later asked Guimard why he had been chosen. Guimard simply said that he didn' t want to break a winning. I personnally suspect that he wanted to test fignon's leadership and how he held pressure...

Excuse me for the approximate spelling and all, I 'm writing this from my i-phone in the subway...

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:54 pm Reply with quote
sandranian
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Good stuff. Merci and keep it coming.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:59 pm Reply with quote
nicolas
Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 543
Location: Paris, France
Finishing chapter 8 :
fignon talks briefly about his first Giro , not even referring to his first pink jersey. He finishes the race at 15th place but he is confident he could have made it into the top 5 if he had not been working for hinault. One evening with friends, he jokes : "hinault is lucky I ' m on his team, i' d' attack him all the time."

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:09 pm Reply with quote
nicolas
Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 543
Location: Paris, France
Ok...here's one for the boys in the booze.
Chapter 9 : the hangover !
Fignon describes the 1982 Tour d'armor, which took place in and around Bretagne, birthplace of Hinault.
Hinault wanted to win for his public. The 1st stage finishing close to his house, he invited the team & crew to stick around in the hotel and wait for him to come back with some wine.
He brought an awful lot of these but the crew had since left the building so only a handful of riders (including Fignon) had stayed.
They drank a lot, turned the place down, preventing riders from other teams from sleeping and dozed off at about 5 AM. The next day, the rest of the peloton swore to get their revenge and Guimard, embarassed and probably furious about the guy's behaviour, did not offer to help.
But the Renault team kept the peloton together nonetheless and Hinault won that tour. Fignon concludes : "who'd be able to do that nowadays ? we, at least, had the body to support our spirits"...yeah...well...he then tries to explain his view of doping a little bit, stating that, doped or not, in the early 80's, a great champion in top shape could not be beaten and , doped or not, an average rider could never have beaten a great one.

This is how he explains the fact that at the time, doping was not a big issue among riders & the cycling circus : because it could not overthrow the given hierarchy.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:02 am Reply with quote
nicolas
Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 543
Location: Paris, France
Chapter 10 is about a conflict between fignon and 1981 champion de France Serge beucherie. It happened when racing "critériums". If you're not familiar with it, these small races are in fact exhibitions: it is all about the show. Riders are paid to show up on time, their salary depending on their popularity. Then the victory is negociated and scripted between the most popular riders. So it's also a question of prestige and fignon went against the rule when he thought he wasn' t given enough credit as a recent criterium internatonal winner (hinault had helped fignon win the latter in return for his help in the tour d'armor).
So instead of a fake race, fignon made it a real competition and was granted with a "don't mess with me" reputation.

On a personnal note, he refers to the 1982 criterium at garancieres and guess what ? I was there !

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:30 pm Reply with quote
Wisey
Joined: 19 May 2009
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You need to get Fignon to sign that particular page of your book!

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:01 pm Reply with quote
nicolas
Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 543
Location: Paris, France
You know what ?

When he gave that last interview we talked about, they took a few pictures of him and his wife in the Bois de Vincennes which is just east of Paris. In fact it's 10 minutes from where I live and precisely were I ride my bike every sunday... I mean I'd be happy to help him pick up his groceries or something...

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:10 pm Reply with quote
nicolas
Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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Location: Paris, France
Maybe he'd sign my fake Gitane ?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:14 pm Reply with quote
nicolas
Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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Location: Paris, France
Chapter 11 :

"hey old man, maybe if you trained harder, it wouldn't be so hard for you to keep up ?"
This appears to be what a young Fignon spontaneously said to Hinault. Hinault had just complained about how the team had nearly dropped him in a TTT in Italy in march 1983. And now he was questioned at team's dinner table by one of his lieutenants.
Apparently this episode marks the end of an era in the Renault team. The point of no return.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:16 pm Reply with quote
sandranian
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Holy crap. Fignon had some BALLS to say that to Hinault. I would figure that Hinault would drop him (i.e. hit him).

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:49 pm Reply with quote
nicolas
Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 543
Location: Paris, France
I'll take a 2 weeks break from that book...I have to read what my students delivered in order to evaluate them...

I'll be back !

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:32 am Reply with quote
nicolas
Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 543
Location: Paris, France
Hi everyone,

Just read in the last issue of "Rouleur" magazine that Fignon's book will be translated in english. Expect a release later this year.

I'm stopping my spoilers...

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:23 am Reply with quote
scozim
Joined: 26 Sep 2008
Posts: 620
Location: Ellensburg, WA
That's great news. It's on my list to get now.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:31 pm Reply with quote
Kinst VonSterga
Joined: 26 May 2008
Posts: 153
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon USA
Half way through L.F's book and I absolutely love the 1st person memories of his racing exploits of the 1980s!

nicolas wrote:
Chapter 11 :

"hey old man, maybe if you trained harder, it wouldn't be so hard for you to keep up ?"
This appears to be what a young Fignon spontaneously said to Hinault. Hinault had just complained about how the team had nearly dropped him in a TTT in Italy in march 1983. And now he was questioned at team's dinner table by one of his lieutenants.
Apparently this episode marks the end of an era in the Renault team. The point of no return.
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Sad News: Fignon is fighting Cancer 
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