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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:33 am Reply with quote
Wisey
Joined: 19 May 2009
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
Just a short side-track while we are talking about the tactics of LeMond. Does Cadel Evans remind anyone else of GL in this respect? (No, CE hasn't won anywhere near as much as GL) Always waiting for his rivals to chase down the attacks, even when he is the leader.......
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:59 am Reply with quote
nicolas
Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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Location: Paris, France
I'm not sure, but, as the "GL expert" Laughing around here, I'd say that the main difference is that CE often waits for others to do the job while GL was maneuvering people to get them to do what he wanted them to. There is a strong image that comes to mind : in the Villard de Lans stage in the 1989 TDF, Fignon takes the lead and goes to win the stage, GL is left with Delgado & Theunisse to do the pursuit. At one point, GL stops chasing because he feels the other 2 are sucking the wheel...he stops right there in the middle of the road as Fignon is flying away...and Delgado takes the lead, as GL wanted. I'm not even sure why Delgado did it because at that point it was clear he was not going to win, but he did it anyway and GL KNEW he was going to do so...

Point being : in CE's case, it's a weakness, in GL's case, it's cleverness.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:42 am Reply with quote
sandranian
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Thanks so much for the review! Regarding the "sucker" term, that translates exactly into "bike lingo" in the US: He is calling LeMond a "Wheel Sucker".

I will have to go back and watch that Tour, because the only race that sticks in my mind right now is the 1989 World Championships. If any of you have not seen that race, it is HIGHLY recommended. One of the most exciting finishes ever to a race. The big names are all there at the end, and LeMond does a TON of work to win that race, even outsprints Sean Kelly, which was no small accomplishment -- specially after starting the sprint and essentially leading out Kelly (of course, Kelly had just done a lot of work to catch up on the descent, but still it is impressive). Fignon also displays a lot of panache, but in the end, he is not able to escape LeMond, who literally pulls him (and others ) back time and time again.

Nicolas...keep the information about that book coming! Hope it is (but it won't be) translated into English.

Nice bike....

http://www.amazon.fr/%C3%A9tions-jeunes-insouciants-Laurent-Fignon/dp/2246755816/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1245081165&sr=8-2

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:16 pm Reply with quote
Wisey
Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 631
Location: Brisbane, Australia
....I guess we all need to learn to speak/read French. Not a bad thing in and of itself anyway.

Nicolas, yes I agree with you. Greg successfully manipulated others to do his bidding. Cadel waits for them to volunteer. Funny that they don't, no? Wink
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 3:10 am Reply with quote
nicolas
Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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Location: Paris, France
sandranian wrote:


I will have to go back and watch that Tour, because the only race that sticks in my mind right now is the 1989 World Championships. If any of you have not seen that race, it is HIGHLY recommended. One of the most exciting finishes ever to a race. The big names are all there at the end, and LeMond does a TON of work to win that race, even outsprints Sean Kelly, which was no small accomplishment -- specially after starting the sprint and essentially leading out Kelly (of course, Kelly had just done a lot of work to catch up on the descent, but still it is impressive). Fignon also displays a lot of panache, but in the end, he is not able to escape LeMond, who literally pulls him (and others ) back time and time again.



I consider the last lap of that race as Greg LeMond's masterpiece. Catching up Fignon in the last climb and then leaving him behind...then going after every escape attempt...then winning the sprint. He was just unstoppable.

And THIS particular race is the great blank in Laurent Fignon's book ! He just does not mention it !

I finished the book yesterday, it's a great read but very frustrating at the same time.

Laurent Fignon is a complex character. He says many contradictory things along the course of the book...He claims he's had a good life but it's hardly perceived in this book. Most of the time he's bashing other people and blaming them for ruining his carreer.

I'll go into more details soon but for example :
-He says he was born to be a champion but not to be famous...and yet he works on TV.
-He says many riders were clean in his days and you could win without doping and yet...he explains he took drugs because everybody was doing it.

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Strategy not just performance 
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 11:38 am Reply with quote
verktyg
Joined: 14 Jan 2007
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Location: SF Bay Area
Professional bicycle racing is all about strategy not just physical performance. Why are there teams and not just individual riders? Rolling Eyes

Chas.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:10 am Reply with quote
nicolas
Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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Location: Paris, France
Ok...

The first chapters are quite charming. This is the first time that I read someone speaking in lenght about his love for bike riding. He describes the way he feels complete on a bike, how it seemed natural and easy. It appears he never really considered doing anything else.

Then his first races as an amateur among pros...in 1981 he stayed the whole race behind Hinault just to see what it felt like to ride behind the world champion...He & Pascal Jules were very close friends and they were approached by guimard at the same time. It was the same stage race where they had met Hinault. Guimard gave them the following advice before the final time trial :
"start fast, accelerate in the middle and finish full gas"
It's funny because I remember vividly Fignon being interviewed after a very bad first TT in the 1986 tour de france, saying : "I've always been told to start fast, accelerate in the middle and finish full gas but there I started slowly, I slowed down in the middle and stopped at the finish..."

Then Fignon describes some "traditions" of amateur cycling during the 80's, such as a group of older riders trying to control things and make sure everyone got the same share of money...at first he was ok with it but soon they tried to take advantage of him and he rebelled and made sure he was getting in the way of the ones that tried to screw him.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:28 pm Reply with quote
Wisey
Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 631
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Fignon: We were bribed to lose 87 Vuelta
By:Cycling NewsPublished: July 31, 18:32, Updated: July 31, 18:42
Laurent Fignon faces his toughest test yet... Beating pancreatic cancer

Having already upset some of his former racing peers with suggestions that dope-taking was rife when he was in his pomp in the 1980s, two-time Tour de France winner Laurent Fignon is at the centre of another storm. Once again, his recently released autobiography is the cause. In it, he alleges the team manager of 1987 Vuelta winner Luis "Lucho" Herrera bribed the Frenchman and his Renault team into not attacking the Colombian on the decisive final stage of that race.

In Laurent Fignon: Nous étions jeunes et insouciants (Laurent Fignon: We were young and unknowing), the Frenchman alleges that Renault team manager Cyrille Guimard told his riders: "The Colombians are offering us money not to attack." We didn't have any intention of attacking because they offered us 30,000 francs (approx. £3,500) per rider not to," Fignon writes.

Fignon says of the final day, when Herrera led Germany's Raimund Dietzen by just a minute: "There was a hell of a wind blowing and you could sense the fear of the Colombians. In fact, if we had wanted to we could have taken the initiative and blown them all apart without any problem."

Fignon, who finished third overall, insists his mind was more on making the flight home after the stage because he was bored and wanted to get back to France. "So we tried to speed things up. You should have seen Herrera's gestures when we were on the front. Filled with panic, he said we were playing a dirty trick. 'Why are you riding if we've paid you?' he shouted at me. I quickly told him that my intention was just to get out of Spain as fast as possible."

Not surprisingly, Herrera insists he doesn't remember the race in quite the same way. The Colombian, who alongside Federico Bahamontes is one of only two men to win the mountains title in all three major tours, tells Colombian magazine Cambio: "What he says in his book is total rubbish. We had a good team and we didn't need any outside help to win. In addition, there were three teams there with Colombian riders who could have helped me out. And if we did win with a bribe, were the Dauphiné Libéré titles I won in 1988 and 1991 also paid for?

"My victories came thanks to the efforts I made, my professionalism and the sacrifices I made for the sport. If we had gifted anything during those hard times in Europe or we had paid for something, then we would also have won the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia... If things were as Fignon says, why didn't he say so at the time?"

Herrera counters that Fignon's comments are simply a prolongation of the bad feeling the Frenchman has always had towards Colombian riders. "He always spoke badly about us and said that we were inferior to them... It was obvious he didn't like to see the Colombians winning," says Herrera. "We don't really understand, even beyond the sporting environment, why he simply didn't like us Colombians. In conclusion, our relationship was zero."

Having heard about Fignon's current treatment for cancer of the intestine, Herrera adds a conciliatory word: "It's very sad to hear what he says about his rivals, but sadder still is hearing about the delicate nature of his health at the moment. I wish him the best and hope that he recovers completely because I've been told he's ill at the moment."

The Frenchman devotes another chapter of his book to his appearance in the 1984 RCN Classic in Colombia. He admits taking cocaine there and insists its use was rife in the peloton and among those following the race. He confesses that the night before the final stage of the race he took so much of the drug he had no idea what he was doing and wandered off from the hotel the team was staying in. Guimard had to send team staff out to find him.

Fignon maintains he was so high on the drug that he couldn't sleep that night and kept roommate Greg LeMond up all night talking. The next day he won the race's final stage and then realised that he would have to undergo drug testing. "The Colombians had won a lot of stages up to that point and they'd clearly all been taking cocaine," he alleges. "I was a bit nervous when I went to the control but there were no surprises. It was as white as snow."

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:15 pm Reply with quote
Wisey
Joined: 19 May 2009
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
Two-time Tour winner still fighting against cancer

Laurent Fignon, who won the Tour de France in 1983 and 1984, continues to fight against cancer. Fignon was initially diagnosed with intestinal cancer in May 2009, and after a series of chemotherapies, his doctors now found out that the cancer originated in his lungs.

"Despite my treatments during the last seven months, my cancer has barely diminished," Fignon told French magazine Paris Match. "I will start a new chemotherapy next week."

Fignon spoke openly about his disease and was not afraid to tell things as they were. "I am not dead, but I am not healing, either. Today, I'm okay, but yesterday, I was really tired."

As many patients with advanced cancer, doctors are trying to find the right chemotherapy to work on the affected body parts. "The first chemo after the Tour de France [2009, which he attended as a consultant for French TV - ed.] didn't work very well. The second one reduced the tumors by 17 percent. This one was supposed to be the right one, but I didn't support it. They were forced to stop one of the products that composed the treatment, unfortunately the most efficient one. It seems they have not found the right remedy against the illness yet."

Fignon also discussed assertions that his cancer may be linked to the doping practices he admitted in his autobiographic book "Nous étions jeunes et insouciants" (We were young and carefree) published before he was diagnosed with the illness. "Nobody has an answer to that," he said. "There is nothing that proves that it is linked, but you cannot exclude it, either. In principle, it's not, because then all cyclists would have cancer! When I got ill, I spoke to the doctors about it, and it made them smile. Taking into account the doses, they think it is not linked. But is it an aggravating factor? Maybe."

A physically affected and fatigued Fignon was realistic about his situation. "I live from day to day. I hope the next treatment will work. Regardless of my good will and the strength of my battle, if they don't find the right medication, there will be a time where it will take me away. I don't want to die at 50 years old, but if it is incurable, what can I do about it? I love life, I love to laugh, travel, read, eat well like every Frenchman. I'm not afraid to die, I just don't want to!"

From: CyclingNews, Hedwig KrönerPublished: January 15, 16:10,

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:23 pm Reply with quote
nicolas
Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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Here is the original piece :

http://www.parismatch.com/Actu-Match/Sport/Actu/La-course-contre-la-mort-de-Laurent-Fignon-159688/

I bought the magazine. It's really moving. He's smiling like that on almost every picture, like : hi guys, I'm not dead yet ! Seems to be a kind of therapy...

Among the things we learn : apparently the cancer appeared in the lungs first before spreading. Guimard & Hinault are not calling him...but he does not seem bitter about that. At the same time, he gave them a hard time in his book !

If you want me to go on with a review of his book chapter by chapter, let me know, it's a lot of work but I don't think it'll be translated anytime soon, so...

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:55 pm Reply with quote
sandranian
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Thanks, Nicolas. Of course, we always appreciate the information, and if you are willing to do the work, who am I to say no???

Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:04 am Reply with quote
nicolas
Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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Location: Paris, France
Ok, so here is the follow up of the book review :
In the next chapter, Laurent Fignon talks about the early days in the Renault team with Pascal Jules.
Apparently, things were very well established in the team, very traditionnally centered around Hinault. With all due respect, Jules and Fignon liked to goof around and shake things up a little. They started making pranks and jokes which changed the mood in the team.
Fignon also noticed that some people were in the know regarding "preparation" and some others weren't. Younger riders were not allowed to enter some of the team's bedrooms in hotels.
But the more secrecy, the more curious the younglings grew.
At this point, Fignon says contradictory things, as usual when he touches a sensitive subject but he insists on the fact that Guimard never organized or asked for a doping program. He insists on the fact that doping, although well known and well spread, was a naive and isolated phenomenon.
Then Guimard states the absolute unbreakable rule of the Renault team: no girls allowed in rider's bedrooms, which Fignon interprets as : so there are girls !

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:49 am Reply with quote
sandranian
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Hilarious. Thanks Nicolas...these summaries are much appreciated!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:58 pm Reply with quote
Wisey
Joined: 19 May 2009
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Shocked girls?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:30 pm Reply with quote
nicolas
Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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Location: Paris, France
Just a reminder :

nicolas wrote:


It has the Pegaso sponsor on the ACTUAL jersey so, I guess it was somewhere in Spain. Enjoy !

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Sad News: Fignon is fighting Cancer 
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