Icons Notebook 001: Laurent Fignon
This one is personal. Growing up in Ireland in the 80's, we were not Laurent Fignon's biggest fans. Too uncompromising, slightly austere, stubborn... his main crime was not being one our our heroes Stephen Roche or Sean Kelly.
As time passed though and our world-view widened, our view changed. We came to appreciate what a phenomenal rider he was, capable of dominating the Tour or winning Milan - San Remo twice. That stubborn streak was in fact a ferocious will to win, the uncompromising nature an honesty and directness that eventually won more friends than enemies.
Always ready to take on his opponents head on, our favourite quote came when confronted by someone rather cruelly asking him about his most infamous defeat, losing by 8 seconds to Greg Lemond in the 1989 Tour de France.
"Hey, aren't you the guy who lost the Tour by eight seconds?"
"Non, monsieur. I'm the guy who won it twice."
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