'One of the most charismatic and flamboyant cyclists in recent history' Daily Telegraph Laurent Fignon is one of the giants of modern cycling. Twice-winner of the Tour de France in the early eighties, Fignon became the star for a new generation. In 1989 he took part in one of the most fiercely-contested Tours of all time. Over the course of 3,285 kilometres he lost out to his American arch-rival, Greg LeMond, by an agonising eight seconds on the final Parisian time trial.
In this forthright and unflinching account the former champion spares neither friends nor opponents, nor even himself. In doing so he gives cycling fans a tantalising glimpse of what really went on behind the scenes of this epic sport - the friendships, the rivalries, the betrayals, the scheming, the parties, the girls, and, of course, the performance-enhancing drugs.
Laurent Fignon lived cycling at its peak. He enjoyed a truly exceptional career, winning over eighty titles from 1982 to 1993. The highs were matched by lows of serious injury, periods of self-doubt, and accusations of cheating.
Fignon's story bestrides a golden age in cycling: a time when the headlines spoke of heroes, not doping, and a time when cyclists were afraid of nothing.
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Astonishing. The twice winner of the Tour de France bares his soul, exploring the ups and downs of life as a champion, the world of competitive cycling, and his own failings - Libération
Sports book of the year: He's ruthlessly honest, about himself and about cycling, and he provides a gripping insight into an unrelenting hard world - Independent
This book is both a poignant farewell and as well as a rare glimpse of Fignon and his world in his own words - London Cyclist
Sports book of the year: magnificent, baffling, wonderful - Sunday Herald
Often touching and, above all, very funny - L'Equipe
The most poignant sports book of the year - Metro
Full of marvellous anecdotes about aching leg muscles, the drive to win, defeat and pride - the essence of competitive cycling - le Monde
William Fotheringham's translation is, like Fignon himself, elegant and vivid - Guardian
In this sympathetic portrait he comes across as clever, warm and witty man - Independent on Sunday
A revealing account of friendships, rivalries and doping scandals from one of the giants of modern cycling - Cycling Weekly
A fine account of a sparkling career in the saddle - Sunday Business Post
A fine account of a professional sport on the verge of fundamental change - Times Literary Supplement
A gripping insight into an unrelenting hard world - Independent
A stylish, whimsical and ultimately tragic jaunt through one of cycling’s golden ages - Outdoor Fitness
Laurent Fignon gives cycling fans a fascinating glimpse of what really went on behind the scenes of this epic sport - Cycle Sport
About the Author
Laurent Fignon was born in Paris in 1960. He won the Tour de France in 1983 and 1984 and the Giro d'Italia in 1989. In June 2009, Fignon revealed that he was being treated for advanced intestinal cancer and he died in August 2010.