Thursday, March 14, 2013

We Were Young And Carefree by: Laurent Fignon

Click on the photo to enlarge it.
We Were Young And Carefree, by: Laurent Fignon
287 pages
First published by Editions Grasset & Fasquelle, Paris in 2009

English translation by: William Fotheringham, 2010

First published in Great Britian by:
Yellow Jersey Press in 2010
Random House
20 Yauxhall Bridge Road
London, SWIV 2SA

The book "We were young and carefree" is the autobiography of Laurent Fignon. He was a French professional cyclist, who won the Tour de France twice in consecutive years. Unfortunately he is remembered by many for his second place finish in the 1989 Tour. He lost the race in the last stage time trial to Greg Lemond. The eight seconds time difference between the two was the closest margin ever.

In the book, "We were young and carefree", Fignon discusses the 1989 Tour de France in the first chapter. He gets this part of his life out of the way from the very beginning of the book. He also discusses the aftermath of his heart breaking defeat in the 1989 edition of the Tour. People would often say when they saw him "you're the guy that lost the Tour de France by eight seconds." Too which Fignon would reply "No monsieur, I am the guy that won it twice."

Fignon tells his story from his childhood into adulthood. He goes in depth about his years as a racing cyclist. It is interesting to hear his take on racing, sponsors, teams and fans. 

One innovation of Laurent Fignon's took place while looking for a sponsor for his team. In the past teams were owned and directed by the sponsors. Fignon came up with the idea of a marketing company owning the team and selling advertising to the sponsor. The team would be operated by the marketing company, and whatever funds were left over would be the company's profit. This is exactly what he did with great success when he formed the System U team.  

This is a very enjoyable book for any cyclist to read. It will be most interesting to readers that were followers of bicycle racing in Europe during Laurent Fignon's era. 

Shortly after delivering his manuscript to the publisher, in 2009, Laurent Fignon was diagnosed with intestinal cancer. He died of the disease on August 31, 2010 at the young age of 50 in Paris, France.

Click here to learn more about Laurent Fignon.

No comments:

Post a Comment