Milan San Remo: Laurent Fignon-'Importance A Second Time.'

The analytical Professor.

Laurent Fignon won the 1988 Milan-San Remo by some 20 meters from Maurizio Fondriest and in 1989 wanted to repeat at La Classica di Primavera... alone.

"I knew I had to avoid making the same move as in 1988. This time, no one was going to let me go anywhere on the Poggio. So I picked out another place to have a go, between the Cipressa and the Poggio. There, and nowhere else. The race panned out exactly as I needed it to. My legs didn't hurt; the pedals turned fluidly. I felt astonishingly calm. And when the Dutchman Frans Maassen, who had just won the Tour of Belgium, pulled out a 100-meter lead on the bunch, I didn't waste a second wondering whether I should go for it. It was done before I'd even thought about it. No one came up to us, and with more than 40 seconds lead on the bunch at the foot of the Poggio, I pushed up the pace on the hardest part of the climb. Maassen folded. 

This time round, I was the only rider in the finish picture. It's hard to describe, but winning a Classic of this importance a second time was such a rare feat. I had to have total belief in the strength of my race knowledge and in my ability to focus completely on a single day."

The Professor's Monumental double.


Johnny Guzman said…
Fignon was a great athlete and a gifted cyclist. However, off the bike he was a controversial figure, as the book "Slaying the Badger" brings out. I sort of liken him to Alberto Contador, unbeatable for a while then with a losing streak for a few years and now slowing regaining his prowess in the latter part of his career. My 10 cents.
Richard said…
Definitely controversial and ornery ... I like that