Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Le Professeur - La Corsa Rosa

Pink for the Professeur.




Twenty-five years ago, the great Laurent Fignon was the last Frenchman to win the Giro d'ltalia. 



Breukink and Fignon chasing Herrera on the 
Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
via Tour 89



From Laurent Fignon's superb, 'We Were Young And Carefree'...

"During the thirteenth stage, to the legendary finish at Tre Cime di Lavaredo, under a coal-black sky and intermittent showers that washed inky mud out of the gutters and beneath our wheels, I had a repeat of the Alp d'Huez episode of 1984, with the same two protagonists: Lucho Herrera and me. It will stick in my mind for ever. Twenty kilometers from the summit of the mountain the Colombian put in one of the sudden attacks that only he knew how to do, and Guimard, more careful and less confident than ever, could only come up with one answer which he yelled through the car window: 'Stay put!' Whether or not he was being overcautious, I felt five years younger. And the outcome was identical of course. I never saw Herrera again. I was second at the top, a minute behind the little climber, and moved up to second overall. That evening, the American Andy Hampsten, who was to finish third overall, came up with this warning: "The winner of the Giro won't necessarily be the strongest rider, but the most intelligent.'


A Footnote: Laurent Fignon's strong second place finish moved him closer (53") to Eric Breukink and set the battle for the following mountainous Queen stage with five major passes. Breukink loss the maglia rosa and the Professeur captured the lead and took over the maglia rosa all the way to the end. After several years of poor form, Laurent Fignon returned to winning form with his Grand Tour comeback victory.

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