Crushing la classica di Primavera

Number one of two.

Having lived through injuries, bouts of self-doubt & disagreements with Cyrille Guimard, Laurent Fignon looked forward to the start of the 1988 season... with his sights on Milan-San Remo.

"I was using 53X15, a colossal gear. I caught sight of Maurizio Fondriest, a mere youngster. I knew I could beat him. He had no chance. So on the descent I used a cunning old man's trick: I swung wide out on the bends, pretending to be a poor descender. The idea was to let him come past so that he would make the pace on the straights. He fell for it like an amateur. On the television, the commentators didn't have any idea what was going on: I was totally in charge and deliberately saving my strength and they said I was 'struggling'. Idiots."

Before the start, director sportif, Cyrille Guimard said to him, "Milan-San Remo, what use is that?"

And, French television refused to show any highlights stating, "There's no way a Frenchman can win."

I enjoyed how Laurent Fignon silenced his naysayers... another sterling moment!