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Vainueur du Tour de France à deux reprises Laurent Fignon entre à 22 ans dans la légende du cyclisme français et devient le héros de toute une génération Il incarne la jeunesse la fougue l’impertinence et rivalise avec des coureurs comme Bernard Hinault à ui il rend un vibrant hommage Entre 1982 et 1993 Laurent Fignon traverse l’âge d’or d’un sport épiue et connaît tout ce u’un champion hors normes peut espérer et redouter le dépassement de soi la gloire une blessure grave des périodes de doute la tentation du dopage et le terme d’une carrière exigeante En 1989 on le croit fini il renaît de ses cendres remporte le Tour d’Italie et termine le Tour de France à la deuxième place derrière l’Américain Greg LeMond mieux éuipé – huit secondes les séparent après 3 285 kilomètres de course Dans ce témoignage sans concessions l’ancien champion devenu commentateur sportif sur France Télévisions nous dévoile aussi pour la première fois dans ce milieu si fermé l’envers du décor les fêtes les filles la camaraderie les trahisons les combines et bien sûr le dopage Car Laurent Fignon a vécu le cyclisme à son apogée entre les archaïsmes d’antan et les ambiguïtés d’aujourd’hui une époue où les cyclistes n’avaient peur de rien

10 thoughts on “Nous étions jeunes et insouciants

  1. says:

    This an interesting read into Laurent Fignon cycling career The book covers the cycling life very well but rarely mentions anything of his family life I not sure if it me but he doesn't come across a like able person in his book He stop talking to his friend Alan because he goes to work for another teamHe always complaining about the press and seem to rarely give interviews what he expected jouranlists have to make a living by interviewing stars he was the one the biggest cyclist of the 80's so of course they need to print articles about him in the paper also his understanding of sport where he think the money he earned came from from sponsors who need the events covered in the media and for people to see there brand Business don't sponsor teams for no reason they need a return on there investmentHe complains about Lemond sticking to his wheel when Lemond was in the yellow jersey why would you attach if you’re in the yellow jersey why not let your opponent do all the workI wonder how truthful the section on the drug taking is he says he took it once and failed the test and again blaming this on his friend Alan because he wasn't there to motivate himBut I would recommend reading it if you like cycling books

  2. says:

    While cycling provides the source for the best sports writing French cyclists take it even further deviating from the simple linear narrative to something cerebal rather than just a this happened then this and after that there is a philosophical and historical depth as found in Bobet's Tomorrow We Ride Fignon's autobiography continues in that tradition He kickstarts the whole book with an honest and insightful retelling of perhaps his most infamous moment losing the 1989 Tour by 8 secs to Greg Lemond though as Fignon himself says I'm not the man who lost the Tour by 8 seconds I'm the one who won it twiceStanding as a testament to not only his career but his personality following his death I feel that Fignon does play intellectual games throughout For example he seems to hint that not everything should be taken as he has recorded it little clues hidden in seemingly throw away remarks appear to encourage the reading to engage actively in trying to sift out the contents An example despite many people knowing that his nickname was Le Profeseur Fignon states that he never had a nickname that stuck which seems a bit odd the feeling is that he can't help but intellectually tease throughout the bookDespite that there is plenty of insight into a complex individual who has entered the hallowed pantheon of cycling legends The personal make up and what exactly is reuired to win Grand Tours and Classic and be spoken of in the same breath as Hinault and Merckx are laid bare and the personal and physical sacrifices clearly illustrated and deconstructed placed in an intellectual framework that enhances rather than plays down the drama

  3. says:

    The autobiography of one of the men who for a period in the 1980s rescued French pro road cycling from the encroachments of Italians Belgians and almost Americans One of Fignon's most watched moments was his loss of the 1989 Tour de France to Californian Greg Lemond by a mere eight seconds and Fignon panders to the car crash watchers by beginning the book with this episode His dignified riposte to strangers who said You're that bloke that lost the Tour de France by eight seconds aren't you? was No monsieur I'm the bloke who won it twice putting his achievements back in the spotlight Fignon seemed an anachronism in the tough world of pro cycling for a while being degree educated to a point as he gave up his degree for cycling and nicknamed 'le professeur' for his trademark specs than anything else and compared to many of his peers from a fairly middle class background He had a rocky relationship with the press at times and with his fellow cyclists and managers not being a man who was backwards about coming forwards but he writes as honestly about his faults and failures as his achievements A great book I think but one for people who are into pro cycling really as it's difficult to get interested in the machinations behind some of the races and some of the teams and winners of Fignon's day He died of cancer last October so this is his only testament and it's a worthy oneI originally wrote 'Texan' getting Lemond mixed up with another famous cyclist for some reason

  4. says:

    First I should say that I deeply regret reading this in English because the translation seemed to be wonky and word for word a few times I don't know if the original version is to be blamed or did the translator just didn't try to write this out to be a good read Second I'm part of the generation of 25 30 year old French people who mainly know Fignon from his cycling commentary work for France Télévision and archive footage of his wins While he never seemed like the happiest of chaps this autobiography certainly destroyed any positive image I had of him By the end I was made to think that he was nothing than a bitter man My main issue with this book is that it often focuses on throwing people under the bus before having a sentence or two saying but I knew it was my fault I could only take so many people being badmouthed when it was clear that Fignon's personality was largely at fault also as he just seemed to have a gift for antagonising others Perhaps some other aspects of his life should have been highlighted such as how his familynon cycling people contributed to his personality his life His first wife is mentioned in four sentences his oldest child is mentioned once his parents aren't mentioned at all after the first few chapters As someone who also chose not to have a standard 9 5 job and who has had family and friends step in to keep myself sane I find it strange not to mention anyone who isn't a cyclist It's a very restrictive view of the world so either there is a huge chunk that's missing from this book or Fignon led a horribly sad life The other issue I had trouble with was how Fignon seems to contradict himself a lot when talking about drugs There is one passage I found hilarious To understand that different times in cycling cannot really be compared you have to be aware that never in my entire career did anyone talk to me or anyone near me about ‘doping’ Occasionally someone would ask ‘Have you taken something?’ But that was it And most of the time it was not viewed as cheating which must seem completely incrediblePossibly he didn't mean to make it sound like he was saying that it wasn't doping because it wasn't called that but that certainly sounds like itThe one aspect that was good was the description of the behind the scenes directeurs sportifs drama So just for that it might be a good read

  5. says:

    This is a fine insight to professional cycling and the mindset of a cerebral and outstanding athlete Fignon was known as 'le Profesor' during his cycling career and was a big name in an era festooned with big names eg Hinault Jalabert and LemondFignon was known for his forthright views and was never scared to make them known on or off the bike his confrontational nature was admired by the cycling tifosi if not by the administratorsThis is no holds barred autobiography that will be enjoyed by all who have an interest in this elegant savage but ultimately beautiful sport Laurent Fignon left this world too soon but his memory will be with us forever

  6. says:

    This book is so good I'm clearly not feeling in a 5 star mood at the moment But yes it basically lives up to the promise of its title throughout reflective and often poetic in a uniue yet understated way reflections on a past era of cycling One of the most successful aspects in the vein of Carson Mccullers or Tove Jansson is how the poetry appears naturally it stands apart from the factual recollections but seems right and appropriate; it adds an extra perspective one of the inner life of a human expanding the context from events to a broader realm of experience

  7. says:

    I read the English translation by William Fotheringham; not the French originalFignon was surely the last great French champion He won Tour de France in 1983 and 1984 though Hinault six years older than Fignon so belonging to the previous generation was the last French winner of the Tour in 1985 A real champion he won his first ever race at sixteen and the Tour de France at his first presence in the race as the great champions as Merckx Anuetil Hinault or CoppiHaving a strong personality Fignon was somehow different from what you could find in the bunch He was by then an example of fight and improvement even of the romantic force of cycling But he was too part of a fiction In this book Fignon recongnizes having taken amphetamines and he concedes that performance enhanced drugs was regular for most of the riders in the bunchAn obsesed worker he claims that back in the 80's doping could not turn an ordinary rider into a champion However he believes that in the 90's the stage changed and just that was possible He suggests his former domestiue Bjarne Riis as an example for this Fignon explains another difference between the 80's and the 90's the interests to make a good final classification which brought conservatism and prudence over the desire to win at all costs He think several times about those ways to runWith all this and longing for past times he had no choice but to retire Fignon was one of the lasts examples of the previous era in cycling and his withdrawal from pros left prevailing the golden age of EPOAs usual he tends to blame on others than on himself But there is some scent of sincerity even a bit of courage for recongnizing having taken amphetamines himself and stating cycling is full of doping not saying any names directly This is not freuent in a world of omertá like cycling isBesides I find very interesting his relationship with Cirylle Guimard and with Alain Gallopin In fact I wish he had gone deeper into the latter There is no much of Fignon's private life in this book but his professional lifePS yes Fignon lost 1989 Tour de France by eight seconds and he is famous for that but he was much than this story

  8. says:

    An unvarnished yet fascinating story of a uniue iconic bicycle great and one of the unusual autobiographies I've read With better editorial support a broader perspective less repetition better vocabulary and tighter editing this book could have been a classic but it was a uick fun entertaining read nonetheless What struck me most about the book however was that 1 a reader could conclude that Fignon was such a physical specimen a legitimate freak of nature that his success winning the Tour de France twice winning the Giro winning multiple classics owed little to hard work discipline determination professionalism and dedication to craft; 2 although Fignon was almost exactly my age and recently died of cancer and was dying of cancer while finishing the book he makes no mention of his cancer or his pending demise; indeed nothing in the book suggests his pending premature demise; 3 although Fignon appears to have strong feelings on the use of drugs in cycling it is impossible to understand what lines he draws he discusses drugs throughout but seems utterly inconsistent and freuently incoherent in discussing them; and 4 although Fignon discusses getting married the birth of a son and the demise of his first marriage he never mentions the birth of his daughter nor does he name or in any way indicate any relationship whatsoever with either of his children Ultimately a flawed but interesting autobiography of a uniue guy in an exciting time and place

  9. says:

    Laurent Fignon and Bernard Hinault were my cycling heroes in the 1980s I did some local racing and followed the professional racing scene closely I subscribed to Velo News and Winning magazine I haunted the foreign magazine shelves at Out Of Town News and the News Corner in Harvard Suare for L'Euipe Mirroir du Cyclisme and Sport80 occasionally getting lucky to find something in Paris Match the French version of People Magazine With all that Laurent Fignon disclosed as much in his autobiography as he did in the peak years of his cycling career ie very little about his personal life An appropriate alternate title for this book could have been Cycling Is My Life without exaggeration Some chapters read like a monologue as if in some way Fignon felt compelled to write this book to corroborate define and cement firmly the reputation to posterity he had long established with the public the cycling community and the media He was driven but most champions are Temperamental intensely personal difficult to get along with outspoken honest almost to a fault Fignon spares himself the least in evaluating the decisions he made during his career and afterwards but makes few excuses for his failures I would have been interested to read about his training direct experience during races However I feel this book is of a character portrayal than any kind of grassroots autobiography Fignon was true to himself to the end I was very sad to hear of his tragic illness and death

  10. says:

    Aren't you the guy who lost the Tour by 8 seconds? he answered No I'm the guy who won it twiceLAURENT FIGNON WE WERE YOUNG AND CAREFREE was first published in French in 2009 Laurent was born in 1960 and passed away from cancer in August 2010 About the time of his death the book was translated into English by William Fotheringham Because it was written for a French audience there is not much explanation of cycling rules and tactics or the geography of France like one would find in cycling books written specifically for American audiences The book is honest and blunt During the 1989 Tour De France Laurent was given Prix Citron by journalist as least likable rider In the book his unlikable attitude comes across However he understands that is the way he is viewed by many people and often defends his actions The book is very centered on Fignon’s world of cycling Only cyclist that relate directly to his story are mentioned The first chapter is very critical of Greg LeMond but then there is not mention of LeMond in the rest of the book He barely mentions his family wives or children I read the book uickly and I enjoyed it I recommend it especially for those with interest European bike racing in the 1980s