Everyone has a favorite. Favorite color (purple), favorite food (Mexican), favorite band (hmm, Van Halen? Judas Priest? REM? Prince? - that's a tough one). Favorite cyclist - Laurent Fignon.... I was saddened over the weekend to read that he had passed away from cancer recently. I'm even more disappointed (don't know why) that I didn't learn about it when it happened on August 31st. I think I've been so wrapped up in my "cycling/ racing situation" that I had turned away from the sites I usually keep on top of like PEZ cycling news , Velonews etc, and simply missed the sad news. So yesterday I rode the road in honor of "Le Professeur" He has been my idol since I discovered the beautiful world of bike racing back in the mid 80s. So thank you Laurent (or more appropriately "Merci") for the years of inspiration you have provided, both in eyeglass wear, the often tried but never successful plan of having my own ponytail, and the years and miles of road riding I did pretending to be you gracefully riding down many a road as Eurotrash cool as I could be. I had the opportunity to see Laurent when the Gatorade team came to Chicago for a International Criterium race a number of years ago. I had visions and aspirations of getting his autograph,or better yet a picture with my idol, but all I could muster was a number of pics of him racing and photos of him all but ignoring me when I cornered him (so to speak) in the Gatorade press tent prior to the race. Not one opportunity for a pic making any sort of eye contact even as I was pleading with my eurotrash wannabe broken french phrases... The memorable moment came when a french security guard finally looked at me and uttered in broken English "Do not bother him". My L.P.M. and I use that phrase to this day LOL
Parisan - yes, beloved still? absolutely.
The most interesting trivia is I actually tried to name our first son Laurent, but "she" ;) didn't go for it. Something about kids making fun of him when he was growing up because of his name or some other nonsense.
At any rate he will be missed.
"Remembering Laurent" in PEZ cycling news
To the man who gave definition to the the phrase "8 seconds" and has and always will inspire me to ride.
Allez Laurent, I rode for you yesterday....