RIP Laurent Fignon

The Professor lost his battle to cancer earlier today at age 50.

EXCLUSIVE- French Cycling champion Laurent Fignon declaring 'having a cancer and no fear to die in a JDD interview' at home in Saint Maurice on June 12, 2009. Photo by Othoniel/JDD/ABACAPRESS.COM Photo via Newscom

Laurent Fignon won the Tour de France in 1983 and 1984, and narrowly missed winning it a third time in 1989, losing to Greg LeMond by only eight seconds, the narrowest margin ever.

After his retirement, Fignon managed Paris-Nice until ASO took over management of that race. He also organized several other European races.

He was diagnosed with metastastic cancer that originated from his lungs in 2009.

Jul 19, 2010 - Bagneres-de-Luchon, France - LAURENT FIGNON, left, and BERNARD HINAULT, right on the podium after stage 15 of the race.

His eyeglasses worn while racing earned Fignon his nickname, “The Professor.”

France's Laurent Fignon adjusts his jersey shortly before the start of the 6th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Evreux and Amiens, July 9, 1993. Fignon has died, aged 50, according to French media. Picture taken July 9, 1993.  REUTERS/Robert Pratta/Files (FRANCE - Tags: SPORT CYCLING OBITUARY)

This video shows the stage in the 1989 when Laurent Fignon last took the Yellow Jersey.


  1. I was a big fan of Laurent Fignon starting in the mid 80's. I loved the whole 'professor' image, not to mention his style on the bike and his determination in races. So sad to hear of his passing today… I will definitely always remember him as one of my first cycling heros.

  2. …un homme elegant…un vrai champion…

    …only 50 years old…

    …just seeing the title of his book, “We Were Young and Carefree” brought tears to my eyes when i heard the news…

  3. I spotted Laurent Fignon in the peloton when watching the TdF in Brittany. He looked so cool, hanging around for the start of the day’s ride. I will be ordering his book for autumnal reading.

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