Cycling books

Win a copy of the book, "Lance," by John Wilcockson

- Contest has ended.  Congrats to Frank Gomez for correctly answering "Dauphine Libere" in response to today's question.  Congrats to Mike Costello, in yesterday's contest, for being first to name two French riders (Geoffroy Lequatre (RadioShack) and Cedric Vasseur (USPS)) who have been teammates of Lance Armstrong.

In collaboration with the publisher, this weekend we are giving away copies of John Wilcockson's 2009 book, "Lance".  First person* to send me the name of the French race that Armstrong has favored in the past as preparation for the Tour de France wins a copy of the book.  (370+ pages + photo pages)  *Note: Book will be mailed directly from the publisher to a North America address only.  -Pete  - Please send your answers to the editor here.

Win a copy of the book, "Lance," by John Wilcockson

This contest has ended.  Will give away a couple more copies tomorrow (Saturday).  Thanks to everyone who sent in responses.  -Pete

In collaboration with the publisher, this weekend we are giving away copies of John Wilcockson's 2009 book, "Lance".  First person* to send me the names of TWO French riders who have at one time been teammates of Lance Armstrong wins a copy of the book.  (370+ pages + photo pages)  (hint: there is a French rider on Team RadioShack)  *Note: Book will be mailed directly from the publisher to a North America address only.  -Pete  - Please send your answers to the editor here.

Laurent Fignon, 20 years after great '89 TDF battle, battles for his life

Fignon appeared on French television Sunday - links below

20 years ago, Frenchman Laurent Fignon won the 1989 Giro d'Italia.  He also won Milan-San Remo that year and became the number one ranked cyclist in the world.  But as Fignon himself is quick to acknowledge, and despite winning the Tour in 1983 and 1984, he is most remembered for losing the 1989 Tour de France to American Greg LeMond by just 8 seconds.

What a great Tour that was!  LeMond took the yellow jersey after the Stage 5 individual time trial.  Fignon then took the jersey from LeMond after the Stage 10 climb to Superbagnères.  LeMond got the jersey back after the Stage 15 mountain time trial.....only to lose it again to Fignon at Alpe d'Huez!  The final stage of the race was a largely downhill 25km time trial from Versailles to Paris.  Fignon's 50 seconds lead over LeMond was widely considered a large enough margin to ensure a third Tour victory for the Frenchman.  But LeMond, using triathlon handlebars and an aerodynamic helmet, posted a time that was 58 seconds faster than Fignon, resulting in an 8-second dramatic victory after 3 weeks of racing.

Laurent Fignon, 48, announced last week that he has late-stage cancer of the digestive tract.  Some reports in France have said there is "little hope" of Fignon beating this, reports that Fignon found upsetting particularly because his family saw them.  Fignon appeared on French television yesterday to talk about his illness, about doping (he has admitted to using amphetamines and cortisone during his career, "like everyone else" he says), and his new book "Laurent Fignon: Nous étions jeunes et insouciants" ("We were young and carefree") which will be published on Wednesday.  The book (cover pictured above) was completed before Fignon was diagnosed with cancer, so contains no mention of his illness.

Today, the French professional cyclists union (UNCP) expressed its support, encouragement and best wishes to Laurent as he battles his illness.   cyclingfans.com would also like to wish Laurent the best in this difficult time.

On a personal note, I became hooked on this sport when just 10 days after moving to France in July, 1989, I turned on French TV on a Sunday with nothing better to do and watched the final minutes of the '89 race unfold as first LeMond, then Fignon, rode onto the Champs-Elysees.  My introduction to this sport, literally, was what I witnessed live on TV that afternoon.  It was a great victory by LeMond...but Fignon helped to make it great.  Since, I've followed Fignon's career as a race organizer and TV broadcaster.  When I read former ASO cycling director and French cycling federation president Daniel Baal's description, in one of his books, of ASO's negotiations to acquire Paris-Nice from Fignon a few years ago -- Fignon stormed out of a meeting with ASO officials in a cafe near the Gare du Nord train station in Paris, temporarily breaking off negotiations -- I could only smile.  As Greg LeMond and ASO both found, you don't take anything from Laurent Fignon easily.  Let's hope that Fignon's cancer discovers that as well, gets defeated, and that Laurent Fignon is around for many years to come.  -Pete Geyer, Editor


Laurent Fignon on French TV (France 2) Sunday


Laurent Fignon on French TV (TF1)
 

Tour de Cycling - Friday

- Breaking news:  Astana team manager Johan Bruyneel says that the sponsor financial problems have not been solved and that the team will continue to protest with sponsor names faded on jerseys.  More here.

- Tour de Luxembourg:  As in years past, there is a daily highlights program scheduled on TV at 19:50 CET (1:50pm U.S. Eastern).  So a video feed may be playing here.  Note that this feed quickly becomes overwhelmed. More links below.

- More Tour de Cycling - Friday to come...

- Tour de Luxembourg Stage 2 is underway.  Links below, including live ticker.  No live video for this race.

- Lance Armstrong and Anna Hansen are the proud parents of a baby boy, Max.  More here.

- Today's French sports daily L'Equipe is reporting that the Astana team has pre-selected Andreas Kloden for the Tour de France.  An investigation into doping practices on the T-Mobile team in 2006 has not implicated Kloden according to Astana team spokeman Philippe Maertens.

 

New book:  Graham Watson's Tour de France Travel Guide

 - Graham Watson's Tour de France Travel Guide: The Complete Insider's Guide to the Tour! is now available for purchase.  Watson has followed and photographed the Tour for 31 years.  In this book, he shares his tips on where to eat and sleep and where to watch and photograph the race yourself.  The book is richly illustrated with Watson's photographs, maps and more.


Graham Watson's Tour de France Travel Guide

- Tour de Luxembourg Stage 2 departs Schifflange at 12:30 CET (6:30am U.S. Eastern) and is expected in Differdange between 16:40 and 17:31 CET (10:40am and 11:31am U.S. Eastern).

Tour of Luxembourg Official Website
Start List
Live ticker

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