TTman and Rastaman left me in the dust as I turned off of 2nd, but their cat-n-mouse spurred me to click into the big ring and down a few sprockets for my own TT across Smoketown and down Logan. At Broadway I saw a nice girl on a black Crosscheck with bit ol' fatties. "Like". From there I curled onto Washington and then the Beargrass Trail. It was such a good day I saw my friend ol' blue doing some fishing before I continued to push hard up the hillette. Into Cherokee I cut the hills and continued my pace until arriving at the Millvale hill. I knew the heart rate wouldn't let me push much more so I backed off and rode easily up and homeward and now I write about a great 9m of 2-wheel action. Everybody needs some.
On a very different note, today saw the passing of Laurent Fignon, Greg Lemond's nemesis in the famous '89 Tour de France. For us 'murknis, Fignon was the bad guy, the effete French ride in black with his wire rims who was set to conquer our rehabilitated rider-on-his-white-horse Lemond. To lose such a long race by 8sec (9?) was both thrilling and amazing. What was lost to 99% of the American viewing public was what a great rider Fignon was during the '80s:
2 Tours de France
1 Giro d'Italia
1 French Championship
2 Milan-San Remos
2 Criterium International
1 Tour of Holland
His palmares don't quite equal that of Lemond, but not by much. They won the same quantity of Grand Tours and about the same quantity of smaller French races, with Lemond winning his 1 Dauphine, a race of slightly high class than that of the C.I. Lemond is ahead in world road titles (2), but he could never quite lasso (get it? horse metaphor?) himself a classic, while Fignon won Milan-SanRemo twice. Fignon easily won more stages of random races, something Lemond never stooped to in his singular pursuit of the Tour. Ultimately it's quite strange to have a rider that I watched not terribly long ago- that of only 2 generations ago if one counts the Armstrong and before the Indurain generation- who is already dead. Merde!! He was 50; I'm 40, not that far off, eh?
This is how he should be remembered, defeating an in-his-prime Hinault in his preferred mountains. Honestly, I'm sure the pro cyclists today are faster, fitter and more refined, but the generation of Fignon, Lemond, Roche, Delgado and Herrera was the last romantic cycling generation. It's been all dope, all PR, all plastic all prefab since.
"Ah, those were the good old days!"