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  1. #1
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    1989 Tour de France question

    I don't know where else to ask this question: why did the 1989 TDF end with an individual time trial into Paris? Was it originally scheduled that way or is there some rule that applied that year given that Fignon's lead was under a minute? I've always wondered about this because it was never explained to my knowledge. If it was simply scheduled that way than it was a very fortunate thing for LeMond. LeMond probably had no chance of making up 51 seconds if it was a normal stage race. I also notice that the TDF has not ended on an individual time trial since.

  2. #2
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    It was scheduled that way. IIRC the TT started at Versailles and ended on the Champs Elysees to commemorate the bicentennial of the Revolution.

    Luck for Lemond was not that it was a TT, rather that his opponent couldn't sit still fot the ride due to a saddle sore!

    If it were not for that I think it might have been even closer and possibly not in his favour.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. I always figured it was scheduled that way. I didn't know about the saddle sore either.

  4. #4
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    Luckily for Lemond he rode the fastest TT in the history of the tour to that point. Fignon was an arrogant prick who was sure he had won the tour before the TT and congratulated Lemond the night before on coming in second. Blame it on a saddlesore if you want, but it was a good old-fashioned ass kicking!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevesbike
    Luckily for Lemond he rode the fastest TT in the history of the tour to that point. Fignon was an arrogant prick who was sure he had won the tour before the TT and congratulated Lemond the night before on coming in second. Blame it on a saddlesore if you want, but it was a good old-fashioned ass kicking!
    I'm a Lemond fan but I have never heard that Fignon had congratulated Lemond on his second place the night before. As for "arrogant prick" comments, that's a bit harsh. He was not popular with the press as he would not tolerate dumb questions. But he was also the Giro winner that year as well as a back to back double tour winner.

  6. #6
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    Not just the saddle sore... if he had gotten a haircut or worn a helmet, Fignon would have won the Tour
    Or put his hair in a ponytail even maybe
    -estone2

  7. #7
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    Or maybe used aero bars too. Just those would have turned the whole thing around. Fignon basically did everything wrong on that TT. He, and everyone else in the world, thought he had it won. But he still says he is much more known for losing in 89 than for winning twice.

    Now if you want to talk about rigged races due to changed stages and other sneaky stuff, Moser's win in the Giro vs Fignon was a complete joke. Cancelled mtn stages for snow when the roads were clear and helicopter tailwind assisted TT's.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by estone2
    Or put his hair in a ponytail even maybe
    -estone2
    A little fact checking goes a long way. Then again, it is the internet right? Who cares about accuracy?
    http://www.grahamwatson.com/dublin/misc/image81.html
    http://www.grahamwatson.com/dublin/misc/image80.html

  9. #9
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    The helmet Lemond wore (an early Giro Aero design) apparently was in fact not well-designed and later wind tunnel tests determined that it essentially negated any advantage the areo bars had, so they were in fact pretty even in terms of the equipment's role in the stage. Although it was a great finale and the closest tour ever, it likely would have also been an epic end if the TT was on the traditional second last day. If Lemond was leading by 8 seconds going into the last day into Paris, that would have been quite a stage as well.

    Didn't mean to be harsh calling Fignon an arrogrant prick --that's the way all French tour champions are, and Fignon, like Hinault, was the master of mind games.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle
    A little fact checking goes a long way. Then again, it is the internet right? Who cares about accuracy?
    http://www.grahamwatson.com/dublin/misc/image81.html
    http://www.grahamwatson.com/dublin/misc/image80.html
    Dude, chill. I made a mistake. I just remember a picture of him with his hair down, and thought it was him in the TT.
    No need to jump on someone like that.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by estone2
    Dude, chill. I made a mistake. I just remember a picture of him with his hair down, and thought it was him in the TT.
    No need to jump on someone like that.
    Hey cool, man. It's your credibility on the line. I can understand if you don't think that's worth 60 seconds or so to check it on Google.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle
    Hey cool, man. It's your credibility on the line. I can understand if you don't think that's worth 60 seconds or so to check it on Google.
    My mother always told me to not say anything if I couldn't say anything nice.
    Why the sarcasm? You stated that I was wrong, wouldn't that be sufficient?
    I would understand your sarcasm if I challenged you on whether or not it was up - in that case it would be downright blindness or stupidity on my part. However I have done nothing of the sort.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevesbike
    The helmet Lemond wore (an early Giro Aero design) apparently was in fact not well-designed and later wind tunnel tests determined that it essentially negated any advantage the areo bars had, so they were in fact pretty even in terms of the equipment's role in the stage. Although it was a great finale and the closest tour ever, it likely would have also been an epic end if the TT was on the traditional second last day. If Lemond was leading by 8 seconds going into the last day into Paris, that would have been quite a stage as well.

    Didn't mean to be harsh calling Fignon an arrogrant prick --that's the way all French tour champions are, and Fignon, like Hinault, was the master of mind games.
    ................

    ...but he was arrogant, and conceited, and a prick...I remember that Tour...I also remember how he broke down, had a tantrum and cried like a baby when he got beat...I lost all respect for him after that spectacle...
    b0nk
    ps- but he had cool Sidis....

    "Totally INTP"



  14. #14
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    oddly enough

    Cyrille Guimard actually protested Lemond's use of the aero bars even though Fignon at some point had tested them....Lemond also accused Fignon during that tour of holding onto the back of a motorcycle during one of the mountain stages as I later remember reading about it in Sports Illustrated!

  15. #15
    classiquesklassieker
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonkmiester
    ................

    ...but he was arrogant, and conceited, and a prick...I remember that Tour...I also remember how he broke down, had a tantrum and cried like a baby when he got beat...I lost all respect for him after that spectacle...
    b0nk
    ps- but he had cool Sidis....
    Fignon had a really crappy second half of 1988 and was on his ascendancy in 1989. Don't forget that he had won the Giro in 1989, AND Milan-San Remo. If he had won the Tour, that would have been a Giro-Tour double.

    And not to forget that he had had many crappy years due to injuries and accidents, from 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988. Heck, most of those years he didn't even finish the Tour.

    If I had had my work shattered like that, I would cry like a baby, too, and will not be embarrassed by it. Had a tantrum? Is that an appropriate term to use? Note that Fignon knew for days that he was having saddle issues, yet he rode on courageously all the way to the end. I actually respect him more for trying despite eventually failing, and for having had a great comeback in 1989 after so many not so great years.

    By your standards both Lemond and Fignon are crybabies, it just so happens that one speaks English and the other speaks French.

  16. #16
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    Here's a great summary of the race: http://www.cyclingrevealed.com/June06/top25-1.htm

    I was glued to the TV watching this epic tour. The race was a real horse race in the final week, with the yellow jersey trading back and forth between Lemond and Fignon in furious battles. I distinctly remember that breakaway by Fignon on the flatter stage 18, and thinking "what the heck is he doing?". It seemed at first like a wasted solo effort just to pad his lead by a few seconds, but it paid off. Even though Lemond struck back with a stage win the next day, Fignon was right on his wheel. It did seem like a done deal for Fignon then.

    I find it hard to believe that some saddle sore issues had any significance on a short TT stage. Especially, since Fignon knew exactly what was happening, as he rode last on the stage and was informed of the time splits of Lemond ahead of him the whole way. Imagine the desperation Fignon must have felt on those final kilometers! A truly gutty performance by both riders, but I think Lemond totally deserves credit for that extraordinary victory.

  17. #17
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    I love Fignon's cool TT bike featuring radical left side gearing!
    “The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made.”
    -Groucho Marx

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by piano,piano
    I love Fignon's cool TT bike featuring radical left side gearing!
    Is it really left-side gearing, or is the picture reversed? If it is (left-side), what's the benefit?

  19. #19
    Man, I'm Awesome
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott bdc
    Is it really left-side gearing, or is the picture reversed? If it is (left-side), what's the benefit?
    The picture is reversed. You can tell by the lettering on his back.

    Also it has been pretty widely reported about Fignon congratulating Lemond for coming in second. Lemond has stated this many times in interviews and on T.V.

  20. #20
    Burning Fists of Love
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    no sorry

    Quote Originally Posted by terzo rene
    Or maybe used aero bars too. Just those would have turned the whole thing around. Fignon basically did everything wrong on that TT. He, and everyone else in the world, thought he had it won. But he still says he is much more known for losing in 89 than for winning twice.

    Now if you want to talk about rigged races due to changed stages and other sneaky stuff, Moser's win in the Giro vs Fignon was a complete joke. Cancelled mtn stages for snow when the roads were clear and helicopter tailwind assisted TT's.
    The Helicopter assisted TT's? I has heard that the mountain stage was the gist of the helicopter help.

    In any event, it is at best highly improbable (not impossible) that the helicopter conferred the type of advantage claimed........
    This old anvil has cracked alot of hammers

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttug
    The Helicopter assisted TT's? I has heard that the mountain stage was the gist of the helicopter help.

    In any event, it is at best highly improbable (not impossible) that the helicopter conferred the type of advantage claimed........
    From what Fignon said it remained low and behind Moser through most of the TT. You can see the helicopter effect in the trees on the RAI Giro coverage frequently when they are flying lower. I don't know whether it's intentional any more than it is with the motos providing draft and interference for riders in races every year. They are just trying to get a better shot and RAI are most interested in the Italian riders, though the effect is the same as if they were trying to get them a win.

    The Fignon malady that I always remember the most was the tapeworm. Can't remember what year that was. I am always amazed more riders don't pick up that sort of parasite considering what gets on their bottles in the spring races.

  22. #22
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    helicopter

    from what I remember was behind Moser and in front of Fignon and low. Whilst Moser got a nice little tail wind, The Professor got aheadwind.

    and yes, Fignon had given Lemond a "Nice try, congrats on second" the night before.

    oh and Fignon admits now to being a user of PEDS
    one nation, under surveillance with liberty and justice for few

    still not figgering on biggering

  23. #23
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    Moser......

    Quote Originally Posted by atpjunkie
    from what I remember was behind Moser and in front of Fignon and low. Whilst Moser got a nice little tail wind, The Professor got aheadwind.

    and yes, Fignon had given Lemond a "Nice try, congrats on second" the night before.

    oh and Fignon admits now to being a user of PEDS
    I hated Moser and to date, I still do. The man did nothing but piss and moan and walked around like he had a 5 foot cock because he beat Eddys hour record on aero equipment.....If I recall, Eddy had a very similiar opinion of him.
    This old anvil has cracked alot of hammers

  24. #24
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    they are

    Quote Originally Posted by orange_julius
    Fignon had a really crappy second half of 1988 and was on his ascendancy in 1989. Don't forget that he had won the Giro in 1989, AND Milan-San Remo. If he had won the Tour, that would have been a Giro-Tour double.

    And not to forget that he had had many crappy years due to injuries and accidents, from 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988. Heck, most of those years he didn't even finish the Tour.

    If I had had my work shattered like that, I would cry like a baby, too, and will not be embarrassed by it. Had a tantrum? Is that an appropriate term to use? Note that Fignon knew for days that he was having saddle issues, yet he rode on courageously all the way to the end. I actually respect him more for trying despite eventually failing, and for having had a great comeback in 1989 after so many not so great years.

    By your standards both Lemond and Fignon are crybabies, it just so happens that one speaks English and the other speaks French.
    IMO, and again, IMO, Lemond ,Fignon and Moser were the greatest Whiners the TDF ever saw. Sure Hinault was an arrogant bastard, sure. BUT the man backed it up with courage and guts. It is Gregs fault for hauling him up the Alpe. He should not have waited. Do you think Hinault would have waited for Lemond. NO WAY IN HELL.
    This old anvil has cracked alot of hammers

  25. #25
    classiquesklassieker
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttug
    IMO, and again, IMO, Lemond ,Fignon and Moser were the greatest Whiners the TDF ever saw. Sure Hinault was an arrogant bastard, sure. BUT the man backed it up with courage and guts. It is Gregs fault for hauling him up the Alpe. He should not have waited. Do you think Hinault would have waited for Lemond. NO WAY IN HELL.
    OK, not that I am defending Fignon, but what makes you think that he is a whiner? I have read Fignon's many criticisms of cycling, but not much whining. I am curious. Thanks.

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