We Were Young and Carefree
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We Were Young and Carefree

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  209 ratings  ·  29 reviews

'One of the most charismatic and flamboyant cyclists in recent history' Daily Telegraph

Laurent Fignon is one of the giants of modern cycling. Twice-winner of the Tour de France in the early eighties, Fignon became the star for a new generation. In 1989 he took part in one of the most fiercely-contested Tours of all time. Over the course of 3,285 kilometres he lost out

Kindle Edition, 306 pages
Published (first published 2009)
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Nick Sweeney
The autobiography of one of the men who, for a period in the 1980s, rescued French pro road cycling from the encroachments of Italians, Belgians and, almost, Americans. One of Fignon's most watched moments was his loss of the 1989 Tour de France to Californian* Greg Lemond by a mere eight seconds, and Fignon panders to the car crash watchers by beginning the book with this episode. His dignified riposte to strangers who said, "You're that bloke that lost the Tour de France by eight seconds, aren...more
This an interesting read into Laurent Fignon cycling career. The book covers the cycling life very well but rarely mentions anything of his family life. I not sure if it me but he doesn't come across a like-able person in his book. He stop talking to his friend Alan because he goes to work for another team.He always complaining about the press and seem to rarely give interviews, what he expected jouranlists have to make a living by interviewing stars, he was the one the biggest cyclist of the 80...more
First, I should say that I deeply regret reading this in English because the translation seemed to be wonky and word-for-word a few times. I don't know if the original version is to be blamed, or did the translator just didn't try to write this out to be a good read.

Second, I'm part of the generation of 25-30 year old French people who mainly know Fignon from his cycling commentary work for France Télévision and archive footage of his wins. While he never seemed like the happiest of chaps, this...more
Jacqui N
Laurent Fignon (and Bernard Hinault) were my cycling heroes in the 1980s. I did some local racing, and followed the professional racing scene closely. I subscribed to Velo News and Winning magazine. I haunted the foreign magazine shelves at Out Of Town News and the News Corner in Harvard Square for L'Equipe, Mirroir du Cyclisme, and Sport80, occasionally getting lucky to find something in Paris Match, the French version of People Magazine. With all that, Laurent Fignon disclosed as much in his a...more
An unvarnished, yet fascinating story of a unique, iconic bicycle great, and one of the more unusual autobiographies I've read. With better editorial support (a broader perspective, less repetition, better vocabulary, and tighter editing), this book could have been a classic, but, it was a quick, fun, entertaining read nonetheless. What struck me most about the book, however was that: (1) a reader could conclude that Fignon was such a physical specimen, a legitimate freak of nature, that his suc...more
Martin Mccann
While cycling provides the source for the best sports writing, French cyclists take it even further, deviating from the simple linear narrative to something more cerebal-rather than just a "this happened, then this and after that....", there is a more philosophical and historical depth, as found in Bobet's "Tomorrow, We Ride"- Fignon's autobiography continues in that tradition. He kickstarts the whole book with an honest and insightful retelling of perhaps his most (in)famous moment. losing the...more
A pretty frank and open book from a man usually referred to as an enigma by the (largely French) press. I found Fignon's honesty refreshing though at time felt he was perhaps holding back on the truth everso slightly (part of me liked this as he was my first cycling hero). Definitely a different cycling book. Much of Fignon's focus is on the shift in cycling, first based around his relationship with the legendary Cyrille Guimard; secondly, and perhaps inevitably, in the shift in doping culture f...more
Jimmy Burns
This is a fine insight to professional cycling and the mindset of a cerebral and outstanding athlete. Fignon was known as 'le Profesor' during his cycling career and was a big name in an era festooned with big names e.g. Hinault, Jalabert and Lemond.

Fignon was known for his forthright views and was never scared to make them known on or off the bike his confrontational nature was admired by the cycling tifosi if not by the administrators.

This is no-holds barred autobiography that will be enjoyed...more
Anthony Davenport
An interesting walk through the life of one of cycling's enigmas. I suspect he wasn't as open as he could have been about the extent of his 'preparation' as this was a time where cycling was all about attacking until you could attack no more. Fignon details a romanticised view of cycling before it became corporate and devoid of characters, in a similar way to football before the Premier League, and that makes the book stand out from the plethora of doping-centric drivel that is out there at the...more
Ryan Benson
Laurent Fignon was a true champion. He rode to win and for the love of cycling. And the end of his book he mentioned that no one ever came up to him thanking him for being an inspiration to them. As a 13 year old boy I idolized Laurent and his no-holds-bar style of riding. I was probably the only kid in my town riding around with a System U jersey on. Thank you Laurent for your candor and free spirit. You will be greatly missed.
Michael W.
I have to say that the first chapter of this book is the best stuff on professional bike racing since 'The Rider'. Very philosophical.... I love Fignon's writing style, choice of language and his topics. It's obvious that he can be qualified, similarly to Greg Lemond, as a racer who saw what started happening to the peloton in the early 1990s with 'Oxygen vector doping' as it's now known and chose to leave the sport.
An honest if a little melancholic biography of an amazing athlete. Because of injuries, illness, and the bending of the rules by others; he never quite reached his full potential. But hey, 2 Tour de France victories is none too bad? Sadly he died last year of cancer.
Matt Fitz
Rough translation of one of my favorite cyclists from my childhood. The man who lost to Greg Lemond by a matter of seconds in the 1986 Tour de France. Laurent died of cancer a few years ago and it was nice to see him put his life on paper for his fans.
A surprisingly good read. Fignon's story is told in his own words in a refreshingly open and blameless manner. The world of the professional peleton during the seventies and eighties is opened up for all to see.
Bill Murphy
Enjoyable, A very frank and absorbing tale of atermination to succeed. Fignon does come across as someone who does not tolerate fools gladly but perhaps its that arrogance that drove him to the top of the cycling world.
Although Fignon was never a favorite of mine having read his book I find him an interesting character. Normally don't like people talking about themselves to much but really enjoyed this book.
Philipp Wehmann
Keine große Literatur, aber ein interessanter Einblick in das Leben eines Radsporthelden. Und berührend angesichts der Tatsache, dass Fignon im Sommer seiner Krankheit erlegen ist.
This book gives the reader the chance to see Laurent Fignon from a completely different point of view, and his thoughts on the sport of cycling make interesting reading..
Niall Pelota
Fantastic book about the professor , sadly no longer with us. An upfront, courageous and powerful read, giving a great insight into the 1980s peloton.
Blake Downing

I found the book very and learned a lot about a period of road racing I as not overly familiar with. I would recommend this book to any cycling fan.
bought this for a flight i'm taking next week, sneaked a look at the opening chapter earlier today, alas i will need to get a new book at the airport.
Cathy M.
I didn't like him much when he was riding, but this put him in a new light and I really now admire all that he went through. A very good read.
An outstanding autobiography from a great champion; dignified, soul-searching and even at times poetic.
Martin Linkov
Slightly boring with all this repeating of the 8 seconds back in 1989.
Ok read, skipped over 8 second TDF loss which was a surprise!
Greg Payne
Incredibly emotional and enjoyable read. Loved it
didnt much care for Fignon at end of this!
For fans of the Tour de France.
Eoin Casey
A classic from start to finish!
Wow. What a whiner.
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Nous étions jeunes et insouciants (Documents Français) (French Edition) Tales From Le Tour

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