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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Keeper
If I could describe this book in one word, I'd say it was 'fearless'. And when you think how Laurent Fignon rode during his pro career, it's not too far away from that...

I had a few pre-conceived ideas prior to reading this book; some from what i already knew and others from general reading, chat etc. and so was intrigued to find out more about such an...
Published on 5 Feb. 2011 by jaycee2

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Arrested Development
Remember that moment when you realised the universe did not revolve around you and that in everyone else's life you weren't the main character? Sadly, this moment of realisation has never happened for Lauren Fignon: when you're young, arrogant and the world number one in your sport, this might be understandable, but with hindsight, 30 years later? Come on!
Fignon...
Published 22 months ago by Matthew Bakewell


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Keeper, 5 Feb. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: We Were Young and Carefree: The Autobiography of Laurent Fignon (Paperback)
If I could describe this book in one word, I'd say it was 'fearless'. And when you think how Laurent Fignon rode during his pro career, it's not too far away from that...

I had a few pre-conceived ideas prior to reading this book; some from what i already knew and others from general reading, chat etc. and so was intrigued to find out more about such an enigmatic character.

This book is a very detailed account of Laurent Fignons pro-cycling career and the intracacies contained therein, describing his time in the peloton as 'a golden age' when pro-bike riders were 'winners' rather than the 'earners' of today. (Couldn't agree more with that sentiment, as it goes).

He doesn't give much away about his private life (only found out he was married half way through the book) but for me, that in no way detracts from the books' essential content. It's written with great passion about life in the pro peloton and the tactical nous needed to succeed-describing some races as "guerilla warfare" and writing of "going into battle". This for me was the highlight of the book; to have that level of insider knowledge and insight was just great and I loved that about it.

Those eight seconds; it was very very interesting to get his take on that momentous event...

Another element of this book I liked is the way in which Laurent Fignon shares with the reader his take (as well as his respect)of other big players / riders of the day; Hinault, Kelly etc etc and from that, we get to know more about those riders also.

Doping is discussed, but not in any great depth-I had the feeling that whatever it was Monsieur Fignon took in his day,there was a line he wouldn't cross, believably appearing horrified as to how doping seems to have progressed in more recent times.

I did wonder as to why he didn't include any photos-would have liked to have seen a few-and as well, why no palmares?

Over the years, I've read a lot of pro-cycling literature-this is the only one on immediately after finishing reading,I went to the front and started to re-read. Normally, i'll give away books I've read, but not this one-I'm keepin it! :)

Such a shame there won't be any more-i had the feeling there's a good few other books this guy could have written, particularly on pro-cycling of today.

A thoroughly absorbing and enjoyable read-R.I.P Monsieur (Twice TDF winner) Fignon...
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real Fignon, 2 July 2010
By 
S. de Boyett "Kiwicyklist" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: We Were Young and Carefree: The Autobiography of Laurent Fignon (Paperback)
Saw that this book had come out in French language last year, and was very happy to see that an English version was coming this year.
I am half way through this book now, and will be sad when I come to the end, as it is such a fantastic read. I feel that because the press were not so keen in Fignon, and likewise with his realationship with the press, there was not alot true or positive said about him and if so it was normally negative.
It is Fignon that has written this book, and it is written from the heart giving you a fantastic insight into this man, his fantastic career and the riders around him like for example Lemond and Hinault, who have also both written books about the careers. And because these 3 riders clashed now and again, it is funny to get each ones perspective on the given situations.
If you are passionate about cycle sport, this is essential reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Arrested Development, 13 Aug. 2013
By 
Matthew Bakewell "MattyB" (Moray) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: We Were Young and Carefree: The Autobiography of Laurent Fignon (Paperback)
Remember that moment when you realised the universe did not revolve around you and that in everyone else's life you weren't the main character? Sadly, this moment of realisation has never happened for Lauren Fignon: when you're young, arrogant and the world number one in your sport, this might be understandable, but with hindsight, 30 years later? Come on!
Fignon seems to believe that if you write an autobiography, it's OK that it is only about you, and everybody else is an idiot. He listens to no-one and 'tells it how it is' and if you don't like it, well, he might spit on you for trying to do your job. Maybe he did do one selfless act in his life, but forgot to mention it in the book. Unapologetic, he celebrates his hedonism and obnoxious treatment of those around him, without ever taking a step back to take a good look at his thoughtless behaviour from another perspective. I found Fignon's lack of humility and humanity repulsive and the translation does him no favours whatsoever, too often using archaic or obscure phrasing which might resemble the literal French meaning, but have not been uttered in contemporary English since the mid-19th century.
He was a great athlete, but at the end of the day, he's only riding a bicycle, which all the other cycling biogs seem to realise at one point or another. There are some insights into doping, but the 'wild' anecdotes are not told with any panache or humour and, with such a dislikeable protagonist, what else have you got?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Salute le Professeur, 28 Jan. 2011
This review is from: We Were Young and Carefree: The Autobiography of Laurent Fignon (Paperback)
I bought this book as I was interested to learn more of a truly great champion of a lost age of cycling. True to his character Fignon's writing style doesn't 'beat about the bush' and for me that was the attraction of hearing his story. I loved the fact that he seems to have layed down in this book his career for all to see, without his team/manager/publicist etc reigning in his forthright views. He recognised that the sport of cycling has changed and the nature of cycling's victories have changed. I'd advise any cycling fans to read this book to learn not only of Fignon's exploits but also to gain a better understanding of what many consider a golden age of cycling that is gone but should not be forgotten.
Highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read - highly recommended, 15 Aug. 2010
This review is from: We Were Young and Carefree: The Autobiography of Laurent Fignon (Paperback)
Having only just got into cycling in the last 6 months I wasn't sure if my lack of knowledge of the sport would be a disadvantage when reading this. It wasn't at all. Laurent Fignon is clearly a character who marches to his own beat regardless of the views and opinions of others. Importantly the book deals with the '8 seconds' in it's first chapter as if to acknowledge the elephant in the room and after that provides a fascinating insight into the mind of a tortured genius.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A FITTING EPITAPH TO THE PROFESSOR, 9 Sept. 2010
By 
Paul A. Cook - See all my reviews
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This review is from: We Were Young and Carefree: The Autobiography of Laurent Fignon (Paperback)
I found this a marvellous read. Fignon was perhaps unkindly nicknamed the Professor because he had attained some level of education at a time when French pro riders were mostly tough farmboys. His erudition shows; a very well informed, eloquent and interesting take on his view of the cycling world, made all the more poignant for me as he sadly died well before his time just a few days after I turned the last page. RIP Laurent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fignon review, 16 Mar. 2011
This review is from: We Were Young and Carefree: The Autobiography of Laurent Fignon (Paperback)
Fignon certainly tells it straight. He lived fast and was gone by the time he was fifty. Very well written. One of the reviews on the books cover said it was always funny. It isn't funny. There is humour but this is a story stripped of unnecessary emotion and keeps to the basic facts. You learn little of his life outside of cycling, and in a way this is a shame as his home life and other interests would have shown the reader what shaped his character other than his cycling talent. As it is an autobiography it is surprising that it is so well written by a professional sportsman but that is why Fignon was different. A superb read similar to Obree's autobiography, in it's openness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fignon speaks, 10 Aug. 2010
This review is from: We Were Young and Carefree: The Autobiography of Laurent Fignon (Paperback)
For anyone who loves cycling and who appreciates the era of cycling that Fignon describes in this book this is a MUST READ. I don't think he is completely honest about the drug use in the way Paul Kimmage was in his excellent book but he goes about as far as one could expect. He certainly draws a clear line between his era and the EPO era. But this book is not a cyclist's confession it is a stream of conscious from one of cycling most charismatic figures. The best thing about this book is it is an autobiography not a biography. It is Fignon speaking every word. He was and still is my favorite cyclist and he speaks with a passion and an insight which is unmatched in other cycling books. To quote the great man;
"On two wheels people always have to show their true colours. You can never cheat the world for very long. Cycling is a way for men to show themselves and show their true worth. It exposes their weaknesses and their hidden value and it allows huge appetites to be indulged. It is nothing to do with glory; its more a matter of fulfillment. Cycling allows us to mine the deepest recesses of our souls." Top man!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "No, monsieur, I am the Man Who Won the Tour Twice", 8 July 2011
This review is from: We Were Young and Carefree: The Autobiography of Laurent Fignon (Paperback)
Irrespective of the 1989 Tour, alongside Robert Millar, Fignon was my favourite cyclist from that era. Both magnificently enigmatic and spiky, Fignon probably edged it for me as he had the added advantage of being terribly French. This book, reflects that. It's certainly true it doesn't flow as you may want, and I initally felt the translation could have been anglicised more, but you know what, that would have done the great man a disservice, you get a better feel for what he was like.

His attitude to losing the '89 Tour, a bone of contention to the only 1* rating, is terrifically french and representative of the mindset of a winner. For the record, he does counter what went wrong and where he could have saved those seconds but that's not really the point. He has let it go. Fignon will forever be defined by the media as the man who lost the Tour by 8 seconds, it is good to see the two time Tour winner, Giro winner and multi-Classics winner did not.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside the mind of Fignon, 22 July 2010
This review is from: We Were Young and Carefree: The Autobiography of Laurent Fignon (Paperback)
Only Britains own Robert Millar can match the maverick individual tendencies of Lauren Fignon, Frances most enigmatic rider.Heres an explanation why he didn't win 5 Tours, why he lost to Lemond by 8 seconds and why the French public never really warmed to him. This is honest, informative and intriguing..Fignon writes like he's on the psychiatrists couch, an effect due to his meditations with himself, his inventive use of language and William Fotheringhams translation. This is a great book, particularly if you watched Fignon on Channel 4 on that soul destroying last stage where he let the Tour just slip away.
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We Were Young and Carefree: The Autobiography of Laurent Fignon
We Were Young and Carefree: The Autobiography of Laurent Fignon by Laurent Fignon (Paperback - 10 Jun. 2010)
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