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Multiple TdF Victories in Non-Consecutive Years - Why Does This Happen?

Jul 8, 2009
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Hi folks

I'm browsing some TdF history at wikipedia. This particular phenomenon is a bit striking.

I'm reading about Laurent Fignon who won in 1983 and 1984. He was going to win 1989 as well, until the last TT stage where LeMond made up 50 seconds on him and won by 8 seconds.

Why did he not win or finish well in the intervening years (his best finish was 7th in 1987). I mean, if you "peak" in 1983/4 and again in 1989, then in the intervening years, you imagine you would also be strong.

So why was he basically not competitive in 86, 87 and 88? (he was injured in 85). Why does this happen to some athletes?
 
armstrong said:
Hi folks

I'm browsing some TdF history at wikipedia. This particular phenomenon is a bit striking.

I'm reading about Laurent Fignon who won in 1983 and 1984. He was going to win 1989 as well, until the last TT stage where LeMond made up 50 seconds on him and won by 8 seconds.

Why did he not win or finish well in the intervening years (his best finish was 7th in 1987). I mean, if you "peak" in 1983/4 and again in 1989, then in the intervening years, you imagine you would also be strong.

So why was he basically not competitive in 86, 87 and 88? (he was injured in 85). Why does this happen to some athletes?

Injuries. In Fignon's case he missed the 1985 TdF because of a knee injury. Even in 1989 Giro there was some talk of a cold mountain stage would be his undoing because his knee gave him problems in the cold. This would have allowed Hampsten a good chance to win, but the Giro organizers cancelled the climb. Some say they cancelled it to repay Fignon, who had been jobbed out of an earlier Giro win.