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We Were Young and Carefree Paperback – International Edition, July 5, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Yellow Jersey Press (July 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224083198
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224083195
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Astonishing. The twice winner of the Tour de France bares his soul, exploring the ups and downs of life as a champion, the world of competitive cycling, and his own failings" Liberation "Sports book of the year: He's ruthlessly honest, about himself and about cycling, and he provides a gripping insight into an unrelenting hard world" Independent "This book is both a poignant farewell and as well as a rare glimpse of Fignon and his world in his own words" London Cyclist "Sports book of the year: magnificent, baffling, wonderful" Sunday Herald "Often touching and, above all, very funny" L'Equipe

About the Author

Laurent Fignon was born in Paris in 1960. He won the Tour de France in 1983 and 1984 and the Giro d'Italia in 1989. In June 2009, Fignon revealed that he was being treated for advanced intestinal cancer and he died in August 2010.

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Customer Reviews

If you took up cycling in the 1980's you MUST read this book.
Tom Balistrieri, Ed.D.
Alas, all Fignon has to say pertains only to how great he was, and how, when he wasn't, it was someone else's fault.
Arnim Polster
To me the book often read as if he were there talking with me, it was well done and made the book very personal.
Pineypl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Tom Balistrieri, Ed.D. on August 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was lucky enough to be a competitive athlete in the 1980's...an Iron Man distance triathlete who fell in love with cycling. It was a time when MTV and the Tour de France both made their debut on television. We learned a new language; peloton, Alpe d'Huez and riding a wheel. We also learned of old heroes and fell in love with new one's; Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil, The Badger, Greg Lemond and Laurent Fignon. Laurent was the man I admired and even tried to mirror in appearance. He was fast, insane in his tactics and was the cool French guy with the pony tail! He was partly why I rode. Even why my wife and I became part of a student exchange program with a French family.

If you took up cycling in the 1980's you MUST read this book. His recollections bring back images we watched on TV of Paris Roubaix and the Tour. His stories will help you to understand the times and to make the men of the peloton like Sean Kelly and Bernard Hinault become real people not just powerful guys on bikes. I have to say there were times while reading I felt great melancholy at the knowledge these days are gone for them and for me. Though it took only two days to read the book I have already re-read pages as they instill such emotion, joy and sometimes sadness.

Laurent is a personal hero. Many Americans at that time loved to hate Laurent as he was Lemond's nemesis. And few remember that Laurent won the Tour de France twice before Lemond beat him with skill and technology. The yellow Renault jersey and The Professor will never be forgotten. Laurent is very very sick now...which brings another level of mortality to the book and to life. I wish him well and I hope he knows he DID create a legacy and a joy for many of us...as we rode our bikes over 100 mile training rides we would take up the personas of Hinault and Lemond....and I, Laurent Fignon.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jim Fitzpatrick on October 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was inspired to buy this book after the passing of Laurent Fignon and the subsequent exposure of the book. I wish I would have known of this book sooner, it's inspirational to say the least. Well translated, the personality, passion, dedication, drive and fearless freedom Fignon had during his life is shared with the reader. No, not shared. The reader is there, with Fignon, as if you are sitting on his shoulder. You are in his life. It's personnel. Before this life experience with Fignon I thought he was an arrigant self absorbed Frenchman. Now, I know him as a champion in every sence of the word. I would have cherished meeting him.

The sport of cycling in his days are different from what we are exposed to now. The move from the way it was to the way it is now, through his eyes, is insightful especially considering the issue of doping. I love the sport of cycling. You will love it even more after this book as you will experience the soul of cycling and witness the change that is taking place. There is still a soul, it's just different. I don't want to say more. Read it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hank Rearden on November 3, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
He was the man many in the US loved to hate. I for one always respected the guy. A true power rider like LeMond, Hinault, Kelly and the rest of his era. I found the book to be as honest as you would expect from a great champion. Some may be put off by his cockiness but riders his caliber never assend to those hights without having big egos and self confidence. They won by dominating their opponents, crushing their wills on the slopes of the great climbs or riding them off of their wheels. His career cut short by nagging injuries Fignon could have been a four or five tour winner had he been healthy.

Looking back on the 1980's I tend to agree with his assessment that is the last decade of truly great "clean" riders. There are just too many cases in mid to late 1990's to present that cast a huge cloud on the sport with regards to the use of EPO and other drugs. I honestly do not trust any of the grand tour results in the last 15 years to have been won by riders who did not take drugs during the race or in training leading up to the races.

The translation and editing for the Kindle leave something to be desired. It's like nobody even bothers to proof Kindle books before uploading them. While I appreciate the discounted cost of using the Kindle, I expect the publishers to at least care enough to edit the e-book versions before selling them.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By 1ironman on October 31, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very rare book for cycling fans. As a racer here in the States for over 15 years I always knew what made guys like Lemond great was equally great competitors such as Laurent Fignon. Yes, the book has Fignon's arrogance in it, but that is part of the reason it is a fun and great read. How strange that I purchased this book shortly before Fignon's death. It is as though Fignon felt a need to leave us all with lasting impressions from a great career. Sometimes as athletes and fans we forget about the spirit, and competitive fire that is involved in sports and life and that can be felt by winners, and losers alike.
Because it is in the "fight" and "spirit" that all of us are victorious. This book captures what is clearly missing in cycling today, and maybe it will return. An inspiring read from one of the greats of cycling.
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This book is fantastic. It was emotional to read as Fignon has just recently passed away. A true champion from the golden age of cycling gives us a unique journey throughout his career and a decade of ciclisme. What a character! Very honest in my opinion as well. Also thought provoking about doping. Cycling these days misses people like him, despite the fact that the world and cycling have both changed somewhat - is it for the better?
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