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Laurent Fignon in his Tour de France debut in 1983.
Final stage to Paris honours deceased champion
At the start of the final stage of the 2011 Tour de France in Créteil, a memorial to the late Laurent Fignon was unveiled. The Frenchman was a two-time winner of the race, taking the yellow jersey in 1983 and 1984, and then missing out on the victory by eight seconds in 1989. Fignon died on August 31, 2010, following a long battle with cancer.
Just prior to the neutralized start of the last run into Paris, the memorial was inaugurated in the presence of Fignon's family and unveiled by his former teammates. Fignon started his career at the US Créteil cycling club in 1980 and 1981 before becoming a pro with Cyrille Guimard and his Renault-Elf team.
"Laurent Fignon is part of the history of the USC. This memorial is to underline the role of the club in French and international cycling, and in the history of the Tour," Créteil mayor deputy Martine Rolland told L'Équipe.
The initiative was taken by Tour de France organisers ASO and the L'Équipe newspaper. Even in the last two years, when he was heavily affected by his illness, Fignon continued to follow the Tour de France, working for France Télévisions as a commentator.