Laurent Fignon has passed away after losing his fight against cancer, French television has announced.
The Frenchman twice won the Tour de France during his career. He was 50.
Fignon disclosed in June 2009 that he was undergoing treatment for cancer. It is said to have started in his intestine and then spread further through his body. He continued to commentate for French television on the Tour de France this summer despite a tumour affecting his vocal chords.
“I don’t want to die at 50,” he said, earlier this summer. “All I know is that my cancer isn’t evolving. I’m still fighting.”
Fignon won the Tour de France in 1983 and 1984, and a total of nine Tour stages. He also won the 1989 Giro d’Italia. He famously finished second in the Tour in 1989, famously losing to American Greg Lemond in 1989 by the slimmest margin ever in Tour history, a mere eight seconds.
Fignon was diagnosed with cancer in May 2009, and he revealed his illness it shortly thereafter. He had been very open with the press and public about his illness. In his book, "Nous étions jeunes et insouciants" (We were young and carefree), he confessed to having doped during his career. Later, he discussed the possibility that his cancer was linked to his doping.
Cyclingnews expresses its sympathy to Fignon’s family and will have more on this story later.