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Fabrice Philipot dies aged 54

Fabrice Philipot on the 1992 Giro d'Italia, where he helped Miguel Indurain to final overall victory.
Fabrice Philipot on the 1992 Giro d'Italia, where he helped Miguel Indurain to final overall victory (Image credit: Sirotti)

Fabrice Philipot has died at the age of 54. The Frenchman was the best young rider on the 1989 Tour de France and he was later a valued domestique for Miguel Indurain at the Banesto team.

French newspaper Le Bien Public (opens in new tab) reported that Philipot died in Semur-en-Auxois on Wednesday evening.

A native of Montbard in the Burgundy region, Philipot was a highly-rated amateur rider, winning the Giro della Valle d’Aosta in 1987 before turning professional with Bernard Tapie’s Toshiba-Look team the following year.

Philipot underlined his talent with a fine 1989 season. In April, he was part of an elite break alongside Sean Kelly, Pedro Delgado and Phil Anderson at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, placing second behind the Irishman in the sprint.

The following month, he won a stage of the Midi Libre and then placed fourth overall at the Dauphiné Libéré before he finished 24th overall at his debut Tour de France. 

That performance was enough to land Philipot the title of best young rider, though the feat was perhaps underappreciated given that the organisation had ceased awarding the white jersey that year. The maillot blanc’s hiatus would last until 2000.

Philipot moved to Castorama in 1990, placing 13th overall at the Giro d’Italia and 14th at the Tour, which made him the highest-placed French rider. 

He signed for Banesto in 1991 at a time when the Spanish squad had a notable French presence: Dominique Arnaud, Jean-François Bernard and Armand De Las Cuevas were also on the roster.

He settled into the role of domestique during his three-year tenure at Banesto, and he was on the team that helped Indurain to his first Tour wins in 1991 and 1992, as well as his two Giro victories of 1992 and 1993.

Philipot raced for a final season in the colours of Chazal-MBK-König before hanging up his wheels at the end of 1994 at the age of 29.

Movistar Team – previously Banesto – paid tribute to their former rider on Thursday morning: “From Abarca Sports we want to send a big hug to Fabrice Philipot's family and friends. The French cyclist, who was part of our structure as Banesto during three campaigns (1991-93), has died at the age of 54. So long, friend.”

Philipot underlined his talent with a fine 1989 season. In April, he was part of an elite break alongside Sean Kelly, Pedro Delgado and Phil Anderson at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, placing second behind the Irishman in the sprint.

The following month, he won a stage of the Midi Libre and then placed 4th overall at the Dauphiné Libéré before he finished 24th overall at his debut Tour de France. That performance was enough to land Philipot the title of best young rider, though the feat was perhaps underappreciated given that the organisation had ceased awarding the white jersey that year. The maillot blanc’s hiatus would last until 2000.

Philipot moved to Castorama in 1990, placing 13th overall at the Giro d’Italia and 14th at the Tour, which made him the highest-placed French rider. He signed for Banesto in 1991 at a time when the Spanish squad had a notable French presence: Dominique Arnaud, Jean-François Bernard and Armand De Las Cuevas were also on the roster.

He settled into the role of domestique during his three-year tenure at Banesto, and he was on the team that helped Indurain to his first Tour wins in 1991 and 1992, as well as his two Giro victories of 1992 and 1993.

Philipot raced for a final season in the colours of Chazal-MBK-König before hanging up his wheels at the end of 1994 at the age of 29.

Movistar Team – previously Banesto – paid tribute to their former rider on Thursday morning: “From Abarca Sports we want to send a big hug to Fabrice Philipot's family and friends. The French cyclist, who was part of our structure as Banesto during three campaigns (1991-93), has died at the age of 54. So long, friend.”

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