Cyclist Laurent Fignon dies at age 50

Aug. 31, 2010 at 10:40 AM
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PARIS, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Laurent Fignon, who twice won the Tour de France, has died in Paris of cancer. He was 50.

Fignon's death was reported by France 2 TV, a network that employed the former cyclist for the last five years. He was diagnosed with cancer of the digestive tract in early 2009 but continued his commentary on races while receiving treatment.

He died Tuesday at a hospital in Paris.

Fignon won the Tour de France in 1983 and 1984 and was edged by Greg LeMond for the title in 1989. LeMond trailed by 50 seconds but won the final-day time trial and topped Fignon by 8 seconds, the closest finish in the history of the Tour de France.

Fignon also won the Giro d'Italia in 1989 and the Milan-San Remo Classic twice among his 76 career race victories. He has been inducted in the cycling hall of fame.

Fignon admitted in his 2009 autobiography -- "We were Young and Carefree" -- that he had used performance-enhancing drugs, such as amphetamines. He twice tested positive for banned substances in the late 1980s.

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