I have read some commentary re: this video as the last whimpering of a great champion. I am afraid these experts have missed the point. I am not sure what Fignon would say of this day in the saddle, but I am sure it wasn't his first bad day. This clip was from the Giro in 1992, Fignon bonked on the Passo Giau, and his team mate DeWolf pushed him home, fed him, and gave him the jacket off his back. Fignon finished... probably snubbed the reporters, and started the next day.... He finished the Giro that year. What I observe in this video points at the essence of the cycling life:
We are a TEAM.... bonded by the most efficient machine created thus far in our history. One might say it was the job of DeWolf to look after an aging Fignon, but I beg to differ.... DeWolf stopped and gave Fignon the jacket off his back, and his gloves. This is the perfect demonstration of that bond that we label as Team (team mate, crew, etc). I would dare to say this is the pinnacle of our sport.... That in our weakest moment (as in our greatest moments) we stick together, feed each other, push each other, and when needed give the coat from our shoulders. Fignon and DeWolf developed this bond after spending time together in the saddle. It takes a bit of time to develop this bond that writes great stories....
Come ride with me... come write a chapter in the cycling life.... a paragraph... a sentence.... an exclamation point...
If nothing else just come out and push me up the hills... give me food, and remind me that I was once Le Professor the champion.
Mbeal is my El Capitian on the cycling team that I ride with, part time contributor to sprintingthebelllap and full time commentator. He is the epitome of cycling, was born on the wrong continent, and there should be old yellowed VeloNews' with articles about his accomplishments -But alas Mbeal is an everyday cycling mortal not too unlike you and me. Or is he? He is, except for his incredible knowledge of the two wheeled race machine, his adept artistic ability, his taste in music, his love for family and friends, and his culinary/beverage appreciation.