New book captures the epic Tour de France battle of 1989
The 1989 Tour de France is arguably the greatest Tour de France ever. It saw American rider Greg LeMond overturn a 50-second deficit to France’s Laurent Fignon on the final stage on the Champs Élysées to snatch the title by a mere eight seconds.
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After three weeks and more than 2,000 miles in the saddle, these few seconds remain the smallest margin of victory in the race’s 100+ year history.
But, as dramatic as that Sunday afternoon on the streets of Paris was, the race wasn’t just about that one time-trial. During the previous fortnight, the leader’s yellow jersey had swapped back and forth between LeMond and Fignon in a titanic struggle for supremacy, a battle with more twists and turns than the maziest Alpine mountain pass. At no point during the entire three weeks were LeMond and Fignon separated by more than 53 seconds.