Nicknamed ‘the Professor’ because of his rimmed glasses and Parisian origin, Laurent Fignon stole his second consecutive Tour de France General Classification title in 1984.
Going head to head against Breton rival Bernard Hinault, the Professional’s tactics were planned and thoughtful, whereas Hinault was prepared to use aggression and force to brutishly drive his way through the race.
Hinault initially gained the early lead, taking the first stage and immediately dampening Fignon’s morale. Fignon however, being the smart professor and constantly and carefully calculating tactics, and managed to catch up with the brutish Breton after a while. What followed was a back and forth race of Fignon and Hinault battling it out for the entirety of the race, while the rest of the riders fought in the war.
The Alp d’Huez stage was a defining moment in the race, where Fignon mathematically climbed his way to success, from there onwards he gained considerable distance on Hinault and this led him to a strong ending.
Fignon’s win added him to a long line of French winners, keeping the Yellow Jersey in the tour’s home country.