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Re: Long Lives
« on: October 07, 2020, 21:41 »
Happy birthday to Jean Forestier. Aged 90 today. Since Roger Decock passed away, he's the oldest Tour of Flanders winner (1956) still alive and he's the old Paris-Roubaix winner still alive.

His Paris-Roubaix win :

He capitalised on the rivalry between Louison Bobet and Fausto Coppi to escape.

Here at the Tour of Flanders

Last year he met up with Raphaël Geminiani (then 94) and Antonin Rolland (then 95)

Gem would say :

Jean has a palmares. Paris-Roubaix, the Tour of Flanders. In those days, Belgians were untouchables. Beating them was a thundering achievement.

No time to translate all of that article but basically he says that Paris-Roubaix was his greatest victory. Initially he was in the 4th echelon but then the peloton was packed together and he took the opportunity to get clear of the rest. That he got a job as a mechanic in 1965 and so he immediately stopped his career. He loved racing but at that time, his job was the most important thing and that's why he did everything to be forgotten. Being an "old legend" is not something that he thought woudl suit him.

Forestier is from Lyon, just like his friend Henry Anglade. His Paris-Roubaix victory was announced on the Gerland football stadium in Lyon during a match against Reims.

He had weakness in the mountains, especially above 2000m.

At the Tour of Flanders, he said he could've dropped 100 times and was the only one of his team ahead. Fortunately, he didn't puncture.

At the time of the interview, 2013, he was still following modern cycling but didn't recognise himself in it anymore. Doping affairs tired him as much as the stereotypical race development. Especially what bores him is the way attackers are always turning back after an attack :

You can snif it when they are behind you

Hopefully, seven years after that article, he can enjoy racing a bit better.

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  • "Paris-Roubaix is the biggest cycling race in the world, bigger than the Tour de France, bigger than any other bike race" (Sir Bradley Wiggins)


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