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Laurent Fignon, the two-time winner of the Tour de France in 1983 and 1984, settled Bagnères-de-Bigorre, where he now runs a hotel. He organises cycling training courses for enthusiasts of the scenery and mountains which are unique to this region.
“I was given the opportunity to take over this hotelrestaurant in Bagnères. I had imagined a project like that one for a long time. Bagnères-de-Bigorre was the ideal place for this, initially for the living environment which it represents, but also because it is near to the great mythical mountain passes of the Tour de France, the Col d’Aspin, or the Col de Tourmalet, the first mountain pass which was climbed by the race’s cyclists in 1910. I feel good in this region; it is a wonderful place where people love cycling and another one of the area’s assets is that visitors eat well here. It is calm and has spectacular scenery. It must be said that the county council and the mayor of Bagnères, Roland Castel, one of the players of the great Bagnères rugby team, are enthusiastic about sport and do a great deal for its development in the region. When I was a cyclist, the Pyrenees were not really my cup of tea. In July the weather is often stormy and I hate humid conditions: I wore the Yellow Jersey in the Pyrenees in 1989, but I never won the stage of the race there.”