If you know Roland Fangille I’ll be very impressed, unless you are living in my département, a cyclist, and ‘of a certain age’. Monsieur Fangille, who just passed away in Alès from Covid-19, was a bit of a local legend. He created our very own early-season pro race – Etoile de Bessèges – which had its first edition when I was three years old, in 1971. His last year organizing the race was this year, his 50th edition.
Roland (left) was great friends with Raymond Poulidor, who rode in the early races and never missed a year (as a special guest) till his death a year ago.
I have a short history with this event, but as soon as I moved to Nimes I began going every year to watch. Here’s an article I wrote in 2011; another from a frigid edition in 2015; and one more a year later, the last year in the peloton for Tommy Voeckler.
I have some special memories from the sportive that is attached to this pro race, too. Les Routes de l’Etoile was my very first stab at a timed cycling event, nearly 10 years ago. Click on the link back there to read about me being humiliated by guys 20 years older than me. You’ll enjoy that.
Rest in Peace, Roland.