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February 14, 2007
Luxembourg legends chronicled

ALPS President Petz Lahure (1st row left) and ALPS vice-president Lucien Gretsch (2nd row left) with the sponsors at the presentation

LUXEMBOURG, February 14, 2007 - The Association of Luxembourg Sportswriters (ALPS) recently presented its “Book of Sports 2006” at the headquarters of Fortis Banque.

The coffee-table sized book is sponsored by Fortis Banque, the Luxembourg National Olympic Committee (COSL), Revue Magazine and Luxembourg’s National Lottery, several of the sponsors attending the presentation: Carlo Thill and Jean-Louis Margue (Fortis Banque), Marc Theisen (COSL), Léon Losch (National Lottery), cyclist Kim Kirchen, Luxembourg’s athlete of the year 2005, as well as Petz Lahure and Lucien Gretsch, president and vice-president of ALPS.

A year ago, just two days short of his 73rd birthday, cyclist Charly Gaul died. The “Angel of the Mountain”, as he was known, took off one last time for the peaks and the realm of legends, where we hope that he has met up with those who entered the pantheon of cyclists before him. The homage to Charly Gaul was unanimous, his memory was honored by luminaries from the world of sports and politics, as well as by thousands of anonymous countrymen, who recognized in him one of the outstanding personalities to have graced the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Petz Lahure, the editor of the book, reminisced on the mythical stage up the icy hells of Monte Bondone, on that glorious day in June 1956, when Charly won one of the hardest ever stages in cycling history, as well as his first Giro d’Italia. Two years later, he dominated the Tour de France, then went on to win his second Giro in 1959. Charly Gaul was elected Luxembourg’s sportsman of the year four times and was voted Luxembourg’s athlete of the century at the end of 1999.

As one great champion left, another one appeared. Or rather, several young champions exploded on the scene in 2006, one of the richest years of the last decades, at the highest international level. Athletics, cycling and triathlon brought new incentives to sports in the Grand Duchy, which found itself on the podium of some of the year’s most important events, thanks to the likes of Liz May, Frank Schleck or David Fiegen.

Could anybody dream up a more fitting homage to the exceptional mountain climber Charly Gaul than the achievement by Frank Schleck who won the mythical stage at Alpe d’Huez, after a thrilling ascent where the young cyclist gave proof of his amazing talent once and for all?

Luxembourg’s athletes also had to wait a long time until, 54 years after Josy Barthel’s gold medal at the Olympics in Helsinki, one of their own finally reached the podium at an international championship. David Fiegen’s silver medal at the European championships in Göthenburg was definitely worth its price in gold, considering the way and manner in which the race was conducted. This achievement was a decisive highlight in the young champion’s career and made certain he became included in those athletes regarded as the best of the best.

These major achievements are highlighted in the “Book of Sports” which also reviews other important facts of 2006, thus preparing us for the year 2007 where hopefully, athletes, men and women from Luxembourg will continue to be successful and where, hopefully, new talents will emerge.

The Book of Sports 2006

12th edition, 208 pages

Edition size: 1300 copies

For more information and orders, please contact ALPS via email: contact@alps.lu

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