Clearly it's the World Championship Road Race for professionals given the national rather than trade-team kit, and a bit of detective work - the wet weather, Système U riding Gitane frames and Emanuele Bombini in an Assos Italian team jersey on a Bianchi X4 - puts it not as Chambéry in 1989 as many thought, but 1987 at Villach in Austria where Stephen Roche crowned his annus mirabilis triple of Giro-Tour-Worlds.
But who is this mystery French rider? Gérard Rue said some, Luc Leblanc said others - but no one could believe it was Laurent Fignon: for some reason he had, for this race, not donned his usual professorial spectacles, opting instead I assume for contact lenses - this is long before the advent of laser eye surgery don't forget. If it was down to his glasses being a bad idea in the wet, it's strange that he didn't go without them more often, and I'd have imagined he'd be sporting some kind of eye protection to keep the grit out of myopic eyes already smarting from the mix of filthy wheel spray and those contact lenses. Perhaps Rudy Project Performance shades, very much in vogue at the time for example, but could you imagine Fignon in his nemesis Lemond's garish, brash, oversized Oakley Factory Pilots? No, me neither. It illustrates though how much Fignon is instantly recognisable by dint of his thinning blonde hair and those gold-rimmed specs; take them away, stick him in a casquette to cover his mop, and he's incognito to most.
I've ridden a couple of times in standard sight-correcting glasses in the wet, and it's been one of the most miserable experiences I've ever had: non-grip nosepiece useless when combined with perspiration, impossible to see through lenses covered in droplets and so constantly forced to look over the top of the rims, and with poor eyesight that's not really a great idea. Not surprising then that bespectacled riders in the pro peloton are few and far beween - most opting for lenses I assume - but there are a handful. I've compiled a list here from memory; can you think of any other well-known riders I've missed? Interestingly some of the links show the riders in team-publicity shots, without glasses. Vanity, perhaps? Is there a Velominati diktat on corrective eyewear?