Monday, July 28, 2008

What Does This Man Know That You Don't?

What does this man know that you don't? It's simple. This is the third time in a row that Wim Van Sevenant of Belgium has received the Lantern Rouge, folks. That's right, he's been dead last in the last three Tours.
And you know what else? That's the face of a man who never-NEVER gives up, or thinks he's got business elsewhere that's more pressing, or that maybe it's getting pretty lonely in the back of the pack and the beer's on ice at the next village, or maybe he ought to tip the nitro can so to speak and move up a few places in the standings.
No, friends, look on the face of a man who never quits.
Wim finished 145th. And that means he is one of a select few, because in the Tour, many are called but few are chosen. He's a credit to Silence-Lotto and the great nation of Belgium.
Photo courtesy of Amaury Sport Organisation, bes' li'l ole promoter in France, doncha know, because they can put on a SHOW, cantcha see?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Big Enchilada Stage 17 and The Red Lantern

I've been glued to the teevee every morning watching the Tour (and there are many cycle races but there is only one Tour), and Alpe d'Huez lived up to its fearsome reputation today as a breaker of riders and a general kicker of asses. It's said that it has winnowed the field down to a favored few, and that makes the next stage all the more important, particularly for those who've got some skill in time trials.

America's being represented by Chicagoan Chris Van Develde whom you can read about by clicking on his name. It's a great article by Paul Kimmage of the Times and well worth the time. Give it your kind attention. He's the guy on the right taking a snooze. Of course, Team Columbia and Team Garmin Chipotle are carrying the flag and it's something to see two yanqui teams this year even if the riders hail from all over.
Photo Associated Press, bes' li'l ole wire service on the planet, doncha know.

Another interesting thing I heard in the commentary a couple days ago. On Oscar Pereiro, the default winner of the 2006 Tour, Phil Liggett said "Nobody here thinks Oscar Pereiro won the 2006 Tour." That's right, folks.

Something I hadn't noted before but in retrospect it seems obvious. I do not know whether it is an official award these days, but if it isn't it should damn well be.
That is the Lantern Rouge, which is the guy who comes in dead last in the Tour but makes it all the way to Paris. I'd buy each and every one of them a beer if they were here.

God bless 'em, here they are:

1903 Arsène Millocheau
1904 Antoine Deflotrière
1905 Clovis Lacroix
1906 Georges Bronchard
1907 Albert Chartier
1908 Henri Anthoine
1909 Georges Devilly
1910 Constant Collet
1911 Lucien Roquebert
1912 Maurice Lartigue
1913 Henri Alavoine
1914 Henri Leclercq
1915-1918 - no tour - WWI
1919 Jules Nempon
1920 Charles Raboisson
1921 Henri Catelan
1922 Daniel Masson
1923 Daniel Masson
1924 Victor Lafosse
1925 Fernand Besnier
1926 André Drobecq
1927 Jacques Pfister
1928 Edouard Persin
1929 André Léger
1930 Marcel Ilpide
1931 Richard Lamb
1932 Rudolf Risch
1933 Ernest Neuhard
1934 Antonio Folco
1935 Willi Kutschbach
1936 Aldo Bertocco
1937 Aloyse Klensch
1938 Janus Hellemons
1939 Armand Le Moal
1940-1946 no tour - WWII
1947 Pietro Tarchini
1948 Vitorio Seghezzi
1949 Guido De Santi
1950 Fritz Zbinden
1951 Abdel-Kader Zaaf
1952 Henri Paret
1953 Claude Rouer
1954 Marcel Dierkens
1955 Tony Hoar
1956 Roger Chaussabel
1957 Guy Million
1958 Walter Favre
1959 Louis Bisiliat
1960 Herrero Berrendero
1961 André Geneste
1962 Augusto Marcaletti
1963 Willy Derboven
1964 Anatole Novak
1965 Joseph Groussard
1966 Paolo Manucci
1967 Jean-Pierre Genet
1968 John Clarey
1969 André Wilhelm
1970 Frits Hoogerheide
1971 Georges Chappe
1972 Alain Bellouis
1973 Jacques-André Hochart
1974 Lorenzo Alaimo
1975 Jacques Boulas
1976 Aad van den Hoek
1977 Roger Loysch
1978 Philippe Tesnière
1979 Gerhard Schönbacher
1980 Gerhard Schönbacher
1981 Faustino Cuelli
1982 Werner Devos
1983 Marcel Laurens
1984 Gilbert Glaus
1985 Manrico Ronchiato
1986 Ennio Salvador
1987 Mathieu Hermans
1988 Dirk Wayenberg
1989 Mathieu Hermans
1990 Rodolfo Massi
1991 Rob Harmeling
1992 Fernando Quevedo
1993 Edwig van Hooydonck
1994 John Talen
1995 Bruno Cornillet
1996 Jean-Luc Masdupuy
1997 Philippe Gaumont
1998 Damien Nazon
1999 Jacky Durand
2000 Olivier Perraudeau
2001 Jimmy Casper
2002 Igor Flores
2003 Hans De Clerq
2004 Jimmy Casper
2005 Iker Flores
2006 Wim Vansevenant
2007 Wim Vansevenant