Yesterday afternoon, I saw a television interview of Wim Vansevenant, lanterne rouge of the 2007 Tour. The camera showed him warming up on a stationary bike at 10:00 am. Being last, he was scheduled to go first in the time trial from Cognac to Angouleme. There were video clips showing him calling his mother and signing autographs for fans. When asked if he was purposely going for the lanterne rouge, he smiled and tried to make it seem as if ending up in last place was just a coincidence. But then he replied, “Well, it makes a big difference. People remember me. If I came in second to last, nobody would.” And there you have it. As he rides to Paris today, barring unforeseen circumstances (like wild geese attacking him), he will be one of only three men to win the Lanterne Rouge twice in a row. The others are Belgian Daniel Masson (1922 and 1923) and Austrian Gerhard SchÃ¶nbacher (1979 and 1980).
More Lanterne Rouge news here.