Stage 20 underway

July 26, 2008

Here’s some neat info from…

11:25 – Battle For ’Lanterne Rouge’ Begins… The first two men to start the 20th stage are on their way. Wim Vansevenant (SIL) has been the ’Lanterne Rouge’ (ie. the last rider in the general classification) in the two previous editions of the Tour de France. He has held the same position for much of the 2008 race but the rider who finished last in stage 19, Bernhard Eisel (COL), has stolen his ’title’ with two stages remaining this year.
Eisel is three hours, 47 minutes and 11 seconds behind Sastre after 3,362km of racing. Vansevenant is ranked 144th three hours, 46 minutes and 29 seconds behind the overall leader.


11:56 – Vansevenant Could Be The First Triple ’Lanterne Rouge’

Before the 2008 Tour, six riders have finished as the last rider in the general classification of the Tour. The latest is Wim Vansevenant (2006 and 2007); he is currently ranked second last after 19 stages but challenging to become the first rider to finish last three times.
The other double ’lanterne rouge’ winners are: Masson (1922 and 1923); Schambacher (1979 and 1980); Hermans (1987 and 1989); Casper (2001 and 2004) and Flores (2002 and 2005).

I guess many of us focus too much on the first place rider and not on the maneuvering that’s necessary to finish last.

More shortly.

As with yesterday, I’ll post a couple more and then post the spoilers to appear AFTER 9PM EST.