Today's Red Lantern: 179. Mauricio Soler (Barloworld), 1:21 trail on 178. Wim Vansevenant.
This year's 2008 Tour de France Lanterne Rouge competition revolves around the big question: can Belgian Wim Vansevenant (Silence - Lotto) become the first racer in the history of the Tour to three-peat as the infamous Red Lantern?
After two stages, Wim is already in second to last place and over nine minutes down. But more Lanterne Rouge quests have been swept up by the broom wagon than come to naught because of good performance. Does 36 year old Wim still have the legs to complete the Tour? Will he falter on the Mastif Central or in the mountains? In the past he's proved to be a master at husbanding his energy and never bonking or blowing up. His last-across-the-line finish today certainly announced to the other riders that's he's serious about having the Maillot Rouge* on his shoulders in Paris. There's a reason no rider has ever three-peated, though, and it won't be easy for Wim.
* There is no real red jersey worn by the last place rider. There should be, though!