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Old 07-06-08, 07:53 PM   #1
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Lanterne Rouge 2008 Spoiler

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.

tcs



* There is no real red jersey worn by the last place rider. There should be, though!
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Old 07-06-08, 08:02 PM   #2
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I'm pulling for him. I vote he can do it again.
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Old 07-07-08, 04:12 AM   #3
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Why is he on the team if he never finishes with the field? I'm sure they can find someone else to squeak in before the maximum allotted time each stage.
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Old 07-07-08, 04:29 AM   #4
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Why is he on the team if he never finishes with the field? I'm sure they can find someone else to squeak in before the maximum allotted time each stage.
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Old 07-07-08, 04:41 AM   #5
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Why is he on the team if he never finishes with the field? I'm sure they can find someone else to squeak in before the maximum allotted time each stage.
I can't take it. This is the best...
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Old 07-07-08, 03:55 PM   #6
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While Wim moved in to the "red jersey" and the Tour's overall trail today, he still got a big scare at the finish line. Wim finished alone (safely staying out of any potential crashes!), a comfortable three minutes back of the autobus. There were just two riders still out on course, both of whom seemed non-threateningly up in the standings. But the clock kept ticking, ticking, ticking, and finally after another four and a half minutes Frenchman Matthieu Sprick (Bouygues Telecom) crossed the line --- placing him just eight seconds ahead of Wim on GC!

Is Sprick for real? Could he be a threat to Vansevenant's quest to become the greatest Lanterne Rouge in tour history? But remember 1989 - could these eight seconds haunt Sprick in Paris?

In tomorrow's short, flat individual time trial, the advantage is all Sprick's. Vansevenant has to start first, and Sprick could easily bag the Red Lantern in the final time split while Wim stands helplessly staring at his name atop the leader board.

Ah, but it's a long way to Paris.

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Old 07-07-08, 05:31 PM   #7
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Soler seems to be giving him a run for his money. Maybe they have upped the prize list for the "Lantern Rouge"?? And is it cheating if you get the last place due to injury?
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Old 07-07-08, 09:07 PM   #8
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Why is he on the team if he never finishes with the field? I'm sure they can find someone else to squeak in before the maximum allotted time each stage.
There are many roles in a team. Not everyone is out for glory and points. Some just "work" for others. Google "domestique" and "Sean Yeats".

These guys are heros.
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Old 07-08-08, 04:45 PM   #9
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OK, Sprick proved to be a one-day red light special, and Wim had a solid red lantern performance in the time trial, placing 173nd out of 178 racers. At this point the two biggest threats to his three-peat would seem to be:

1) the broom wagon. We'll have some idea by the first rest day if Vansevenant has the form to keep from getting swept up.

2) the other two-time Lanterne Rouge in the 2008 Tour, Jimmy Casper (Agritubel). That's right, unbelievably there are two riders in this year's tour who have finished last twice in past years! Unlike all-rounder Vansevenant, Casper is actually a strong sprinter (in fact, a former stage winner) but when it comes to getting over the mountains - well, not so much. While Casper currently lies in 116th on CG, he also had a red lantern-esque 163nd placing in today's time trial - and the mountains lie ahead.

Shining Lanterne Rouge moment: On the final day of the 2006 Tour, an amused peleton looked on as Wim caught Jimmy napping and sprinted to the day's first time bonus. The time earned left Wim only seconds behind. To the greater amusement of the peleton, Casper then marshaled his team and marked Vansevenant all the way to the Champs-Elysées.

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Old 07-08-08, 05:20 PM   #10
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On Wednesday, July 23rd, the 17th stage will climb the Col du Gaibier, Col de la Croix de Fer and finish up L'Alpe d'Huez (all beyond category).

The racer in last place will probably be behind by a couple of hours on GC by this point. Ahead lie hours of pain and the possibility of being time limited at the end of the day. His own self interest would council just staying in bed that morning.

The man with the heart of the Lanterne Rouge will get up on the 23rd, put his uniform on, and go ride for cycling, his team and all those ToF fans waiting on L'Alpe d'Huez's 21 switchbacks.

Many of us will see a day when life's endless climbs seem impossible and we wonder "Why go on?" At those times, it's not the glorified champion in the yellow jersey who'll be our guiding light - it's the Lanterne Rouge.

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These guys are heros.
Yep.

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Old 07-08-08, 05:32 PM   #11
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If he can't do it, I'll volunteer to do it.
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Old 07-08-08, 05:32 PM   #12
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On Wednesday, July 23rd, the 17th stage will climb the Col du Gaibier, Col de la Croix de Fer and finish up L'Alpe d'Huez (all beyond category).

The racer in last place will probably be behind by a couple of hours on GC by this point. Ahead lie hours of pain and the possibility of being time limited at the end of the day. His own self interest would council just staying in bed that morning.

The man with the heart of the Lanterne Rouge will get up on the 23rd, put his uniform on, and go ride for cycling, his team and all those ToF fans waiting on L'Alpe d'Huez's 21 switchbacks.

Many of us will see a day when life's endless climbs seem impossible and we wonder "Why go on?" At those times, it's not the glorified champion in the yellow jersey who'll be our guiding light - it's the Lanterne Rouge.



Yep.

tcs

On a day like that, you wonder if someone in the team car is actually supplying him with info on what kind of time he needs to avoid the broom wagon. Or is sitting in the autobus enough to guarantee a start on the following day.
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Old 07-09-08, 04:18 AM   #13
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There are many roles in a team. Not everyone is out for glory and points. Some just "work" for others. Google "domestique" and "Sean Yeats".

These guys are heros.
I know he's a domestique, but I'm having trouble believing that a guy who's minutes back after one flat stage is going to be carrying 8 bottles up a mountain in his jersey. My thought was: can't his team find ANOTHER domestique who can serve the team a bit better?
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Old 07-09-08, 11:34 AM   #14
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On a day like that, you wonder if someone in the team car is actually supplying him with info on what kind of time he needs to avoid the broom wagon.
The info probably wouldn't be of much use - if the Lanterne Rouge could ride any harder up the third Hors Category climb of the day, he would!

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Or is sitting in the autobus enough to guarantee a start on the following day.
Yes. Occationally when some superman goes on a flier the autobus gets technically eliminated on time, but the organizers always make an exception on those rare days to maintain the field.

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Last edited by tcs; 07-09-08 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 07-09-08, 11:45 AM   #15
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... a guy who's minutes back after one flat stage...
The race is to Paris.

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Old 07-11-08, 04:15 AM   #16
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Vansevenant Merchandise

Where might we find Vansevenant Merchandise, preferably Lanterne Rouge?
In the alternative, where might we find Lanterne Rouge merchandise?
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Old 07-12-08, 09:47 PM   #17
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Wim is still going for it!

165. Christophe Riblon (FRA), Ag2r at 52:02
166. Aliaksandr Kuschynski (BLR), Liquigas at 52:11
167. Jeremy Roy (FRA), Francaise des Jeux at 55:04
168. Stephane Auge (FRA), Cofidis at 55:25
169. Mathieu Sprick (FRA), Bouygues Telecom at 57:12
170. Wim Vansevenant (BEL), Silence-Lotto at 58:54
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Old 07-13-08, 05:33 PM   #18
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All I can say is, I wish I was in good enough shape to come in last place in le Tour.
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Old 07-13-08, 08:11 PM   #19
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After Stage 9, he's still going strong. Lost 27 mins today.

165 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas 1.17.11
166 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 1.18.56
167 Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française des Jeux 1.21.58
168 Stéphane Augé (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 1.22.19
169 Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 1.24.06
170 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Silence - Lotto 1.25.48
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you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.
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Old 07-13-08, 08:24 PM   #20
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Wim finished stage 9 comfortably in the back of the largest group, crossing in 166th place some 28 minutes after Ricco (Saunier Duval). Two-time last-place-in-Paris man Jimmy Casper made his first big Red Lantern move for 2008, losing contact - despite the down hill finish - with all of the other 169 riders still in the Tour and finishing this stage dead last (170th place). This notable performance took two and a half minutes out of Wim Vansevenant's trail and moved Casper down to 163rd on GC. With so many major mountain stages in the next week and a half, the Belgian will need to keep a close eye on the dangerous Frenchman if he intends to hang on to the "red jersey".

The Vansevenant/Casper duel to be the first man in Tour history to Red Lantern three times could be shaping up as an epic for the ages.

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All I can say is, I wish I was in good enough shape to come in last place in le Tour.
They're Red Lanterns all right, but they're hung on the back of the TGV.

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Old 07-13-08, 08:29 PM   #21
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Old 07-14-08, 02:28 PM   #22
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Stage 10: Wim once again finished comfortably near the back of the largest group in 157th, so his 36 y.o. legs do seem Tour-worthy. Sorry, broom wagon!

But! The Ghostman slipped off the back, finished 167th and took another 52 seconds off Vansevenant's trail. You're just going to have to keep an eye on Casper, Wim!

Lanterne Rouge leader board headed into the first rest day:
169 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Silence - Lotto 1.56.39
168 Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 1.54.57
167 Stéphane Augé (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 1.53.10
166 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 1.49.47
165 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Columbia 1.48.33
164 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas 1.48.02
163 Jimmy Casper (Fra) Agritubel 1.47.56
162 Arnaud Gérard (Fra) Française des Jeux 1.47.46


Special congratulations to Team Silence-Lotto for having men in both Yellow and Red!

tcs

PS - Oh, and a tip of the beret to French professional cycling, now holding 6 of the bottom nine GC positions. Hang in there, mes amis, we want to cheer you on the Champs-Elysees.

Last edited by tcs; 07-15-08 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 07-14-08, 03:59 PM   #23
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What would be funny is if this thread made it to Silence-Lotto to show them that we are pulling for him to be last.
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Old 07-15-08, 10:53 AM   #24
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Bernhard Eisel is really letting me down.

Holy moly, the French are really in this thing. Just a small slip from a few riders and they could take the top (bottom) five. :O
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Old 07-16-08, 11:24 AM   #25
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Two items of note from the 11th stage:

1) I clearly wrote Sprick, the great French hope, off too soon for the Lanterne Rouge. Sure, he got to second-to-last in one bad stage, but he has failed to move out of that position for over a week. He's surely close enough to take it on any single stage without getting time limited.

2) Casper announced today: he's officially going for Lanterne Rouge in Paris! He gapped himself from the back of the autobus at the finish, again came in dead last, and took another 16 seconds out of Vansevenant's trail. He would probably need just two Casper-esque mountain stage results to erase the eight and a half minutes by which he leads Vansevenant and thereby become the Red Lantern - and there are four rugged mountain stages left.

The Lanterne Rouge leader board after stage 11:
166 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Silence - Lotto 2.04.02
165 Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 2.02.20
164 Stéphane Augé (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 2.00.33
163 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 1.57.10
162 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Columbia 1.55.56
161 Jimmy Casper (Fra) Agritubel 1.55.35
160 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas 1.55.25

Best,
tcs

Last edited by tcs; 07-16-08 at 11:31 AM.
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