Friday, July 15, 2005

The Devil Revealed

The Devil
Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
If you watch the Tour de France, and especially the mountain stages, there is one character who appears over and over at the side of the road. The Devil. I was always curious!

In America, we used to have that guy with the rainbow wig who would show up at all of the major sporting events with his John 3:16 sign. NBA finals, the Masters, World Series, etc.

What motivates these guys? Well, our friends at VeloNews gave the scoop yesterday:

We met old Didi at the 1996 Tour and then interviewed him at the world cyclo-cross championships in Munich that winter. Didi has been coming to the grand tours and other big events for years. He grew up in the old East Germany and used to watch the Tour on television. There's an old German saying, referring to the final kilometer of a bike race as the "Devil's Lap." Being a literal thinker, Didi always wondered why there was no Devil there. Well, after the wall came down and German unification followed, Didi decided there was a job that needed to be filled.

He is a kinetic sculptor and has the world record for having constructed the world's largest bicycle, by the way.

Who Knew?

The Tour and other major cycling events aren't real sure about having a wild German with a massive bike hanging around in the final kilometer, so our man Didi, usually picks a key point in the stage to let the peloton know he's around. He always paints a trident on the road every few dozen meters, starting about a kilometer before his spot. Anyway, he's something of a celebrity these days... and even appeared in a French fashion magazine, posing with runway models on a big climb in the '03 Tour.

Communism can do strange things to a person.


Blogger Shocho said...

The Devil, you say?

1:38 PM  
Blogger Tom said...


3:41 PM  
Blogger TheGirard said...

Well there goes your Hor'gahn.


5:02 PM  

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