Raise la lanterne rouge

Sure, everybody knows that Floyd Landis won this year's Tour de France. But what about the guy who came in last? While the race leader wears the maillot jaune (yellow jersey), the person at the bottom of the pack is saddled with the lanterne rouge (red lantern), after the lamp that hangs on the back of a train. This year's "winner" is Wim Vansevenant, who at least appears to be a good sport about it.

Lanterne rouge is not a position you go for. It comes for you.

(It also amuses me that there's even a Tour de France Lanterne Rouge blog which keeps track of who is "pulling up the rear" throughout the race.)

Now, mind you, at least he finished the race, which is more than can be said for the thirty-some-odd people who dropped out for one reason or another. All of whose water bottles I am not worthy to carry, of course.

Comments (6)
  1. KristofU says:

    Wim Vansevenant actually competed with the french rider Jimmy Casper in the last time trial to ride as slowly as possible, and yet finish in time.

    Being the red lantern at least gets you some publicity. You are invited to post-tour criteria etc…  

  2. ::wendy:: says:

    is this a deliberate reference to the excellent 1991 film of the same name ‘Raise the red Lantern" where getting the red lantern has a VERY different meaning  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101640/

  3. http://www.mcwetboy.net/dfl/ tracks last place finishes in the Olympics.  "Because they’re there and you’re not"

  4. Vijay says:

    Seems a tough act to follow :)

  5. Ryan Daniels says:

    Railroads in the USA stopped using the veneral caboose in favor of a a bright flashing light called a FRED. Railroads officially expand that acronym as "Flashing Rear End Device," while their employees often substitute a different word for the "F." "La lanterne rouge" has a more classy sound, but we could say FRED faster and attach one more quickly. Same negative connotations, of course.

  6. GregM says:

    I’ve never heard the "FRED" name before, I always heard them called EOT devices or markers (End Of Train).


    Just as cabooses were variously called hacks, crummies, cabins, etc., end-of-train devices go by a variety of names. Besides ETD, there’s EOT, marker, FRED or Freddy (flashing rear-end device), even Billy and Redman.

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