Raise la lanterne rouge

Raymond Chen

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.


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