As soon as the leaders drop me, I find my rotund target wearing the 'Organ Grinder' jersey and wheelsuck him for the remainder of the race, only to attempt to pimp him at the finish line to avoid the lanterne rouge. At the conference, the blogging equivalent to my big boy in the Primal Wear was the blog entitled: Andy Shleck: best bike racer in the universe. Easy pickings despite them having twice as many followers than we do because everybody already knows that former World Champion Paolo Bettini is actually the best bike racer in the universe, and not Andy Shleck, ever since Bettini started flossing his taint with a piece of wood.
But I mention the lanterne rouge as though it were a bad word. In reality, the designation of 'last place' can be a coveted titled that some, it would seem, actually seek out. Take Belgian cyclist Wim Vansevenant who raced for Silence Lotto from 2003-2008. He distinguished himself as being the only cyclist to have finished the Tour de France in last place three times. And he did so in consecutive years....2006, 2007 and 2008.
In seeking out some additional information I stumbled upon his official page on the Silence Lotto team website from 2008. His bio was written in Dutch, which I had translated into English with the help of Google Translator. Regarding his status as bearer of the lantern rouge, this is what the translated biopic stated.
"Vansevenant may at a first meeting happened earlier cold and indifferent. Yet appearances can not deceive in his case. Vansevenant has peace with his knechtenrol. It is a role as one another and also not to underestimate driving holes closed, bottles get, get on a mountain, the wind driving the pitfalls of the course decipher. Few developed zoeen mastery in this role as Vansevenant."
Last place or not, how many of us can say we've made peace with our "knechtenrol?"
At any rate, it's good to be home once again. Although there is no cycling in the winter Olympics, I have to admit being captivated by the proceedings therein. However, like many probably were, I was quite disturbed by one thing during the Olympic coverage this past weekend: Bob Costas' hair.
I'm not sure if this is a hairpiece, or an extra-liberal use of some Grecian forumula, but something ain't right. Perhaps it's the pressure that a commentator on a major network feels to continue to look young. I guess we should consider ourselves lucky that NBC doesn't carry cycling. Can you image what they would do to poor Phil Liggett?