July 23, 2006

Crazy Jane, back with a vengeance

Some of the most literate and passionate weblogging on the Tour has come from “Crazy Jane,” who often contributes to Daily Peloton's Tour coverage (anywhere you see “Updated and Delicieux”), and whose weblog, Le Tour Delicieux, remains in my blogroll, despite being silent for two years (2! years!), in the hope that she'll turn her considerable talents back to the Tour. She's also (along with Velogal and Marianne's Twenty-One Stages, others?) one of the few women writing about the Tour.

Jane is in Paris for the Tour finale, and has posted a number of terrific pictures of riders before yesterday's La Creusot TT, including Hincapie (above), Viatcheslav Ekimov, Gilberto Simoni, Thomas Voeckler, Jens Voigt, Chris Horner, Axel Merckx (times two), Vladimir Karpets, Stefano Garzelli, Stuart O'Grady, and Didi “Tour devil” Senft, plus some fan shots.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 23, 2006 in George Hincapie, Gilberto Simoni, Photo galleries, Stuart O'Grady, The Tour Devil, Thomas Voeckler | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 12, 2006

Stage 10: Kangaroo Head Guy

Ok, it takes a bit more than carrying an inflated kangaroo on your head and running next to the racers to win "best fan costume" in my book. From the Lance years, I always dug the bighorn helmet guy, the occasional spider-man/batman, and that one time when a fake rider got in the action, and do I ever wish the Specialized Angel would show up! Also, while always looking for the snarky graffiti on the road, I haven't seen the usual phallic symbols or any El Dope's. And there's the Devil, who was interviewed by Bicycling Magazine.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 12, 2006 in The Tour Devil, Tour de France 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 09, 2006

Stage 7 photo galleries

Zabriskie, Honchar, Tour Devil Didi Senft, by Caroline Yang.

Graham Watson actually came up behind Landis and caught him during the bike change here; here's Watson's full TT gallery.

BikeZen's Mark Shimahara's TT gallery.

CyclingNews.com TT photo gallery.

BBC Sport Stage 7 photo gallery.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 9, 2006 in Dave Zabriskie, Floyd Landis, Photo galleries, Sergei Honchar, The Tour Devil, Tour de France 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 08, 2006

Tour's devil builds World Cup bike

Reuters UK | Big bike for a big fan

The Red Devil of the Tour de France is branching out.

Didi Senft, who appears annually dressed as a devil at many of the Tour's toughest stages, wants to be a part of the publicity surrounding the upcoming soccer/football World Cup, kicking off in June in Germany.

He's built a giant, rideable tricycle using regulation soccer balls as tires. It looks to be a modification of his world record bicycle, since it shares some dimensions: 7.8 meters long, 3.7 meters high. That's about 26 feet long. Check out the video above to see Didi take it out for a little ride.

Seen at Bikeforall.net.

Posted by Frank Steele on May 8, 2006 in About the Tour, The Tour Devil | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 03, 2005

CyclingNews monster Stage 2 photo gallery

www.cyclingnews.com | Stage 2 Photo Gallery

Vino's Kazakh jersey Boonen's stage win Voeckler in maillot pois
Vino your Kazakh champ, Boonen takes the stage, and
Voeckler finds a jersey from cyclingnews.com

CyclingNews.com has a huge photo gallery today, with more than 90 photos in all. If you've got a favorite rider, he's likely in there. Also, the first devil-sighting (what?) of the year.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 3, 2005 in 2005 Tour photo galleries, Alexandre Vinokourov, The Tour Devil, Thomas Voeckler, Tom Boonen | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 18, 2004

Graham Watson Stage 14 photo gallery

(Click through to GrahamWatson.com photo gallery)

That third picture is Didi Senft on one of his giant bicycles.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 18, 2004 in Photo galleries, The Tour Devil | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 03, 2004

"Lance, come back here - You owe me your soul!"

ESPN.com | The Devil, you say?

ESPN's Page 2 ran a funny captions contest featuring Lance Armstrong and the Tour's red devil, Germany's Didi Senft. My favorite is the title of this post.

Also good:

What mall Santas do in the offseason.

"No, I don't care who you say you are, you can't ride on my handlebars!

Seen at MetaFilter.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 3, 2004 in Lance Armstrong 2004, The Tour Devil | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 01, 2004

The Devil goes down to Belgium?

PezCycling News | The DEVIL: PEZ-Clusive Interview!

PezCycling catches up with Didi Senft, the German who shows up at races and gets more publicity than some of the riders. Last year, in honor of the Centenary Tour, he went a little overboard and set up a number of scenes along the course.

He's been chasing the riders in that costume since 1993. Strangely, he keeps the same costume, but changes pitchforks depending on the event.

Senft is also a bicycle-mad inventor, and holds the record for the world's largest rideable bicycle.

Didi was featured (on tape) on Craig Kilborn's Late Late Show on CBS last night, as part of his "This Just In" segment.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 1, 2004 in About the Tour, The Tour Devil | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 20, 2004

Tour bookshelf updates

Just in time for the Tour, there are a number of new titles available in bookstores.

Lance Armstrong: Images of a Champion is a collaboration between bike racing's best photographer, Graham Watson, and Lance Armstrong. It features hundreds of shots of Armstrong, from the familiar — Watson's 3-frame montage of Armstrong's fall during last year's Stage 15, Armstrong crossing the line in Oslo as the youngest-ever road world champion — to behind-the-scenes shots of the day Armstrong thinks he lost Liège-Bastogne-Liège by pre-riding 100 kilometers of the course in a pouring rain, Armstrong taking a comfort break with the help of teammates, and (page 65) Armstrong accepting a wet towel and drink from one Emma O'Reilly at the end of the Metz time trial on the 1999 Tour.

Almost every important race of Armstrong's career is here, including all the Tours, the classics Armstrong has ridden, and some of his American races. If there's any criticism to be made regarding the photos, it's that there are very few photos of Armstrong during and after his cancer treatment, since Watson continued to cover cycling during Armstrong's illness. It feels a little strange, since the recovery is such a big part of the Armstrong story.

Every chapter starts with Armstrong's analysis of where he stood at going into the season, and the pictures include a comment or two from Le Boss. Sprinkled throughout are tributes from Lance's mother, his coaches, and from fellow 5-timers Miguel Indurain and Eddy Merckx. There's also a complete rundown of Armstrong's results through the end of last season.

From OLN-TV's lead cycling anchor, Bob Roll, comes The Tour de France Companion, part primer and part handbook, from someone who has ridden the Tour and still follows the sport closely.

If you've read Bobke's VeloNews columns or his other books, this one will seem a little, well, sedate. In order to appeal to as broad an audience as possible, I'd say this one is written at about 5.5 Bobkes, with only occasional dips into the colorful language common in his other, um, writing.

It's a very nice book. If you're just getting into the Tour, it's all laid out here: What the jerseys stand for, how many teams participate, and the specifics of the 2004 course. If you've followed the Tour for a few years, you'll still learn something: Haribo distributes 2,000,000 packages of GummiBears at the Tour each year, what it means to be the Lanterne Rouge, what's the deal with Didi Senft?

There's a brief chapter devoted to the Tour's history, and a timeline and list of Tour records at the end.

It's a little strange to see a book about the Tour that spends so little time discussing the sport's doping scandals and allegations, but it's a treat to see a book aimed squarely at the US market talking about the world's greatest sporting event.

Finally, there's a softcover edition of a book I reviewed in December, The Official Tour De France: Centennial 1903-2003, a terrific overview of the Tour's storied history, with a page or two on every year's Tour, and contemporary stories from L'Auto and L'Equipe.

Posted by Frank Steele on June 20, 2004 in Books, The Tour Devil | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack