The Lanterne Rouge is the last rider in the tour de france, the worst, slowest competitor. The name originates from a light hung on the last carriage of a railway train (so the signalmen could look back to check if any couplings have become well, uncoupled). Red is the colour with the longest wavelength so it can be seen from further away than any other colour.
So is the Lanterne Rouge really the worst, slowest competitor? Absolutely not! Usually they are battling illness or injury and valiantly continue the race to the bitter end while others drop out along the way. They may have been following team orders and given everything in the early part of stages and then slowly drop back through the peleton to their daily struggle to get to the finish before the time limit.
Modern Tour de France riders have to finish in a time between 10% and 25% (depending on the type of stage) slower than the winner’s time to be able to start the next day. Back in the first tour de france in 1903 there was no limit and the last placed rider Arsene Millocheau racked up 64 hours 57 minutes and eight seconds longer than winner Maurice Garin, that’s 50% longer!
That first tour de france was held over 6 stages with an average length of 250 miles, however there were three rest days between each stage. Each rider won prize money as long as they achieved more than 12 miles per hour. Arsene Millocheau was often missing from the results in the sponsor newspaper “L’Auto” because he finished after the print deadline.
Each week The Ivnghoe Velos set out for adventures in Herts, Beds and Bucks and someone is at the back of the group, that person may be battling illness, injury or a few too many beers the night before but they are out there and will finish the ride. Riding together and supporting each other so no one gets left behind is what we are about
So whether you are a regular or have recently happened upon our friendly cycle group on facebook or word of mouth, get out and join us when you can, enjoy the ride, you may be the lanterne rouge but that’s ok, you are still a hero for taking the plunge. We can’t guarantee a champagne reception at the end, but someone might buy you a beer.
Rides start from the church in Ivinghoe, there are two 10am options, both the same route until the final 3 or 8 miles, so you can see how the weather is before you decide long or short. The 10.30 of 24 miles ride also has the same start and finish as the 33 mile 10am ride. All rides return to Ivinghoe.
10am 33 miles: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/42125560
10am 38 miles (same route with a 5 mile add-on) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/42133515
10.30am 24 miles https://ridewithgps.com/routes/42125596