Great picture that my girlfriend found on Flickr of Wim holding a Lanterne Rouge to mark his rare achievement of finishing the Tour de France last three times in a row.
Photo credit: NATHALIE MAGNIEZ/AFP/Getty Images
To finish the race once would be an achievement for anyone in the sport but to keep coming back and riding as a domestique with no hope of glory is a tough gig. Wim’s secured his name in cycling folklore by finishing stone cold last and setting a new level for determination, cunning and heroic effort deserving of recognition.
The picture could only have been bettered had Cadel Evans won and Silence Lotto bookended the classification. For now though we should settle for Wim as the icon of cyclists who carry on riding and doing their bit in the sport even when they no that the glory of victory is not theirs to claim.
If, like me, you find yourself struggling at the back and wondering why you’re there when you get dropped by the bunch, think of Wim and ask yourself “What Would Wim Do?” The answer is of course, keep going.
So all hail to Wim Vansevenant, the king of the backmarkers.