For those of us who watched the Tour de France throughout the now barely credible 90s period, we got used to seeing a man with a large beard jumping about by the roadside dressed in a red devil suit complete with trident. Every year we see countless people running alongside the riders but the devil made the jump to a name that all cycling fans knew.
The devil has been at the roadside of the Tour de France every year since 1993 (except for 2012 due to a blood clot on the brain) and in those 21 years he has been seen on at least one stage, often with the cameras picking him out of the crowd and a slow motion replay provided. He has managed to become as much a tradition as the pre-stage caravan.
His trident symbol is often painted on the road a few miles ahead of his actual spot and the riders have also come to appreciate his presence. He’s been seen at a few other events such as the Giro, Spring Classics and World Championships but these are often a nice surprise and his attendance has varied for these sort of events.
It’s been reported that the 2014 Tour de France was the devil’s last Tour due to ill-health and lack of sponsorship but his legacy will live on and its possible no other cycling fan will replace him in quite the same way.