The Red Devil of the Tour de France!
German bicycle frame builder Dieter “Didi” Senft is a man famed for his frequent appearances to cheer on the Tour de France riders as he wears a red devil costume and carries a trident. He has been there almost every year since 1993, despite a hiatus when surgery prevented him from coming.
Senft chases after riders and pulls off dramatic jumps to show his support. Along the cycling course, he will paint a trident symbol on the road a few kilometers before the spot where he is waiting, to announce his presence to the riders. Although there had been some reports of his retirement due to poor physical condition and a lack of sponsors, as of 2017 Senft has been a healthy Red Devil! We wanted to see his energetic support again this year, so we asked Parisian illustrator Ruben Gerard to draw a picture to make into a cycling cap. Under the bill it says “Allez!” That’s French for “Go!” It’s what Senft yells to the cyclists.
There are other strange-looking fans besides the Red Devil, such as a group of women in traditional folk costumes and a man who, for some reason, dresses like a ballerina. There are many ways to enjoy the Tour de France, and everyone has their own. Getting a look at these peculiar fans is one of them.