Friday, July 13, 2007
Enrico Degano, our 31-year-old newly minted Lanterne Rouge, has been a professional cyclist since 1999, and starting in the 2007 Tour de France may be his greatest achievement in cycling. His description of his first Tour de France Prologue is touching:
"When finally my magic moment came - Enrico explains - it was like a dream: on the departure podium I found Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme, the Major of London, the Major of Paris . . . and myself. I had the pleasure and the honour to shake hands with all these important persons..." And finally the amazing, short, intense race. "I well knew not to be competitive in time trial, and probably I wasted any further energy to admire all that people along the course. They called me . . . Enrico, Enrico . . . allez Degano! I had never seen anything like that in my life. I will tell this story to my sons and nephews. . . ." Less than ten minutes to come back with the feet on the ground. "Practically, I wore the yellow jersey for a couple of minutes, isn't it?. . . Something like a short trip in a virtual reality. I enjoyed those moments so much".