Friday, February 22, 2008

Tour of California Lanterne Rouge

The guy who sticks it out to the end despite being last in the standings always gets a great deal of credit here. Yesterday's brutally cold, wet, long (and virus-infected) stage of the Tour of California is a particular case in point. No big climbs, and yet it was nasty enough out there that 15 riders (12 percent of the field) dropped out during the stage. ("Où sommes-nous? La Californie?")

The current Lanterne Rouge is Roman Kilun, an American rider for the Healthnet Pro Cycling Team presented by Maxxis. He lives in Oakland, California and stands a (relatively) towering 6'3" (that's 9 inches taller than Il Grillo). Go Roman! His time is now 49:12 behind the leader, but the placings should be shaken up again today in the Solvang time trial.

He didn't ride first today, apparently because they're arranged by teams, but the poor guy had the bad luck to flat on the Solvang time trial course and came in with a time of 39:14, so he may keep his Lanterne Rouge position at least another day.

Update: He had been battling the virus that has been sweeping through the peloton, and unfortunately his finish time was outside the limits, so he was eliminated in Stage 5.

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