Sunday, July 06, 2008

On Wim Vansevenant

John Flynn blogs for Australia's SBS on domestique Wim Vansevenant's role in the Tour working on behalf of GC favorite Cadel Evans (if I may note, with much greater respect than the average writer who simply makes a facile joke of the two-time Tour de France Lanterne Rouge):

". . . I spoke with [Evans'] team-mate and self-described “guardian angel” Wim Vansevenant. “Seve” as his team-mates call him is the heart and soul of Silence Lotto. He is listed in the Tour’s Guide Historique as a two-time winner of the Lantern Rouge, the prize for finishing last in the Grande Boucle. In any other sport, that would be a dubious honour, but not in this sport and especially not this race. “Seve” is a bloke who already should be awarded the Order of Australia for his work protecting Robbie McEwen over the years. He brings with him a working class “roll your sleeves up” attitude to getting the job done. It’s typical of the Belgians who live, eat and breathe the sport of cycling. The look in his eyes Saturday revealed more than words could say about the importance of his role protecting Cadel Evans. If you think it would mean a lot for an Australian to win the Tour de France, believe me, the Belgians feel just as strongly about bringing home cycling’s ultimate prize. If they can pull it off, Australia will owe a debt to this Belgian team that, from the outset, took a chance with an Australian G.C. rider who’d been plagued by injuries. It was concerning to hear both Vansevenant and Yaroslav Popovych were involved in incidents on course Saturday. I’m yet to get the full details, but according to Robbie McEwen, his good mate “Seve” went through a car window. Let’s hope both riders are fit to race on. Evans will need their help."

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