The Tour de France Devil : Didi Senft

Tour de France Devil Didi Diablo 01 e1467790137715 560x341Dieter “Didi” Senft is known as “El Diablo”, or the Devil of the Tour de France. If you’ve watched the Tour on television over the past 2 decades, you’ve likely seen this guy bouncing on the side of the road or running alongside the competitors. Although it was reported in 2014 that he was retiring, he was still spotted at the race in 2015 and 2016. So we weren’t surprised at all to see him again at this year’s Tour de France. We’ll refer to Wikipedia to provide you with a bit more background on this Cycling Superfan:

Senft (born February 7, 1952 in Reichenwalde, Germany) attributes the inspiration for the costume to German cycling announcer Herbert Watterot who called the last lap of local criterium races, “the Red Devil’s Lap.”

Tour de France Devil Didi Diablo 03 560x413You can often find him traveling ahead of multi-day stage races in a custom-decorated camper vehicle, picking out the best spot for his antics. He loves posing for photos with fans, and typically paints his symbols (trident and large bicycle) on the pavement near where you’ll find him when the race passes.

Tour de France Devil Didi Diablo 02 560x340When he is not traveling with the peloton, you can probably find Didi working on his latest bike creation. He has built over 100 bicycles, including the largest in the world. He is even listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for building the largest mobile guitar.

Tour de France Devil Didi Diablo 04 560x313

Tour de France Devil Didi Diablo 05 560x359One of our favorite photos of El Diablo is when he encountered the “Specialized Angel” at the Giro d’Italia in 2006. She was created as a publicity stunt by the bike company to play off the notoriety of the Tour Devil :

El Diablo Meets Specialized Angel 560x404There are far too many great Tour de France Devil photos to highlight them all, but we’ve gathered an extensive gallery to give you more of an idea. He is just one of the many reasons we enjoy watching the Tour de France, and encourage you to check out our Tour de France Primer for Americans for more.

Philip Van der Vossen

Editor at Gunaxin
Philip Van der Vossen is the Editor of Gunaxin, a Men's Lifestyle Magazine that was established in 2008. Philip also created and hosts the Trail Trek Tour, a traveling series of off-road events for automotive media.

Additionally, Philip has served as Rally Director for the Washington Automotive Press Association, Speaker at IMPAcon and Blogs with Balls, Chairman of the Relay For Life of North Anne Arundel County, Examiner Team Leader for the Maryland Performance Excellence Awards, and Credentialed Founder of Capitals Outsider.
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