Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lantern Rouge

In a stage race there are numerous forms of recognition. Some racers, the best ones, chase the overall victory. The sprinters covet the points jersey. The best young rider gets recognized for his budding talent. Everybody wants a stage win. But there's one form of recognition that most cyclists try to avoid: the Lantern Rouge. Named after the bright red lantern that swings from the caboose of a train, the Lantern Rouge is term reserved for the last placed rider in the overall classification. To quote wikipedia: "the rider who finishes last, rather than dropping out along the way, is accorded a distinction " I'd make that "dubious distinction."

Well at this year's Tour of Utah, after all was said and done, I was the Lantern Rouge. Here's the final GC (scroll alllllllll the way down):

Final general classification
1Johann Tschopp (Swi) BMC Racing Team21:26:32 
2Matthew Busche (USA) RadioShack-Nissan0:00:43 
3Leopold Koenig (Cze) Team NetApp0:00:49 
4Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Bontrager Livestrong Team0:00:58 
5Ian Boswell (USA) Bontrager Livestrong Team0:01:03 
6Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:01:08 
7Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-Nissan0:01:19 
8Lucas Euser (USA) Team Spidertech p/b C100:01:21 
9Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:01:29 
10Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:01:31 
11Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin - Sharp0:01:32 
12Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin - Sharp0:02:56 
13Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin - Sharp0:03:13 
14George Bennett (NZl) RadioShack-Nissan0:04:08 
15Francisco Jarley Colorado Hernandez (Col) EPM - Une0:06:04 
16Chris Butler (USA) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:06:22 
17Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team0:06:39 
18Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:06:56 
19Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team0:07:10 
20Christopher Baldwin (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling  
21Freddy Orlando Piamonte Rodriguez (Col) EPM - Une0:08:32 
22Max Jenkins (USA) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team0:09:42 
23Andrew Bajadali (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies0:09:46 
24Mathew Cooke (USA) Team Exergy0:09:54 
25Marc Goos (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:10:55 
26Timothy Duggan (USA) Liquigas-Cannondale0:11:04 
27Eduard Alexander Beltran Suarez (Col) EPM - Une0:12:43 
28Mathias Flueckiger (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:13:52 
29Michael Creed (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies0:14:07 
30Jorge Camilo Castiblanco Cubides (Col) EPM - Une0:15:13 
31Rory Sutherland (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team0:16:17 
32Mike Olheiser (USA) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team0:17:20 
33Benjamin Day (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team0:18:17 
34Rafael Infantino Abreu (Col) EPM - Une0:18:23 
35Yann Huguet (Fra) Team Argos - Shimano0:18:45 
36Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:19:39 
37Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling0:20:13 
38Gavin Mannion (USA) Bontrager Livestrong Team0:20:16 
39Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Team NetApp0:20:45 
40Carter Jones (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling0:21:43 
41Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:22:58 
42Benjamin King (USA) RadioShack-Nissan0:23:11 
43Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:24:13 
44Cameron Wurf (Aus) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:24:43 
45Oliver Zaugg (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan0:25:32 
46Joshua Atkins (NZl) Bontrager Livestrong Team0:26:05 
47Robigzon Leandro Oyola Oyola (Col) EPM - Une0:26:32 
48Craig Lewis (USA) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:26:36 
49Jesse Anthony (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies0:26:44 
50Serghei Tvetcov (Mda) Team Exergy0:27:43 
51Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:28:02 
52Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:28:07 
53Lawrence Warbasse (USA) BMC Racing Team0:28:24 
54Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp0:28:56 
55Andres Diaz Corrales (Col) Team Exergy0:29:18 
56Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:29:39 
57Taylor Sheldon (USA) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team0:30:21 
58Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team0:31:47 
59Jeffry Louder (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team0:31:48 
60Jeroen Hoorne (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:32:08 
61Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Team Argos - Shimano0:32:42 
62Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:35:41 
63Marsh Cooper (Can) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies0:41:06 
64Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan0:41:21 
65Martin Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:41:42 
66Andreas Dietziker (Swi) Team NetApp  
67Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team0:42:49 
68Thomas Rabou (Ned) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team0:43:16 
69Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetApp0:43:36 
70Hugo Houle (Can) Team Spidertech p/b C100:45:33 
71Thomas Leezer (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:46:02 
72Fred Rodriguez (USA) Team Exergy0:47:01 
73Joost Posthuma (Ned) RadioShack-Nissan0:48:09 
74Alexander Candelario (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies0:48:12 
75Edward King (USA) Liquigas-Cannondale0:48:34 
76James Oram (NZl) Bontrager Livestrong Team0:50:28 
77Brian Vandborg (Den) Team Spidertech p/b C100:50:47 
78Scott Zwizanski (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies0:52:52 
79Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Team Argos - Shimano0:53:00 
80Ian Burnett (USA) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team0:54:03 
81Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Team NetApp0:55:54 
82Ryan Roth (Can) Team Spidertech p/b C100:56:56 
83Jeremy Vennell (NZl) Bissell Pro Cycling1:00:03 
84Kirk Carlsen (USA) Team Exergy1:01:19 
85Gang Xu (Chn) Champion System Pro Cycling Team1:03:09 
86Reid Mumford (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies1:04:48 
87Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin - Sharp1:07:41 
88Jetse Bol (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team1:07:50 
89Alex Howes (USA) Garmin - Sharp1:09:39 
90David Boily (Can) Team Spidertech p/b C101:10:55 
91Morgan Schmitt (USA) Team Exergy1:12:47 
92William Clarke (Aus) Champion System Pro Cycling Team1:15:26 
93Sam Johnson (USA) Team Exergy1:15:49 

See? I finished a mere one hour, fifteen minutes, and forty-nine seconds behind Mr. Johann Tschopp -- BUT I DID FINISH. Thirty-six racers failed to do so, and in my previous two attempts at races of this caliber, I was among the DNF's (Did Not Finish). I swung the axe out of my hands  at last year's USA Pro Cycling Challenge, and failed to respect how grueling these races are at this year's Tour of California. Some of DNF's crashed out, some lacked the speed and missed the time-cut, but many of them lacked the sheer stubbornness needed to keep going. And that's what it took for me to finish this race -- defiant stubbornness, and lots of it. It meant getting dropped on the climbs, time and time again, and continuing to suffer, sometimes for hours -- just so I could start the next day. Getting in a team car can be so tempting, especially when you're suffering, and hot, and dehydrated, hopelessly dropped. I'm proud of my Tour of Utah result. Even though my team didn't get the results we wanted, even though I finished last -- I contributed to our cause a lot, and I did my job all week long. I'm getting better, and that's why I keep doing it.


cycloid said...

Way to finish Krogg!
Best LR ever—loving your GoPro work.

Bob Cesca said...

There's more heart, strength and humor at the LR that there is anywhere else in the race. You finished a major stage race with brutal climbs and world class competition, and you kept us laughing along the way. Keep drilling it, Sam.