Without the lunatics on the side of the road, grand tours, and road cycling in general would be a lot less entertaining. The passion of these fans is unrivalled in the sports world. But it's that same passion that occasionally gets them into trouble. Let's take a look at the 6 craziest fans of the Tour De France.

1. El Diablo

If you've ever watched the Tour De France there is a strong chance you've seen German cycling mega fan Didi Senft dressed as the devil jumping up and down with a trident. Nicknamed El Diablo, Didi makes appearances at nearly every Tour De France and Giro d'Italia. If you keep an eye on the road and see a painted trident, then there's a big chance you'll see El Diablo a matter seconds later! 

2. Beefeater Bend

The Beefeater Bend is usually, or most famously placed somewhere in the French Alps on a hair pin during the Tour's mountain stages. Things get particularly hectic here with all day parties and sing alongs. The bend even has its own Facebook group with the tagline - "Probably the best party at the Tour de France and beyond. All nationalities welcome."

3. The nudists

There seems to be some strange correlation between sporting events and people who like to get naked in public. But the difference between bike racing and other major sport events is that there are no barriers or tickets to enter. Also, there's barely any security. The tour is open to anyone and everyone. This leaves the opportunity wide open for this crazy but passionate group of people. And you can guarantee an appearance from them at least once during any grand tour. 

4. The flare fans

Arguably this fan should be clubbed in with the Idiot Fan. That said, there's something very cool about seeing multiple flares of various colours being lit in the mountains whilst the riders sweat past – a very cinematic scene indeed. There is of course the problem with the smoke playing havoc with the respiratory systems of the athletes; our sensible side would like to see this end this but secretly we love it. Don't tell anyone.

5. Idiot fans

Sometimes you see things that just can't be explained. Things that are so stupid the mind can't fathom them. The people that do said things seem to gravitate towards the Tour de France. Take the example below, at this 1999 Tour De France a fan jumped out into the road to take a shot of Giuseppe Guerini as he was on his way to victory up the Alpe d' Huez. Luckily Guiseppe pulled himself back up and managed to get the win. The biggest of his career.

6. Dutch Corner

The most iconic set of fans of the Tour De France – nothing compares to Dutch Corner. The Dutch and anyone who's up for a laugh arrive early to soak up the mountain atmosphere and also the drinks. The result is controlled chaos as the peloton passes later in the afternoon. It's definitely on our bucket list.

June 29, 2021