Didi the Devil misses Tour as he recuperates from brain surgery

Jumping up and down at the roadside in France not prescribed as part of recovery as German misses first Tour since 1993

by Simon_MacMichael   July 6, 2012  

Tony the Devil and TR.jpg

It’s not just big name riders such as Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck who are missing from this year’s 99th edition of the Tour de France – absent from the roadside as each stage heads into its closing kilometres is a man who has been a contant presence at the Tour and other big races over the past two decades, Didi Senft, otherwise known as the Devil.

Jumping up and down, pitchfork in hand, as he urges the riders on and dressed in a red and black lycra outfit that you probably don’t want to get too close too at the end of three weeks, Didi is very much part of the fabric of the Tour nowadays; a painted trident on the road shortly ahead of the position he has chosen alerts riders and fans alike of where he is going to be.

The 60-year-old is missing this year due to having to undergo surgery recently to on a brain lesion, with surgeons having to remove blood clots, reports L’Equipe, but he is now happily out of danger and recuperating at home in Storkow near Berlin. Evidently, jumping up and down along roads the length and breadth of France isn’t part of his recovery programme, however.

The nickname, the Devil? Did originally adopted that in tribute to his favourite rider, the Italian Claudio Chiappucci, nicknamed ‘El Diablo’ by Spanish fans, a soubriquet that stuck with him for the rest of his career.

If you’re missing your fix of Didi, who runs a cycling museum in his home town and also has a website showcasing some of the weird and wonderful bicycles he has created, you can find him performing his acrobatics on the Wiggle ad currently running here on road.cc.


9 user comments

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Hmm guessing that Wiggle are rueing their advertising choice then...

posted by Mhughes2k [20 posts]
6th July 2012 - 12:24


Get well soon, you've already been missed.

posted by Yorkshie Whippet [465 posts]
6th July 2012 - 14:00


Mhughes2k wrote:
Hmm guessing that Wiggle are rueing their advertising choice then...

Doubt it. Most of the target audience would know who Didi is.

posted by JohnS [198 posts]
6th July 2012 - 16:32


You can send him good wishes via his site, here.


posted by james-o [226 posts]
6th July 2012 - 22:33


One word: Legend! Devil

Get well soon Didi! Big Grin

Argy's picture

posted by Argy [147 posts]
10th July 2012 - 13:54


Glad to hear the surgery was a success. Take it easy & get well quickly, Didi!

We miss you on the route this year, but expect to see you back in fine devilish form next year and many years to come.

posted by leilani [1 posts]
11th July 2012 - 15:54


So jealous you met him! I was only saying this morning to someone that we hadn't seen Didi. Wishing him a swift and full recovery. A living legend.

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1188 posts]
16th July 2012 - 19:07


Actually, it worked out well. Didi wasn't there in person, but his sponsor managed to keep him "alive" anyway. I'd say it all worked out well.

posted by hammerhed [4 posts]
20th September 2012 - 12:04


I had wondered whether Wiggle had used Didi or just set up a lookalike. Glad to see he's made a bit of cash from the whole jumping-up-and-down craziness.

Get well soon!

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3704 posts]
20th September 2012 - 12:52