Grand Tour regular Didi 'The Devil' Senft will hang up his trident after appearing at the Tour de France since 1993

Having been a regular fixture at the roadside during the past two decades of the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, Dieter ‘Didi The Devil’ Senft looks set to hang up his trident.

Senft’s distinctive red costume, bushy beard and decorated trident have appeared in the Tour on numerous occasions, usually during a key mountain stage. But now, the 62-year-old German has decided that enough is enough after recent poor health and lack of sponsorship.

German paper Bild reports that lack of television coverage of the Tour in Germany has led to lack of interest in sponsoring Senft’s efforts. His current income is €500 per month, which he says does not cover his costs of travelling to races.

Senft underwent surgery in 2012 to remove a blood clot in his brain, and was forced to miss the Tour that year, but returned in 2013.

Senft is also known for his inventions and over-sized bicycles, which he regularly takes to events and currently holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest rideable bike.

There will no doubt be a slew of imitators now Senft has retired, but there will only ever be one Didi The Devil.

Photos by Graham Watson and Yuzuru Sunada

Didi The Devil at the 2000 Olympic Games

Not just the Tour de France: Didi The Devil at the 2000 Olympic Games

Didi the Devil with record-breaking bike at the 80th Tour de France in 1993

With record-breaking bike at the 80th Tour de France in 1993

Didi The Devil jumps at the 2007 Tour de France

Jumping for joy at the 2007 Tour

Running alongside Gilberto Simoni and Danilo Di Luca on the Col d'Izoard during the 2007 Giro d'Italia

Running alongside Gilberto Simoni and Danilo Di Luca on the Col d’Izoard during the 2007 Giro d’Italia

Didi the Devil in Monaco for the 2009 Tour de France

Didi in Monaco for the 2009 Tour de France

Didi The Devil swaps his red outfit for a pink one at the 2012 Giro d'Italia

Swapping his red outfit for a pink one at the 2012 Giro d’Italia

Didi The Devil runs next to Robert Gesink during the 2013 Tour de France

In yellow at the 2013 Tour and running next to Robert Gesink

 

After two decades at the races, Didi will now retire

After two decades at the races, Didi will now retire

  • scottrsmith

    It will never be the same without Didi at the Tour! I always look for him. It is like a fun game to see how many times I can see him throughout the tour!

  • http://twitter.com/matthewwanderer Matthew

    Exactly, dream exposure. Maybe in place of bowing out entirely, Didi could dial his physical activity way back until he’s feeling better.

    Perhaps even offering guided Stage tours for a small group of people would be an income source. Say 8-10 people get to spend the day with Didi roadside. I’d pay for those memories.

  • BishopAucklandBiking

    He might get that sponsorship now it’s all over cycling news that he’s retiring. Unless his health is the main factor.

  • http://twitter.com/matthewwanderer Matthew

    I hope Didi figures out a way to get sponsorship and/or somehow figures out how to merchandise his best invention: Didi The Devil.