It doesn't happen in all sports, or in all races, but it does in the Tor: the athletes who cross the finishing line last are celebrated as much as the race winners, perhaps even more.
This year, with the move to Saint Rhemy, due to poor weather conditions, the last athletes were unable to complete the final 30 kilometres of the race. However, they were greeted with a huge cheer by the small town which, in one night only, had created a finishing zone worthy of the greatest Giants.
The TDG has a special role of honour dedicated to the final finisher, who every year is cheered first at the finishing line, and then again at the prize ceremony. In this third edition of the race, the honour fell to the French Francis De Stefani, who followed in the footsteps of Gianni Savoia last year and Gigi Riz in the first year of the race.
But it is not only the very last finisher who is celebrated, but all the athletes who finish the final day of the race, and rightly so. It is precisely these athletes who make the greatest sacrifices before and during the Tor, and it is these athletes who are most proud of having earned the title of finisher!
Take Christophe Savoye for example, perhaps the most applauded finisher of the TDG 2012 (see photo). Christophe finished the race on Saturday morning, and as well as being among the final finishers, Christophe also had the very great fortune of being from Sain Rhemy itself! The result? He was accompanied along the final metres of the race by a real masked parade, and he was met at the finishing line by the entire town, from the older to the children, all of whom greeted him with a truly heart warming cheer.
This is the Tor des Géants!!