Le Tour de France 2015 - Stage Five

Meet 'El Diablo' — Tour de France's Most Famous Fan

Cycling's devilish spectator is truly one of a kind.

In 1993, a 41-year-old German cycling enthusiast showed up at the Tour de France dressed in red tights, black cape, horned cap, and holding a trident. And with that, the legend of Didi "The Devil" Senft — or "El Diablo" — was born. Twenty-five years later, the tour's most famous fan is still going strong, continuing to add to the lore of Le Tour with his infectious energy, colorful costume, and eccentric personality. As the 2018 Tour de France nears its end, FOTO shares the best shots from more than two decades' worth of Senft's super-fandom.

GREETING PARTY Michael Steele/Getty Images GREETING PARTY His airness welcomes the peloton to Berne, Switzerland, in 2006. Senft attributes inspiration for his costume to a term he learned while watching the Tour de France as a child: the "Devil's Red Flag," which riders pass under when there is one kilometer left in a race. STAKE OUT JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images STAKE OUT The horns and pitchfork can make it tough to remain hidden, as El Diablo waits to surprise riders in 2007. JOY RIDE MICHAEL URBAN/AFP/Getty Images JOY RIDE Senft poses atop a curious bike, one of the many that he has designed, in a 2005 photo shoot near his home in Storkow, Germany.

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FRIEND OF THE DEVIL Tim de Waele/Getty Images FRIEND OF THE DEVIL Nils Politt shows his fellow German some love during stage 11 of the 2018 Tour de France. NAP TIME JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images NAP TIME Cycling's superfan squeezes in a much-needed nap in his van as he awaits riders on stage 10, between Tallard and Marseille, in 2007. KICK STAND Tim de Waele/Getty Images KICK STAND Senft, always in flip-flops, stays loose on the sidelines in 2007. FORK IT OVER JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images FORK IT OVER France's Julian Alaphilippe gets in on the fun, borrowing Senft's patented pitchfork during the 17th stage of this year's Tour de France. MODEL CITIZEN JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images MODEL CITIZEN Everybody wants a picture with him — including a few fashion models in 2003. FLOWER POWER Tim de Waele/Getty Images FLOWER POWER Senft's red and black pop in a field of sunflowers along stage 5 during the 2003 tour. BREAK IN THE ACTION Chris Graythen/Getty Images BREAK IN THE ACTION Senft, pictured here during some 2017 downtime, missed the 2012 edition of the race after having surgery to remove a blood clot, but returned the following year. FAMILIAR FACE Tim de Waele/Getty Images FAMILIAR FACE Poland's Rafal Majka (front) gives the tour fixture a nod in 2016 — two years removed from a brief retirement due to poor health and lack of the sponsorship money that has helped Senft finance his trip to France through the years. BAD ANGEL JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images BAD ANGEL Kazakhstan's Andrey Kashechkin has a devil on his shoulder as he rides between Foix and Loudenvielle in 2007. BOO! Tim de Waele/Corbis via Getty Images BOO! El Diablo finds a stage 17 hiding spot to surprise USA's Floyd Landis in 2006. BRIGHT SPOT JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images BRIGHT SPOT After more than two decades, one thing remains clear about El Diablo: The Tour de France wouldn't be the same without him.



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