You all know about the Yellow Jersey for the winner. Did you know about the Lanterne Rouge (Red Lantern) that is awarded to the last place finisher. Last place in the Tour is celebrated. That rider will earn more for the last place finish than if he had finished several places higher.
Let's look at the record of the first and last place riders in the 2007 Tour de France. The course was a total of 3550 km in length (2206 miles), ridden over 20 days for a average of 177 km (110 miles) per day.
Alberto Contador won the 2007 Tour by riding the course in 91 hours, 0 minutes, and 26 seconds. That results in an average speed of 39.01 kph or 24.24 mph.
Wim Vansevenant rode the exact same distance on the course, and finished as Lanterne Rouge - the last-placed rider to finish the Tour. He just covered the same distance slightly slower - finishing in 94 hours, 53 minutes, and 20 seconds. That's an average speed of 37.41 kph, or 23.25 mph.
ONLY 1 MILE PER HOUR DIFFERENCE!
How about that guys?