Lorena Wiebes’s 52nd career victory catapulted the Team DSM rider into the history books. After winning intermediate sprint points and the stage, Wiebes took the first green and yellow jerseys of the Tour de France Femmes.
When she stepped onto the podium to claim the yellow jersey, Wiebes was carrying a small baby in her arms alongside the requisite lion toy and bouquet.
Those who are familiar with women’s racing, and Wiebes, knew that it wasn’t hers. Others may have been calculating whether it was plausible that Wiebes had given birth a few months earlier and made a remarkably swift comeback before her Champs-Élysées win. But to whom does the mystery bébé belong?
“It was not mine,” Wiebes helpfully confirmed in her post-race press conference. “Otherwise it was not possible to race this year I think.”
She explained that the baby belongs to a close friend with whom she had a deal before the race: If Wiebes won the first stage and took yellow, then the baby would join her on the podium.
“It’s a good friend of mine and we had a bet on it [that] if I won the stage and got yellow then I was able to get her on the podium. And it worked out,” she explained.
The baby, for her part, did not appear to appreciate her fifteen minutes of fame and promptly started crying.
The adult members of Wiebes’s support crew were in a better position to appreciate her achievement. Seconds after crossing the finish line and collapsing into an elated heap on the cobbles, Wiebes was greeted by her tearful parents and brother.
“It was a really social moment with my whole family here,” Wiebes said. “It was a special moment actually [at] the finish to see them, I didn’t know that they could come so close and they were able to get there at the finish line.”