Meet the flat-Earther looking to replace Didi le Diable at the Tour de France
Going up the Galibier on stage 11, we spotted a man standing alone.
It’s not that uncommon, there are plenty of gentlemen patiently waiting along the Tour de France route for the race to pass, a kind of quiet solitude emanating from their filmed sandwiches and placid manner.
But this man was not like the others. He was draped in a French flag, dressed in a prisoner’s outfit and holding a sign that read “La terre est plate,” which translates to “the Earth is flat.”
Quickly, we jumped out of our rental car. He greeted us like long-lost friends, or like a man in disguise for the sole purpose of receiving a single crumb of attention.
Who are you?
“I have fun, I laugh everywhere and I like it because now it’s something special to see on the Tour de France,” replied the man, whose name turned out to be Jacques Suchet .
“Do you know the Devil? He continued. “He’s finished, he doesn’t come anymore, he’s getting too old. And so yesterday I was in Mègeve, today I’m here and tomorrow I’ll be in Alpe d’Huez and after the Pyrenees. Everywhere. I have fun everywhere.
Are you the new Devil then?
“I will take his place yes, I will be famous like him.”
At this point, it should be clarified that Didi le Diable is still in the Tour de France, no later than stage 11, when we met Jacques.
Tell us about your costume.
“I wear this because it’s flashy for people to see it, sometimes on TV, some people say they’ve seen me on TV. And it’s very light when it’s too hot. I’m also naked underneath so I don’t have to sweat too much.
And the earth is flat?
“And the Earth is flat*. I make videos on YouTube.
After a few minutes spent digging, it turns out that Jacques does indeed have a YouTube channel, on which 75 videos are based.
His first efforts, posted online nine years ago, involved dressing up as Santa with a sign that read, “Santa doesn’t like atomic bombs either.” There’s another called “Femen 16” which included images of nude women from around 1950 that I was too scared to click on.
Over the years, Jacques uploads videos of himself wearing a beret in a chapel saying how much he loves Russian punk band Pussy Riot as well as another effort of him jumping outside in the depths of winter with a minimal clothing. There’s a video about French President Emanuel Macron, and judging by the human-faced figure made up of five toilet paper rolls hanging next to him in the thumbnail image, one would guess the content of the video.
Three years ago, Jacques also started uploading ripped TV footage of his Flat Earth suit appearing during Tour de France coverage. The 2020 video shows him standing alongside Didi the Devil, so they at least met. Maybe they are even friends?
It’s fair to say that Jacques seems like an eccentric character. Then the Tour de France is probably the best place to be. As for how vehemently he believes the Earth is flat?
Well, the fact that we met him halfway up a mountain hopefully means that he doesn’t believe in the Flat Earths subtheory that mountains are just remnants of ancient giant tree stumps.
* Quick fact check: it doesn’t.