On today’s show we have two guests. The first is Janet Stephens, a hairdresser turned Roman hairstyle archaeologist. Stephens was inspired when she walked into a museum in Baltimore—it was the first time she’d really examined the backs of Roman statues’ heads. That set her on a quest to figure out how to recreate those styles and set the historical record straight.

And just in time for the big finale of that famous French bicycle race, our second guest is Max Leonard, author of Lanterne Rouge: The Last Man in the Tour de France (Pegasus, May 2015). The “lanterne rouge” is the person who finishes the Tour de France in last place, and that dubious distinction, Leonard argues, is actually quite an honor. The book explores several lanterne rouges throughout history and what each last finisher’s story says about the Tour de France at that time.

Music this hour: