In preparation for the Tour De France starting Saturday July 5th we thought we would get you all up to speed on some cycling LINGO so that we all know what we are talking about… most of it in French!
Attack: When a rider suddenly accelerates to break away or open a gap on other riders.
Bidon: French for water bottle
Breakaway: A group of riders who have broken away to lead the race. These could be riders who are competing for a points category, or are keen to absorb some of the prestige which comes from leading the pack.
Bridge: When one of more riders try to catch up with a group ahead of them.
Cadence: The rate in revolutions per minute at which the rider turns the pedals.
Caravane: The procession of team cars and support vehicles following the race. These have all of the riders food, drink and technical support.
Chase: A group of riders attempting to catch the race leaders.
Commissaire: The race judge, who usually follows the race by car.
Domestique: French for “servant”. A rider who supports the lead rider, fetching supplies from the team car and leading the sprinters. The Domestique’s main role is to push the team’s main rider and are often expendable to reach that goal.
Drafting: Also known as ‘slipstreaming’. The act of riding close behind another rider to benefit from the lack of air resistance. This technique can reduce the exertion required by around half, but the risk of crash is increased due to the proximity of the riders.
Flamme Rouge: Or ‘Red Flag’ which marks the last kilometre of the race. Can mean the end is in sight for a lone rider, or the most exciting part of the race where a group of sprinters begin battling for position.