Cycle Words- Le Tour can be Confusing if You Don’t Know the Language.


For part 1 of my Tour de France primer click here.

For part 1 of my Tour de France primer click here.

Maillot Jaune: The shirt worn during the competition by the race’s overall time leader. Wearing the yellow jersey is a great honor at any stage of the Tour, but every road racer
dreams of donning it on the final day of the race, pedalling down the cobblestone streets of the Champs-Élysées and clinking a celebratory flute of champagne with teammates while cruising around the Arc du Triomphe. Lance Armstrong has had the pleasure on a record seven occasions.

Maillot Blanc: The junior version of Jaune is contested amongst riders under 25. The young cyclist with the fastest cumulative time gets to wear a white jersey. Discovery Channel’s Yaroslav Popovych, our dark horse pick to win it all this year year, took the “white” title last year.

Maillot à Pois Rouges: A white jersey with red polka-dots is worn by the “King of the Mountains”—the top climber during the steep stages of the Tour.

Maillot Vert: Second in prestige to ole mellow yellow, the green jersey is awarded at the end of each stage to the day’s top finisher, and at the end of the competition to the Tour’s leader in the points classification, a combination of stage wins, and sprint times. Flat ground phenoms who can summon short bursts of speed at the end of a stage to make a mad rush for the finish line frequently win green.

Peloton: French for ‘rolled up ball’—it refers to the large main pack of riders who will jockey for prime position over the course of the grueling 3,600 km race.

Lantern rouge: The slo-poke prize for finishing dead last overall. France’s Jimmy Casper has brought up the rear twice, trailing Lance Armstrong by 3 hours and 53 minutes in 2001 and by 3 hours and 56 minutes in 2004.

Coureur le plus combatif: The award for the most sportingly aggressive rider. In lieu of a special jersey, as a badge for their courage the winner wears red rider numbers instead of the usual white digits.

This article was first published in the July 2006 issue of Bell T.V. Magazine

Copyright © Mike Dojc, 2006

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