Learn the Lingo: Terms of Le Tour

Peloton – The group of riders competing in the race. Usually designated as the main pack.

Maillot Jaune – French for “yellow jersey.”

Dropped – Left behind by stronger riders.

Echelon – A diagonal method of drafting when the wind direction is coming from the side.

G.C. – General Classification, or the overall timed rankings.

Time Trial – A race or stage that is done against the clock on an individual basis. (This is where all of the super aerodynamic stuff is used to make bike riders look like rejects from a sci-fi movie.)

Breakaway – A group of escapees in a stage or race.

Categorized Climb – Climbs are given a numerical ranking based on their severity, from 4-1, with 1 being the most difficult. (However, there are more difficult rankings simply called “HC” or Hours Categorie (beyond category).

Domestique – A team rider that is willing to sacrifice his/her chances for the team leader’s victory.

Lead Out – A method of getting a sprinter to the line without having to put his/her nose into the wind until the very last minute.

Musette – A bag full of food/drinks that is handed to the riders at designated “feed zones” throughout the course. These riders eat a lot.

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