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Noun, Verb

Domestique is a rider who puts their own needs aside to help their team or leader.

Example usage: The domestique worked hard to ensure the leader had a good chance of winning the race.

Most used in: Professional cycling events around the world.

Most used by: Professional cyclists and cycling fans.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 3/10

Also see: Paceline, Water Carrier, Road Captain, Leadout Man,


What Does Domestique Mean in Cycling?

The term “domestique” is used in cycling to refer to the riders who support the team leader or main sprinter. The domestique’s job is to help the leader or sprinter by sacrificing their own individual ambition and working hard to help the team reach its goals.

A domestique will often take on a variety of roles, such as setting a fast pace, leading out the team leader, or blocking the wind for them. The domestique will also often fetch water and food for the other riders and may even give their bike to the team leader if their own bike breaks down.

Statistics show that the average domestique will ride more than 200km each day during a stage race, while the team leader will usually ride fewer than 100km. This highlights the difference in responsibilities between the team leader and domestique, with the domestique taking on a huge workload to support the leader.

In summary, a domestique is a cyclist who puts their own ambitions aside to help the team leader or main sprinter achieve their goals. The domestique will typically ride further and faster than the rest of the team in order to help the leader, and will also take on a variety of other tasks such as fetching food and water.


The Origin of the Cycling Term 'Domestique'

The cycling term 'Domestique' is derived from the French word for 'servant' and has been used in cycling since the early 1900s. It is used to refer to a rider who helps another rider in a race, usually by pacing them, shielding them from the wind, and providing supplies and water.

The term was first used in the Tour de France in 1903, when it was used to describe the riders who would help the team leader, or 'patron.' The term quickly spread throughout cycling and is now used internationally.

Today, domestiques are an essential part of any cycling team, helping the team leader and other riders reach their goals. They are often the unsung heroes of the race, sacrificing their individual success for the team.

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