Cycling terminology

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A guide to cycling's more specialized terminology to help follow the upcoming Tour of Missouri race:bonk: total exhaustion caused by lack of adequate food during a long race.

bonus sprints: races within the race; points awarded for first three finishers.

cadence: number of pedal strokes completed during one minute.

chasers: riders trying to catch up to the breakaway group.

circuit race: a multi-lap event. The Tour of Missouri will include circuits in Kansas City, Springfield and St. Louis.

feed zone: designated areas along the race route where riders grab small bags filled with food and drinks as they pass.

hammer: to ride hard, go all out.

jump: quick acceleration, usually developing into a sprint.

KOM: King of the Mountain, a jersey awarded to the day's top climber.

lead out: sacrificial tactic employed by a domestique, who rides fast in front of a teammate, allowing the stronger cyclist to conserve energy via a wind block until the last minute.

peloton: the main pack of riders. French for "group moving forward."

slipstream: area of least wind resistance behind a rider.

soigneur: French for "to treat" or "to care for." Provides massages, prepares feed bags and water bottles, drives team support vehicles.

team director: manages racing tactics, chooses riders for team and each race.

time trial: race against the clock in which racers or whole teams start one at a time. Rider with least time over set distance is winner. Riders can pass each other but are not allowed to draft.

-- The Associated Press

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