• ADELAIDE 17 - 25 January 2015
Home » About Santos Tour Down Under » Glossary

ABANDON

When a rider quits during a race.

AERODYNAMIC

A design of cycling equipment or a riding position that reduces wind resistance.

APEX

The sharpest part of a turn where the transition from entering to exiting takes place. 

ATTACK

An aggressive, high-speed move away from other riders also referred to as a “breakaway”. Usually this is done with the intention of getting away from the bunch and riding to a placing at the finish. It is also a tactic used to split the field, as it is beneficial for the bunch to go with the attack.

BIDON

The French word for “water bottle”. Bidons are attached to the bike frame by way of a small metallic holder from which they are easily pulled out and replaced during the race. Santos Tour Down Under bidons are sponsored by Powerade.

BLOCKING

This is a legal move to impede the progress of opposing riders, allowing teammates a better opportunity for success.

BLOW UP

To suddenly be unable to continue at the required pace, due to overexertion. This is said to happen to a cyclist who suddenly loses their energy and can no longer keep up the pace. This is as a result of exhaustion, lack of food or lack of fitness.

BPM

An abbreviation for beats per minute in reference to a rider’s heart rate.

BREAKAWAY

A rider or group of riders that has moved ahead/escaped the pack.

BRIDGE

To catch a rider or group that has opened a lead. This is to “bridge the gap”.

BUNCH

This is the word used to describe the main field of riders throughout the race, also known as the “peloton”.

BUNCH SPRINT

A bunch sprint can be very spectacular, occurring when the bunch approaches the finish line as a whole and all have the same desire to win.

CADENCE

The number of times during one minute that a pedal stroke is completed.

CHAMOIS (sounds like “shammy”)

No, not what you use to dry your car... this is a soft piece of leathery material that is sewn into the crotch of the “knicks” to prevent chafing. Riders do not wear underwear under their “knicks” for the same reason!

CHASING

This can have a few meanings. It can be when someone drops back behind the bunch and then “chases” to get back to the bunch. It can also be when the bunch is “chasing” or “closing the gap” on breakaway riders.

CIRCUIT

This is a course that is ridden two or more times to compose the race.

CLEAT

The metal or plastic fitting on the sole of a cycling shoe that fits into the pedal.

CLOSING THE GAP

This is literally the bunch gaining on the leading rider or riders.

CRITERIUM

A road race covering multiple laps of a course that is normally between 1 – 2 kilometres in length.

DOMESTIQUE

A French word describing those riders who are the workhorses of the team. These cyclists have the job of doing anything possible to help their team leader perform well. This can even mean sacrificing your own wheel if your team leader has a puncture.

DRAFTING

Riding closely behind another rider to take advantage of the windbreak (slipstream) to use less energy.

DROPPED

A rider who has not been able to keep up with the bunch or riders they are riding with is known as “dropped”. This is usually a result of exhaustion or mechanical failure. They fall behind the pace and can no longer keep up.

ECHELON

This key tactic in cycling helps to avoid the wind. Cyclists ride close behind each other to benefit from the wind block from the rider in front. As the wind blows at different angles, cyclists will place themselves to either side of the rear of the bike, in front or directly behind if it is a direct headwind. When a bunch of riders fall in behind each other in this way, they have formed an echelon.

END OVER

Crashing over the bike’s handle bars

ERGOMETER

This is a stationary, bicycle-like device, with adjustable pedal resistance used for indoor training.

FEED ZONE

A designated area throughout a race course, where riders are handed food and drinks.

FIELD SPRINT

This is the dash for the finish line by the main group of riders.

FULL TUCK

The crouched position by a rider used for maximum speed on descents.

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

This is the term for the overall standings in a stage race and is often referred to as the GC.

GLUTES

The key to strong pedalling power are the gluteus muscles of the buttocks.

HUNGER FLAT

When you are “hunger flat” you lose your energy, feel weak, nauseous, achy and generally awful. It’s all caused by a lack of food.

INTERVALS

This is a structured method of training that alternates brief, hard efforts with short periods of easier riding.

JERSEY

This is the name for the tight, stretchy fabric tops worn by cyclists.

KING OF THE MOUNTAIN

To reward those riders who are good at climbing mountains, there is a competition within the Santos Tour Down Under tour called the Subaru King of the Mountain. Jerseys are awarded for the winners.

KNICKS

These are the tight, Lycra shorts worn by cyclists.

LANTERNE ROUGE

This is the name given to the rider who finishes last in the race and is the French word for “red lantern”. The name apparently originates from the fact that the last carriage on a train has a red lantern on the back of it.

LEADER'S JERSEY

The overall leader and winner of the Santos Tour Down Under wears the Santos Ochre Leader’s Jersey. See “overall leader” for more details.

LEAD OUT

A lead out is when a cyclist sacrifices themself by riding fast in front of a teammate, who sits close behind to gain the advantage of the wind block. The front rider, usually a domestique, will ride as fast as possible toward the finish line with the other rider (usually the team leader or team sprinter) right behind. Just before the line the front rider will pull off to the side allowing the rider behind to race through to the finish.

MASS START

Cycling events such as road races and criteriums, in which all competitors leave the start line at the same time, are referred to as having a mass start.

MOTOR PACE

To ride behind a motorcycle or other vehicle that breaks the wind.

OFF THE BACK

See the definition of “dropped”.

ON A WHEEL

This is related to what was described in “echelon”. It is a term used to describe the riders who sit close behind the cyclist in front to gain the maximum benefits.

OVERALL LEADER

The overall leader is the person who is currently leading in overall time of the tour. Each stage presents chances for individuals to gain advantages to their overall time in the stage results and sprint category. The overall leader also carries the glory of wearing the coveted Santos Tour Down Under Ochre Leader’s Jersey.

PACELINE

 A group formation in which each rider takes a turn breaking the wind at the front before pulling off, dropping to the rear position and riding the others' draft until at the front once again.

PANNIERS

Panniers are large bike bags used by touring cyclists, motorbike riders or general commuters.

PELOTON

The French word for bunch. It refers to the main group of riders in a race or large event.

PRIME (pronounced “preem”)

A special award given to the leader on selected laps during a criterium or the first rider to reach a certain landmark in a road race. It's used to create additional excitement in the race.

QUADRICEPS

This is the large muscle in front of the thigh.

ROAD RACE

A mass start race staged on the road that goes from point to point, covers one large loop or is held on a circuit longer than those used for criteriums.

ROAD RASH

Any skin abrasion resulting from a fall. This can also be referred to as crash rash.

ROLLERS

 Rollers are an indoor training device consisting of three long cylinders connected by belts.

SADDLE SORES

Skin problems in the crotch that develop from chafing caused by pedalling are known as saddle sores.

SHAVED LEGS

A very common question asked of cyclists is why do they shave their legs? Well, apart from the fact that it looks good, there are practical reasons. Shaved legs reduce wind resistance (even if only to a tiny degree), make for more comfortable massages and reduce the chance of infection caused by bacteria carried on hairs if the rider should fall.

SIGN ON

Each day before the start of the stage, all cyclists who intend to race must sign their name on either a sign on board or sheet. If someone forgets to sign on, they can no longer participate in the race.

SIT ON A WHEEL

This is to ride in someone's draft. See “sitting on”.

SITTING ON

As seen in “echelon”, cyclists gain advantages from riding behind each other to gain from wind breaks and this is referred to as “sitting on”.

SLIPSTREAM

This is the pocket of calmer air behind a moving rider.

SOIGNEUR

These are team staff members that are a combination of masseurs, medics and general aids to the cyclists. They are an integral part of the team support.

SPRINT COMPETITION

As referred to in Subaru King of the Mountain, some riders are better at short, sharp bursts of speed. To reward them for their talent, designated lines throughout the route are set as sprint lines. These are on flat, fast areas of the stages. Points are awarded to the first people across the line. At the end of the Santos Tour Down Under, the rider with the most points is awarded the Sprint Jersey.

STAGE

Cycling races/tours that are held over a number of days are broken down into stages. Each day, a different stage will be held but all stages add up to create the overall tour. Results from each stage are cumulative and determine the overall winner on the last day.

TEAM CAR

This car follows the riders throughout the race and contains the team director, coach and mechanic. It is a backup car for the team, holding spare wheels, spare bikes, food, drink and medical supplies.

TEAM DIRECTOR/DIRECTEUR SPORTIF

This is the head of the team; the person who manages the racing tactics of the team and decides what will happen during each race, who will be the team leader and who will do what throughout the race.

TEAM LEADER

Each team is made up of two types of riders: the team leader and the domestiques. The team leader is that cyclist who has been chosen to try to win the race, usually determined by previous performances.

UCI

The UCI is an abbreviation for the Union Cycliste Internationale, the world governing body of cycling, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

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