Preparation for the Tour day France
Bicycle Net published a list of essential French phrases to aid in understanding some of the terms used during the Tour de France, or as we say here in America, Tour Day France. The list is long and fairly comprehensive. I've merely copied some excerpts below. If you need to pronounce them properly, try to speak through your nose as much as possible and do a passable imitation of Pepe Le Pew. While we Americans cannot claim to be intimately familiar with French culture, we can be very thankful for the culinary masterpiece they've shared with the rest of the world - French fries. With a bit of ketchup or mayonnaise, they're perfect!
Parlez Vous Tour de France? - French Words Useful for Understanding the Tour de France
French Vocabulary Related to Cycling and the Tour de France
Whether you love cycling or just watching competitions like the Tour de France, you’ll want to learn some French vocabulary related to cycling.
un commissaire - referee who travels by car
un coureur - rider, cyclist
un cycliste - rider, cyclist
un directeur sportif - manager
un domestique - support rider
un échappé - breakaway
une équipe - team
un peloton - pack, bunch
un poursuivant - chaser
un rouleur - smooth and steady rider
un soigneur - rider’s assistant
un bidon - water bottle
un maillot - jersey
une musette - feed bag
un col - mountain pass
une côte - hill, slope
la flamme rouge - red marker at 1 kilometer from finish
la lanterne rouge - last rider
le maillot à pois - polka dot jersey (worn by best climber)
le maillot blanc - white jersey (worn by best rider under 25)
le maillot jaune - yellow jersey
le maillot vert - green jersey (worn by leader in points)
Of course, here at CycleDog, there are a few additions:
un dopeur - a rider who cheats by using banned performance enhancing drugs. According to the French, this includes all non-French riders.
un whiner - anyone who works for L'Equipe, the French sporting newspaper that covers the tour.
un fair and balanced - L'Equipe's coverage of foreign riders.
un loser - French rider.
un coureur American - upstarts who through chicanery, cheating, and out right thievery have prevented honest, upright French riders from winning their national tour.
L'année prochaine - Literally, "next year" in English, when the French can hope to win the Tour for the first time since 1985.
Enjoy these words, and feel free to use them in ordinary conversation around the office or shop. When others mispronounce them or use the English equivalents, correct them immediately. Honestly, they'll thank you for it and no one will think of you as a pretentious asshole.