Domestiques from different teams, image via Wikipedia
Domestique is French for servant. In the parlance of the peloton, this refers to a rider that goes back to the team car for drinks, clothes and food, then rides back up front to deliver these to his teammates.
But there is more to the term than just that. A domestique works for the benefit of his team and leader. He will support his team leader, pace him back to the peloton after mechanical faults, lead him tactically to the front and the end of the race. Cycling teams built around strong sprinters like HTC Columbia ( Marc Cavendish) and Cervélo Test Team¹ ( Thor Hushovd) form lead out trains, sprinting hard to so that their star sprinters can win a stage victory.
[¹] Although one of the world’s best sprinters Thor Hushovd is in the
Cervélo Test Team, they also have a GC ( General Classification) contender in Carlos Sastre, the winner of the 2008 Tour de France.
If you are a NYT reader, you know that if you double-click a word, you’ll get the defintion. Personally, it’s a feature that I find annoying, but it turns out that the
NYT mines this data and released some figures. Here are some of my faves from the list:
like or relating to a prostitute; “meretricious relationships”
brassy: tastelessly showy; “a flash car”; “a flashy ring”; “garish colors”; “a gaudy costume”; “loud sport shirts”; “a meretricious yet stylish book”; “tawdry ornaments”
gilded: based on pretense; deceptively pleasing; “the gilded and perfumed but inwardly rotten nobility”; “meretricious praise”; “a meretricious argument”
I didn’t know this word until this week when I found it in a book. It’s a nice word to know.