Cycling Terms

French cycling terms
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Le cyclisme

For all the bike enthusiasts and Tour de France fanatics out there, here are some French terms to help you enjoy your ride and get the most out of the competition.

cycling, biking le cyclisme
bicycle une bicyclette
un vélo
exercise bike un vĂ©lo d’appartement
hybrid bike un vĂ©lo tout-chemin
mountain bike un vĂ©lo tout-terrain
un VTT
racing bike un vĂ©lo de course
recumbant bike un vĂ©lo couchĂ©
road bike un vĂ©lo de route
Accessories and equipment
bike lane une piste cyclable
bike rack(on a car)
(for parking)
 un porte-vĂ©los
un râtelier à bicyclettes
bike shed un abri Ă  bicyclettes
bike shop un magasin de cycles
broom wagon une voiture balai
feed bag une musette
flat tire une crevaison
un pneu crevé
handlebars un guidon
helmet un casque
number on jersey le dossard
tire un pneu
water bottle un bidon
wheel une roue
breakaway un Ă©chappĂ©
chaser un poursuivant
climber un grimpeur
cyclist, rider un coureur
un cycliste
group un autobus
un grupeto
un peloton
last rider la lanterne rouge
leader la tĂŞte de course
manager un directeur sportif
referee un commissaire
rider un cycliste
rider’s assistant un soigneur
smooth and steady rider un rouleur
sprinter un sprinteur
support rider un domestique
team une Ă©quipe
Tracks and Courses
beyond classification (extremely difficult) hors catĂ©gorie
downward slope une descente
hill, slope une cĂ´te
kilometer marker, ~milestone une borne kilomĂ©trique
mountain une montagne
mountain pass un col
plains, flat land une plaine
race une course
red marker at one kilometer from finish la flamme rouge
road une route
route, course un parcours
stage, leg une Ă©tape
stage race une course par Ă©tapes
track une piste
upward slope une montĂ©e
Scoring and ranking
bonus points la bonification
standings le classement
time trial contre la montre
green jersey (most points / best sprinter) le maillot vert
polka dot jersey (best climber) le maillot Ă  pois
white jersey (best under 25) le maillot blanc
yellow jersey (overall leader) le maillot jaune
to accelerate accĂ©lĂ©rer
to attack, spurt ahead attaquer
to break away s’Ă©chapper
to change pace changer d’allure
to climb grimper
to cling, hang on to s’accrocher Ă 
to overtake dĂ©passer
to ride courir
faire du vélo
to shift gears changer de vitesse
to slip, skid dĂ©raper
to slow down ralentir
to take the lead prendre la tĂŞte
Et cetera
fall, crash une chute
pedaling rhythm la cadence
riding as hard and fast as possible Ă  bloc
riding between two groups chasse patate
standing up en danseuse

 Le Tour de France literally means "the Tour of France," and its informal nickname is la Grande Boucle – "the Big Loop."

French listening comprehension Discover more about the Tour de France in these bilingual articles with audio:

If you’d like to learn some interesting trivia and history of the largest and most watched sporting even in the world, I recommend the very funny book French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France, by Tim Moore: |

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French cycling vocabulary

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1 Response

  1. NJH 7 July 2017 / 12:34

    Je dois vous remercier pour la clarification de « boucle » . J’Ă©tais familier avec le verbe « boucler » , qui veut dire « to come to the end of » , donc il me semblait Ă©trange Ă  l’utiliser au dĂ©but du Tour . Je suis plus clair maintenant .