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A rider who specializes in steady, consistent riding, able to provide a wheel for the team leader for hours at a time. Sometimes the rider who is the G.C. rider for one important race will be repay the efforts of others in the team by playing this role for them in another race.
A time trialist is a road bicycle racer who can maintain high speeds for long periods of time, to maximize performance during individual or team time trials. The term cronoman, or chronoman, is also used to refer to a time trialist; this term is often used by Davide Cassani in his commentaries.
In a traditional individual time trial, riders set off alone (not in a group or peloton) at intervals, typically anything from one to five minutes, and try to complete the course in as short a time as possible. In order to maximize the overall speed a time trialist must be able to maintain a steady effort throughout the event, of which the best measure is believed to be the rider's power at lactate threshold (LT) or aerobic threshold (AT). The best time trialists (such as Miguel Indurain, David Millar, and Fabian Cancellara), are believed to have very high power output at LT/AT, which they can then maintain for the duration of the time trials.
To be a successful time trialist, a cyclist must have exceptional aerodynamic posture and be able to take in plenty of oxygen. Aerodynamic performance can also be improved by riders using 'skin suits', overshoes and streamlined helmets.
The lead out cyclist leads and reduces the effect of the wind resistance on the sprint specialist in the final kilometers in a bunch or mass sprint in a road cycling race. The lead out cyclist is often comes from an indoor track cycling background.
A cycling sprinter is a road bicycle racer or track racer who can finish a race very explosively by accelerating quickly to a high speed, often using the slipstream of another cyclist or group of cyclists tactically to conserve energy.
Apart from using sprint as a racing tactic, sprinters can also compete for intermediate sprints (sometimes called primes), often to provide additional excitement in cities along the route of a race. In stage races, intermediate sprints and final stage placings may be combined in a points classification. For example, in the points classification in the Tour de France, the maillot vert (green jersey) is won by the race's most consistent sprinter. At the Tour de France, the most successful competitor for this honor is German sprinter Erik Zabel, who won a record six Tour de France green jerseys (1996–2001).
Sprinters have a higher ratio of fast-twitch muscle fibers than non-sprinters. Road cycling sprinters sometimes tend to have a larger build than the average road racing cyclist, combining the strength of their legs with their upper body to produce a short burst of speed necessary in a closely contested finish. Some sprinters have a high top speed but
A domestique is a road bicycle racer who works for the benefit of his team and leader. The French domestique translates as "servant". The word was coined in 1911, although such riders had existed before then.
Much of a cyclist's effort is to push aside the air in front of him. Riding in the slipstream of another rider is easier than taking the lead. The difference increases with speed. Racers have known this from the start and have ridden accordingly, often sharing the lead between them. From there it is a small step to employing a rider to create a slipstream while his leader rides behind him.
More complicated tactics become possible as the number of domestiques available increases (see below). Where the domestique finishes a race is less important than the help he gives. Domestiques do not share the fame of leaders such as Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Miguel Induráin or Lance Armstrong, but can achieve fame of their own. Lucien Aimar, who supported Jacques Anquetil, won the 1966 Tour de France. Greg LeMond won the 1986 Tour de France after being Bernard Hinault's domestique in the 1985 Tour de France. The writer Roger St Pierre said:
The first riders known to have been employed
A racing cyclist who excels in both climbing and time trialing, and may also be a decent sprinter. In stage races, an all-rounder seeks a top-10 place in the General Classification. Eddy Merckx and Lance Armstrong were both notable all-rounders; Jan Ullrich, Ivan Basso, Alejandro Valverde, Cadel Evans, Danilo Di Luca, Alberto Contador and Damiano Cunego are more contemporary examples. All-rounders are usually Team Leaders in both stage races and classics cycle races.
A Classics specialist is a rider that has ridden very well in the European spring "Classics" races. Usually a larger powerful sprinter or General Classifications rider can do well in the usually tough roads/conditions of these races held usually early in the springtime of the year in the north-eastern section of France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
A climbing specialist is a road bicycle racer who can ride especially well on highly inclined roads, such as those found among hills or mountains.
In a sustained climb, the average speed declines, the aerodynamic advantage of drafting is diminished and the setting of the group pace becomes more important. A good climber modulates his speed and chooses the best line on a climb, allowing the following riders to have an easier job. If the group maintains a high tempo, it is more difficult for a rider to attack and ride away from the group.
Another important role in climbing is that of attacker or counter-attacker. Climbing specialists use their superior abilities either to attack on climbs and thereby gap the competitors, knowing that only other climbing specialists will be able to stay with them, or simply to maintain a high pace that others cannot match. A successful escape can help the climber achieve a victory if the race has a mountain-top finish, or even in a flat finish if the climber is able to maintain his lead after the climb is over. Climbing stages, along with individual time trials, are key stages in winning long stage races.
Climbers tend to have a lot of endurance and