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07 May 2012

Cycling Terms for fans

Cycling Terminology for the Amgen Tour of California
Riders: In professional cycling the racers are generally called riders as opposed to racers or cyclists.
Route map: The course or path the riders will take from start to finish. Some stages will have laps where riders will repeat the same few blocks within the stage. Stage 8 has 5 laps before the finish.
Stage profile: Maps the ascents and descents along a stage. It is often fun for fans to see the riders on a climb where the rider's speed slows slightly (or coming around a corner).
Rolling neutral start: Riders begin at a start line but do not begin racing until a few blocks or miles into the route (the distance varies). A neutral start is used if the start area conditions are narrow, crowded, or unsafe for race conditions. A neutral start is also sometimes used as a show of respect. Stages 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 all have neutral starts this year.
KOM (King of Mountain): First rider to the top of a designated climb on the race route. Riders receive points, the rider with the most points wins the King of the Mountain (KOM) (climber's) jersey. The jersey transfers each day to the rider with the most points overall. There may be more than one KOM point in a stage, Stage 4 has 6 KOMs.
Sprint: First rider to a designated sprint line on the race route. Riders receive points, the rider with the most points wins the sprint (green) jersey. The jersey transfers each day to the rider with the most points overall. There may be more than one KOM point in a stage, Stage 2 has 3 SPRINTS. 
Leader: There will be a current leader out on course while the race is taking place, but the overall Leader (yellow jersey) is the rider with the lowest (fastest) overall time for all stages. The winner of each day's stage is called the Stage Winner, not the Leader. 
Feed zone: A designated area on the route where team staff must pass out food bags (musettes) to the riders containing food. Water may be handed to riders through team cars throughout the stage.
Breakaway: 1 to a few riders who are leading the race and ahead of the main peloton
Peloton: The main pack of riders chasing the lead breakaway.  
Podium girls: A tradition in professional cycling to have 2 beautiful women present the awards to the riders at the finish of every stage.
Podium: Each day the top three riders finishing the stage are awarded 1st, 2nd, 3rd prizes on the podium. Then the 6 overall Classification jerseys are awarded. 
Classification Jerseys: Awards for best type of rider in a field. This year the Tour of California will feature 6 classifications: Leader (fastest overall time, yellow jersey), Most Courageous (by vote, white jersey), Mountain (climber, red polka dot jersey), Sprint (fastest sprinter, green jersey), Best Young rider (under the age of 23, orange jersey), Most Aggressive (most combative/competitive, black jersey). As the stage race progresses the overall classification winner is presented with his jersey after each stage and will wear the jersey at the start of the next day's stage. View the Official 2012 Jerseys.
Stage Race: a cycling race consisting of more than one day of racing, where points and time is tallied every day to determine an overall winner at the end of the race. The 2012 Amgen Tour of California will have 8 stages.
Bib Number or Dossard: please read an earlier Pedal Dancer post: Word of the Day: Dossard

*For more terminology read the Amgen Tour of California Bicycle Racing Terminology: A Primer.