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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:44 pm 
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While we're in this off season I'd like to see some good discussion about racing. I like the thread about what makes a classics rider a lot and I hope it fosters some good dialogue. For this -

What defines a Super Domestique? We've heard the term off and on over the decades of this sport. Some names come to mind (and I want to cover that later in another thread), but for now: what defines a Super Domestique vs. a regular domestique? At what point is a domestique "Super" and do they ever return back to a regular Domestique role, or are they always considered Super based off of past performances?

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Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:44 pm 


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:02 pm 
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It seems a "Super-Domestique" is a rider who has gone above & beyond what would be expected from a non-team leader.

Perhaps, it would aply as well, to a non-team leader who has had some significant results individually.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:30 pm 
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i think a super domestique is a rider who as the abillity to win and has won great races but when needed will do the hard work needed,ie fabien cancellara ,,frank schelck , george hincappie ,jens voight , even lance armstrong and cadel evans have done there bit ,all these guys know that its a team sport and its very difficult to win alone ,so show that your willin to help even if you cannot win ,,,,,


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:33 pm 
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A good domestique is someone who is able to support his leader on his (domestique's) "field" while probably a super domestique would be someone versatile; let's say someone able to support a leader both on flat and on hillier routes as well.

But on other hand there are some great domestique who has a sort of "team captain" role among their team, who are able to read the race and support also mentally their leader.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:40 pm 
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Another power a super domestique might have, could be his/hers ability to lighten up the mood when the leaders or even the entire team feels down. Or take the journalists' focus away when a leaders comes in after a disappointing result. To do so, the rider must be interesting and have something to say of course.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:38 pm 
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That's interesting. I do consider Zabriskie a great rider and strong domestique, but not Super (convince me, I'm open to it). Whereas Hincapie would be Super. Zabriskie makes for much better press material though, and better moves during a race to draw attention away from the leader.

Similarly, I consider Vinokourov something of a Super-Domestique + Leader in one. He has proven himself as an exceptional domestique in support of another teammate turning himself inside-out in the process, and quite capable of winning races outright as a leader. Although some of his candid photos both off-and-on-season are hilarious and show his comical attitude towards things, during races he doesn't provide much print-worthy quotes to the press.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:08 am 
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prendrefeu wrote:

Similarly, I consider Vinokourov something of a Super-Domestique + Leader in one. He has proven himself as an exceptional domestique in support of another teammate turning himself inside-out in the process, and quite capable of winning races outright as a leader. Although some of his candid photos both off-and-on-season are hilarious and show his comical attitude towards things, during races he doesn't provide much print-worthy quotes to the press.



The way I would define a "super domestique" would be a rider who comes onto a team/is part of a team to support a rider who is potentially better than them even though they could be a leader of a different team/considered a favorite for the race they are supporting for

Example would be Leipheimer supporting Contador, Frank supporting Andy or Sastre, etc.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:20 am 
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When you look up the word "super domestique" in the cycling dictionary it will reference people like George Hincapie, Stewart O'Grady. Jens Voit

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycling_domestique" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

There is a hierarchy among domestiques; the more accomplished, often called lieutenants or super-domestiques, are called upon during critical times. The lieutenant(s) stays with the leader as long as possible during demanding periods . For example, Lance Armstrong used teammates to set a pace during mountain stages of the Tour de France before a decisive attack. Examples of super-domestiques in the 2009 Tour de France are Andreas Klöden (Astana) and George Hincapie (Team BMC).

Here is an example of domestiques of old:

Andrea Carrea was a domestique for Fausto Coppi. "He was a gregario par excellence", said the journalist Jean-Luc Gatellier, "the incarnation of personal disinterest... showing to perfection the notion of personal sacrifice. He refused the slightest bit of personal glory."[8] Carrea was riding the Tour de France of 1952 and joined an attack to Lausanne to protect his leader's interests.

Carrea said: "Without knowing it, I had slid into the important break of the day and at Lausanne, to my great surprise, I heard I had inherited a jersey destined for champions. For me, it was a terrible situation."[8]

Carrea had no idea he had become race leader. When officials told him, he burst into tears. He had ousted Coppi and he dreaded the consequences.[9] He wept as he received his jersey, looking constantly down the road for the main field that included his leader.

Jean-Paul Ollivier said: Carrea thought the sky had fallen in. How would Fausto take it? When the champion arrived a few minutes later, Carrea went towards him in tears to offer his excuses. "You must understand that I did not want this jersey, Fausto. I have no right to it. A poor man like me, the yellow jersey? [10]"

Coppi said: "I wondered how Carrea, so shy and so emotional, was going to take it. When I went to congratulate him on the track at Lausanne, he didn't know what face he ought to adopt".[8]

José Luis Arrieta was a domestique for Miguel Indurain. L'Équipe said: "He no longer counts the hours, the years, spent with his nose in the wind trying to protect his leader for as long as possible".[11] Arrieta said:
“ When you have the chance to start your career in so big a team and at the side of a champion as great as Indurain, you grow in the service of sacrifice. I don't complain. To the contrary, I had the chance to live some wonderful moments. When Indurain won, or another rider for whom we had decided to work, it was a victory for all the team men as well"

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:52 am 
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Probably isn't a set definition, but someone who has done a lot for his team and can win races in his own right. Hincapie, Renshaw, etc...


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:30 am 
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I feel that we keep coming back to a rider who is very good at racing i.e. can win races on his own but chooses to support a designated leader. Don't get me wrong, i do not think it's a wrong definition, but there is definitely more to domestiques than that no?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:52 am 
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I guess the 'super-domestique' has the ability to be a real game changer. He makes a defineable, significant contribution to the victory of his leader.

I think simply being a good rider with the ability to win, on a team with a superior leader is not enough. So because Kloden and Leipheimer were on Contador's team for the 2009 Tour doesn't simply make them 'super-domestique's'. They didn't seem to make defining contributions to Contador's victory (as far as i can remember and excluding the TTT). Contador very much did that himself with his own attacks.

For me, examples of such a defineable, siginificant, 'super-dometique' performance would be: Hushovd's turn in Farrar's lead out for this years stage 3 Tdf; Hincapie after the Poggio for Cavendish's M-SR win; Renshaw's lead-outs for numerous Cavendish wins; Sylvester Szmzyd for Ivan Basso in 2010 Giro; Monfort between Izoard and Galibier for A Schleck's victory stage 18 Tdf 2011.

I think it's harder to define a 'super-domestique' performance in Grand Tour victories compared to Stage victories or Classics victories. I put Szmyzd as an example there because he consistently does a remarkable job of pace setting and putting rivals under the kosh. He could climb with the best to the very top (and has), but his efforts are to such an extent in sacrifice to his leader that he burns out 1/2 way up.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:19 pm 
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You've got to separate guys that got the ability to win but team hierarchy tell them to work for s.o. (best example is Joaquim Roriguez working for Valverde) And guys that dedicate their career helping a leader, who get a mental boost helping him, but would fail as a leader.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:48 pm 
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I think it is one thing to be able to sit on the front and grind away for hours, or to be at the service of another, but quite another to be able to make contributions outside the physical.

The best domestiques have the respect of the peloton, not just for their service, but also the things that they do for the peloton as a whole to keep it safe. They have 'been about' for awhile and also have the respect of race officials and organizers and are personally known to them. They work behind the scenes, too, before the wheels are even turning. They know the races and the local roads and often play the 'Road Captain' role. Guys like Andreas Klier and Michael Barry come to mind.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:36 pm 
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^^^^^ Good answer


For me Sean Yates is the template for the super domestique:

He was as strong as a horse and could drag his team behind him in a TTT, or string out the peleton like no other in order to reel in a break.

He had the respect of every one in the pro cycling world, to the extend that Armstrong was scared of him when he joined Motorola.

Despite the fact that he won a TdF TT stage and wore yellow he always gave 100% of himself for his team, and didn't expect much in return.

He never saught publicity, he just got on with his job.


Put all of those elements together and you have a super domestique.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:39 pm 
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Routier wrote:
^^^^^ Good answer


For me Sean Yates is the template for the super domestique:

He was as strong as a horse and could drag his team behind him in a TTT, or string out the peleton like no other in order to reel in a break.

He had the respect of every one in the pro cycling world, to the extend that Armstrong was scared of him when he joined Motorola.

Despite the fact that he won a TdF TT stage and wore yellow he always gave 100% of himself for his team, and didn't expect much in return.

He never saught publicity, he just got on with his job.


Put all of those elements together and you have a super domestique.



Very well put and Sean was/is a nice guy too. :D


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Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:39 pm 


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