The Role Of The Domestique
Cycling is a team sport. One of the key members in each team is the domestique. In French, the term translates to “servant,” someone who works for the benefit of the team and its leader.
As every good domestique knows, eventually they get their own chance. Some choose to take it, others let the opportunity slip by.
Currently in her fifth season, Nicole Hanselmann is the longest serving team member on the Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling Team. She provides selfless support to the team leaders so when the opportunity arose for her to get a result in the Ladies Tour of Norway, her teammates were delighted when she grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
Hanselmann won the opening stage in the Norwegian race, her first professional road victory.
We asked members of the team to put the role of a domestique into context from an insider’s point of view.
Lotta Lepistö: “Nicole has been my teammate since July 2013. I am really proud that she could have her first international win and that she has grown as a cyclist a lot in these years. She is rider who I can count on and she is always available if I need some kind of help in the race. She deserved her win and it will make her even more stronger.”
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio: “Rio was a very humbling experience and a reminder just how much I value and appreciate my Cervelo Bigla team. At the end of the day, cycling is very much a team sport. Individuals achieve personal bests, but teams win championships. I've realised that I'm only as good as the team around me, and there is nothing more satisfying than seeing hard working teammates, who sacrifice themselves race after race for the team leader to get a chance in the spotlight.”
Stephanie Pohl: “For the longest time, cycling hasn’t been one single discipline. The team strength lies in the sum of each individual. One can count and rely on each other.”
Canadian rider Gabrielle Pilote Fortin says: “For me, it means that when you start a race you are so devoted to do anything you can to put your leader in the best position possible for her to win the race. It's tactical and physical support but it's also mental and emotional support as the faith that we have in our leader gives them an extra boost to deliver.”