Cad a dúirt sé? Our guide to the Tour de France <em>as Gaeilge</em>

Struggling to tell the difference between “an geansaí bán” agus “ridire an tsléibhe”? Here’s our Irish language guide to cycling’s biggest race.

Image: Pete Goding/Pete Goding/Press Association Images

WHILE WATCHING YESTERDAY’S third stage of the Tour de France, certain members of team discovered that their command of our native tongue wasn’t quite sophisticated enough to appreciate the commentary as Gaeilge on TG4.

Faced with the option of stumping up for a Eurosport subscription or vainly struggling to recall which colour is “bán” and which one is “buí,” we opted for the latter. Gluttons for punishment, that’s what we are.

If you’re in the same boat but are too proud to phone up your secondary school teacher to ask for a quick refresher course, don’t worry. We’ve broken out the old Irish-English dictionary and, with a little bit of help from the good people at TG4, we’ve compiled a glossary of the most commonly used cycling terms.

As always, you’re welcome.


  • An Fhrainc = France
  • Barr an chnoic/an tsléibhe = peak/summit
  • Brú an luais/brú chun cinn = forcing the pace
  • Bóthar = road
  • Ceannaire rás = race leader
  • Ciliméadar= kilometre
  • Coscáin = brakes
  • Diallait = saddle
  • Éalú = breakaway
  • Foireann = team
  • Geansaí bán = white jersey
  • Geansaí buí = yellow jersey
  • Geansaí glas/uaine = green jersey
  • Geansaí polka dot = polka dot jersey
  • Ionsaí = attack
  • Luaidhe amach = lead-out
  • Luas = speed
  • Pacáiste/peleton = peloton
  • Rangú Ginearálta = General Classification
  • Ridire an tsléibhe = King of the mountains
  • Rothaí = rider
  • Rothar = bicycle
  • Sciorradh = skid
  • Slabhra = chain
  • Staid = stage
  • Straitéis = strategy
  • Timpiste/tuairt = crash
  • Troitheán = pedal

Want more? Here’s our spoofer’s guide to the Tour de France >

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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