|This article does not cite any references or sources. (August 2009)|
A rouleur is a type of racing cyclist considered a good all-rounder.
In road bicycle racing different courses favour different types of rider depending on a range of environmental conditions such as terrain, climate and distance. Flat courses often finish in a bunch sprint, which favours specialist sprinters who can ride fastest over the last few hundred metres of the race. Mountainous courses favour lightweight, skinny riders with a particularly high power output to weight ratio, enabling them to ascend the mountains efficiently. The time trial discipline is mastered by the riders who can produce a sustained high power output, over short to medium distance.
The rouleur is a consistent all rounder who can ride well over most types of course. A rouleur will often work as a domestique in support of their team leader, a sprinter or a climber on their team. The best chance for a rouleur to win a stage is by breaking away from the main bunch during the race to win from a small group of riders that does not contain the sprint specialists. The breakaway is most likely to succeed in the undulating transition stages of multi-stage road races, that are neither mountainous nor flat. Examples of such racers include Jens Voigt, Thomas Voeckler, Sylvain Chavanel, Sandy Casar, Pierrick Fédrigo, Luis León Sánchez, Jérémy Roy and Jacky Durand.