|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.