le tour: the servant

I reckon Jesus would like the Tour.

While the headlines are all about Contador, Armstrong, Evans and Schleck, the true grit in a race like the tour often is demonstrated by a very special group of riders called the ‘domestiques’.  Domestique is from the french for servant, and describes the group of riders dedicated to the success of their team leader.

Domestiques get all the rotten jobs.  They have to ride at the front of the peleton, tackling the headwinds, and giving their team leaders a cruisy, energy-saving slipstream in which to ride.

They have to stop and wait any time the team leader has a mechanical problem, or the need to take a ‘comfort stop’ and pace them back into the peleton.

The spend their days dropping back to the team car following behind the peleton to pick up water bottles, and then riding back up through the pack to hand off those water bottles to the team leaders.

Domestiques are riders who deliberately burn their own energy, and sacrifice their own opportunities and chances in the race so that the chances of the team leader are enhanced.

A domestique is a talented rider, incredibly fit, motivated – but at the same time a selfless servant.  A domestique uses all that they have for the benefit of another.  The very often struggle home last, having spent everything to enable another to come home first.

Do you see why I reckon Jesus would like the Tour?

In our church, in our community, in our world, I reckon we could do with a few more domestiques…


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