What Does Chapeau Mean in Cycling?

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For those who are new to the world of cycling, it can be overwhelming when you hear unfamiliar terms being thrown around.

One of the most commonly used terms that many people might not know is “chapeau”. So, what does chapeau mean in cycling? Let’s take a closer look at this term and how cyclists use it.

What Does Chapeau Mean in Cycling?

Chapeau is French for “hat” or “cap”, and has been adopted into the English language as an expression of respect or admiration for someone else’s achievement or accomplishment.

In the world of cycling, chapeau is widely used by riders to show respect for another rider who has achieved success or done something impressive on their bike.

It can also be used in situations where a cyclist has managed to overcome a challenging situation or difficult terrain.

So how do cyclists actually use the term “chapeau”?

Generally, they will say it either out loud or simply raise their hand with their palm facing up and their index finger pointed straight up to signify a hat tip.

This gesture typically comes after someone has completed a difficult climb, gone full-gas on a sprint finish, or pulled off an impressive stunt on the bike.

It is also often used to show support for someone who may have crashed but managed to get back up and complete the race/ride.


In short, saying “chapeau” in cycling is like giving someone a pat on the back—it’s an expression of respect and admiration for someone else’s performance on the bike.

Whether you are cheering from the sidelines or riding alongside your friends, don’t forget to give them a virtual chapeau!

Whether you shout it out loud or simply raise your hand in salute, showing others some love and appreciation for their accomplishments is always appreciated by fellow cyclists!