For most of us, those cyclists riding at the back of the race are simply the also-rans. They are called water carriers, domestiques, gregarios, who sacrifice their careers and forego personal victories so their team leaders can win. What drives them on to keep putting their bodies on the line through excruciating pain and demoralising anonymity? Arunas Matelis followed these Sancho Panza’s of professional cycling for 7 years during the prestigious Giro d’Italia and reveals the unseen world of these wonderful losers of professional cycling from the point of view of the doctors’ team. Our bike heroes crash, rise — and race again.