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I have heard my French friend use the expression like “il a lâché son maillot” if I heard it right. The context was the Tour de France. I am not sure if it is an expression or just different word usage (as compared with English).

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Welcome here! Sorry, the title was correct, but I've changed it, it must match the language used in the body of the question. Also you can ask for the meaning of something (you'll get an answer in English), but an answer will not necessarily provide you with a perfect English wording. – Stéphane Gimenez Jul 13 '12 at 13:19
Thanks for changing the title and giving an explanation as to why .Which I believe will be useful for future references :) – Geekasaur Jul 13 '12 at 13:25
I know what it is but I can't explain in english :-) see [Cancellara prêt à lâcher son maillot ]( – Istao Jul 13 '12 at 14:42
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The maillot here refers to le maillot jaune, which in cycling event Le Tour de France is awarded to the currently leading competitor (in matter of time).

Knowing that, the expression prêt à lâcher son maillot can be translated to ready to (give up/lose) his (leading position/leader status).

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Actually, the maillot jaune is awarded to the leader in matter of time. The maillot vert is awarded to the leader in matter of points. – Stamm Jul 14 '12 at 23:03
I guess I couldn't be bothered to learn even one of this game's rules in a lifetime. You must be right, I edit, thank you. – Romain VALERI Jul 15 '12 at 8:22

The full expression is "lâcher son maillot jaune" and it is used only in the context of the Tour de France.

It means dropping out from the first place and thus giving one's own yellow jacket up to another racer.

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