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  1. #1
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    The Art of the Breakaway

    Iíve been pleasantly surprised by the magnitude in which my body seems to be responding to sub-LT work this off season. Iíve been nailing some personal bests within 20-40 minute ranges with less effort and Iím 5 lbs. lighter! I'm steadily climbing the Power Profile Chart (tm) and assuming this trend holds up, this has me fantasizing about solo breakaways and 5+ minute finishes over the peloton in some of the longer road races Iím planning to sign up for this season.

    While Iím sure that reality will be a somewhat less glorified version of this pipe dream, Iím still left wondering if adhering to an overall strategy of ďracing my strengthsĒ isnít such a bad idea. More specifically, working towards an outcome that gives me the greatest chance of success despite running the risk of a potentially lower average placings throughout the season. An extreme example: Podium twice and the rest at the bottom 10 vs. Average of 10-20 place finishes (field size of 50-75).

    Iím toying with the idea to commit to an extended late base and build period with a lot of focus on FTP development, but recognize that I have precious little race experience (especially with longer RRs). So in fully acknowledging the fact that racing is as much about timing/smarts as it is about fitness, what are some ďbest practicesĒ for maximizing a decisive breakaway effort (when, how, under what circumstances/conditions, etcÖ)

    Also, has anyone else trained with this type of specificity in mind and what were your results?

  2. #2
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    Knowing the competition helps.

  3. #3
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    hmmm I think doggus needs to respond to this thread. he knows a bit about winning a road race with 5 minutes to spare.
    "have fun and be kind"
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  4. #4
    Banned. El Diablo Rojo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tspek View Post
    Knowing the competition helps.
    Big time. Saturdays race, teammate 1 jumps 2miles into a 54mi race..nobody cares...5min later teammate 2 bridges up...nobody cares....54miles later teammate 2 takes third after two other guys finally bridge up to him...that was around mile 49. Everyone was who is this guy? Doubt if it will happen for him again...big target on back.

    FWIW it really helps to have teammates back in the pack willing to work to disrupt the chase...I did that for an hour and forty minutes...

  5. #5
    Senior Member ldesfor1@ithaca's Avatar
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    i focused on becoming a breakawy artist all of last off season (tons of LT work: SST, TT's RWI's). It worked.
    I got in 7-8 breaks and although i couldnt finish these races with wins, I finished in the winning break each race.

    I had so much fun it was crazy. go for it.
    Teammates-on-Podium O'meter: 0/n (n=total # of teammates I get to race with)
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    Team/Training blogness:www.thresholdcycling.com

  6. #6
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    What's a breakaway?

  7. #7
    old & slow Snap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    What's a breakaway?
    The place sprinters go to die.

  8. #8
    Foot + Mouth = me aperez8264's Avatar
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    ^
    +1
    cat-3-o meter: 25%
    the blog

  9. #9
    Writin' stuff ZeCanon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snap View Post
    The place sprinters go to die.
    Or to sit on and win by 3 bike lengths...
    Velo Magazine/VeloNews.com tech guy ó get in touch or hit me on the tweeter @CaleyFretz

  10. #10
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeCanon View Post
    Or to sit on and win by 3 bike lengths...
    If the guys in the break took him that far they deserve to lose by 3 bike lengths.
    BLOG of BOB: Old Guy Racer
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  11. #11
    Cat 4 roadkill
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Diablo Rojo View Post
    FWIW it really helps to have teammates back in the pack willing to work to disrupt the chase...I did that for an hour and forty minutes...
    Everyone knew you were doing it, too - the AT&T guy wouldn't let us forget it! I'm surprised they didn't get something going, since they had so many guys in that race.

  12. #12
    carbon is too light procrit's Avatar
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    You know when that racer attacked but you too tired to go with him, so he just rides off into the distance? That was the right time to go.
    Cat 2+*--------------+Cat 1

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeCanon View Post
    Or to sit on and win by 3 bike lengths...
    Awwwwww yeeeaaaaah

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    Announcer EventServices's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athlete, Joe View Post
    While I’m sure that reality will be a somewhat less glorified version of this pipe dream
    You are methodical in your training and planning.
    Bike races are methodical in their ability to be chaotic.

    If your extensive computations lead you to a conclusion that puts you in a winning breakaway one week, I promise the other riders will know your trick the next week.

    It's bike racing. Don't treat it like a math problem.

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    Announcer EventServices's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athlete, Joe View Post
    in fully acknowledging the fact that racing is as much about timing/smarts as it is about fitness...
    It isn't even close to "as much about".

  16. #16
    going roundy round wanders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EventServices View Post
    It isn't even close to "as much about".
    I'll never have smarts but I have had timing once. Too bad it didn't count.
    Quote Originally Posted by CastIron View Post
    Damn.

  17. #17
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    similar discussion here. i posted 4 or 5 breakaway "scenario" posts last year too that got some good feedback, search away and hopefully you'll get some good things to consider.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ighlight=break

  18. #18
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    I've recently been successful in several breaks, initiating a few of them myself (which is new to me in the last year). I would say that the key is to fully commit. If the pack starts reeling you in, you just have do dig deeper. Until they actually catch you, you're off the front.

    One time I was off for about 5 minutes solo, two guys bridged up to me and we worked well together for 10 minutes or so, but the pack reeled us in. My partners sat up, and I drilled it from 15m off the front of the pack. They let me get away for another 5 until two different guys bridged up, and we were freaking gone.

    Note that I'm not a time-trialist, and there were probably 15 guys in that pack would would beat me in a TT. I just went nuts, dug deep and didn't give up.
    Last edited by waterrockets; 01-25-10 at 07:30 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    I just went nuts, dug deep and didn't give up.
    OP, apply.
    "I was racing after him at 55 km/h, and he took a minute off me."
    ---Boonen on Cancellara with 15 km to go at Flanders 2010

  20. #20
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    What's a breakaway?

  21. #21
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    What's a breakaway?
    it's like a time trial, only you all start at the same time.
    "have fun and be kind"
    - an internet post

  22. #22
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athlete, Joe View Post
    Also, has anyone else trained with this type of specificity in mind and what were your results?
    In Training and Racing with a Power Meter, Allen and Coggan lay out what they call Race Winning Intervals (ironically for Athlete Joe).

    They noticed what the winning move typically looked like. Typical profile was short intense burst to get away, sustained work at or above LT to stay away, then another burst to take the sprint.

    So Race winning interals train this. The interval is a 30 second burst, with the first 15 seconds out of the saddle, average 200% FTP. Then 3 minutes 100-104% FTP, then 10 seconds 200% FTP.

    5 minutes rest repeat 5-8 times.

    You might try doing these as you get close to the start of your races.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  23. #23
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    What's a breakaway?
    When Bonnie says "go," it's the thing you're doing with your first hour of racing where you go faster than everyone else. Then usually the second and third hours too.

    I think for you it would just be called "racing," but back behind you there's this peloton thing where people ride in a big group and yell at the front guys to go faster.

  24. #24
    Robosapien substructure's Avatar
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    never. look. back.

  25. #25
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    I was a part of two breakaways. They were both as a Cat 5. Does that count towards my upgrade?

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