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Old 01-13-05, 07:40 PM   #1
Panoramic
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what's with breakaways?

I've recently started to pay attention to races, and I've never seen a successful break away that startedbefore the 2/3 of the way mark. Why do people do it?
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Old 01-13-05, 07:44 PM   #2
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They do it 'cause it works sometimes.

There've been successful solo breaks in the TDF that started a few kilometers after the start.

Someone help me with Thierry Maries record breakway. 200 K? I can't remember the exact distance.

Got it! 234 k.
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Old 01-13-05, 07:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Laggard
They do it 'cause it works sometimes.

There've been successful solo breaks in the TDF that started a few kilometers after the start.

Someone help me with Thierry Maries record breakway. 200 K? I can't remember the exact distance.

Got it! 234 k.

Don't forget Jacky Durand's done it a time or 2 also. National's last year had some guy, sorry I wasn't officiating that day, I was a corner marshall, who jumped off the front some 10 miles into the 80mile RR. He managed to stay away and win a Nat'l Championship for his age group. Heard from one of the officials when the dude was given a time check with 10 miles to go the rider got a 'wicked grin' on his face and laughed. He knew he had it won at that point.
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Old 01-13-05, 08:17 PM   #4
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I've recently started to pay attention to races, and I've never seen a successful break away that startedbefore the 2/3 of the way mark. Why do people do it?
Possibly for sponsor publicity, or to gain smaller prizes on the road, or to help a teamate bridge up for an attack. And once in a while, the long break does work.
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Old 01-13-05, 09:23 PM   #5
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It's all about chemistry.
If the right teams are represented in the break, it can go right from the gun. (i.e. Road America stage of 1993 Superweek - 12 riders rode off the front after 300 meters. Stayed away for 120 miles. Sven Teutenberg beat Scott Fortner)
You want to be in a breakaway with riders who are strong enough to make it work, but not strong enough to beat you in the sprint. There might be 1000 breakaway attempts starting immediately after the race is underway.
The principle is simple: if you're in a peloton with 100 other riders, your odds of winning the race are 100 to 1. If you're in a breakaway with 3 others, your odds are 1 in 4.

One of the reasons you see it succeed more often in the later stages of a race is because the field is worn down, and fewer riders can react to the attack. But that only begins to answer the question.
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Old 01-13-05, 10:03 PM   #6
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If you were in a peloton with Petacchi on your right, Hushovd on your left, Zabel in front of you, and McEewen behind you, and the finish line were getting bigger and bigger, you'd be wise to make a break. Not all riders can close with the best. Some are better at "time trialing" the final few kilometers. Guys like Aitor Gonzalez and Jacky Durand come to mind.
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Old 01-13-05, 10:11 PM   #7
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Don't forget David Zabriske's solo break at the Vuelta last year! Didn't that start after about 10 km in to the stage?
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Old 01-13-05, 10:28 PM   #8
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In bigger events, like the TDF, breaking away is a tactical decision by a team that affects the outcome in one or more classifications. For example, a little known rider breaks away almost immediately from the start. He will be eaten up by the peleton eventually, but until they decide to reel him in he can consume sprint and/or KOM points and time bonuses.

This may cause other teams (who have an interst in obtaining those points) to try to drive the peleton in an effort to close down the gap. But then you get the likes of US Postal who are often indifferent to anything but the general classification, so they don't help. This can cause confusion and delay..... I could go on, but you get the picture. It's usually tactics, and almost always team based (sometime on behalf of another team!!)
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Old 01-13-05, 10:30 PM   #9
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I think Zabriskie's attack started at 3km, but I'm not sure. He was able to benefit from Valverde's crash, I think it would have been more difficult for him to have won the stage without it.

EventServices - not to stray off of topic, but do you perhaps have a large picture (uncropped) of your avatar? It is one of my favorite cycling pictures and I cannot find it anywhere online.
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Old 01-14-05, 08:22 AM   #10
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Mine too. I call it Jubilation on a Rainy Day
Sorry, no. I lifted it from a tiny photo in a dusty magazine.
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Old 01-14-05, 09:06 AM   #11
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Why do people do it?
Passion?
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Old 01-14-05, 02:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockmuncher
In bigger events, like the TDF, breaking away is a tactical decision by a team that affects the outcome in one or more classifications. For example, a little known rider breaks away almost immediately from the start. He will be eaten up by the peleton eventually, but until they decide to reel him in he can consume sprint and/or KOM points and time bonuses. .........
A couple of years back, T-Mobile made a brilliant tactical move in a stage of the TDF by sending Jonathan Livingston ahead in a breakaway. The intent was to position a team member a critical portion of a stage where they anticipated a duel would occur between their Leader Jan Ullrich and Lance Armstrong. With the presence of Livingston in this critical portion, a teammate would give the advantage to Ullrich. It proved not to be a decisive moment for Ullrich but saved him after an unexpected crash. Livingston pulled his leader back into contention which allowed Jan to recover and to remain competitive. Don't know if Jan would have been able to recover had he been alone. In this case, the breakaway prevented a total disaster and likely kept them in the race.
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Old 01-14-05, 02:15 PM   #13
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becuase luck favors the bold
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Old 01-14-05, 03:14 PM   #14
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becuase luck favors the bold

Ok Phil (Liggett) ...
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Old 01-14-05, 03:36 PM   #15
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Ok Phil (Liggett) ...
Well it does.
Most riders cannot expect to win if they just sit around and wank in the peloton all day.
Like David Zibriske in the Vuelta... most likely 'should have' gotten caught, but he got lucky because of a crash and got the win.
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Old 01-14-05, 03:48 PM   #16
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Well it does.
Most riders cannot expect to win if they just sit around and wank in the peloton all day.
Like David Zibriske in the Vuelta... most likely 'should have' gotten caught, but he got lucky because of a crash and got the win.

I Know, I know. I was just giving him a tough time because it sounded so "Philesque"

-mark
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Old 01-14-05, 04:21 PM   #17
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Richard virenque, 2003 Tdf, had a get away for a long way.
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Old 01-14-05, 04:22 PM   #18
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winning the stage.
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Old 01-14-05, 07:17 PM   #19
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pack riding is for the weak and sprinters
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Old 01-14-05, 08:27 PM   #20
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Claudio Chiapucci's life changed after one....................
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Old 01-14-05, 10:25 PM   #21
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Damn straight Flaneur....

Come to think about it, some of the greatest and most dramatic cycling stories, whether they end in victory,or in heart breaking defeat, involve daring escapers, risking it all in the face of insurmountable odds.

It's the essence of the sport, A day long struggle against the course, the weather, your own doubt, and your own will. It is pain,and it is suffering. But when it works, it is a thing of unrivaled beauty...

To out ride, out last, and out fox 199 competitors, and to finish out front alone is a dream I think we all have. Those who have done it, and even those who have been just fortunate enough to watch it all play out, are forever richer having done so....


How's that for Liggettese?


I don't get too swelled up and misty eyed over stories about bunch sprints.....


Here is Eric Dekker, he broke away with 3 others at km 25 in last years 256km Paris-Tours....

A hell of a lot happened in those 231km, but it can all be summed up with that smug look of sucsses, finishing mere meters ahead the the thundering peleton....

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Old 01-16-05, 01:40 AM   #22
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I absolutely love that look on Dekker's face.
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Old 01-16-05, 10:33 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brent_dube
or to gain smaller prizes on the road
I agree. Someone may be trying to gather points for the climber's jersey.
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Old 01-17-05, 09:16 AM   #24
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How about Tyler's epic solo in the '03 TdF?

Also, not every rider is "allowed" to go on a break in a big race. Frequently the peleton chases down breaks with the wrong mix of riders . . . perhaps one is too highly placed, or a team missed the break. Once the right mix happens he, or they, are allowed to fry alone, dangle off the front until the pack decideds the chase is on. Sometimes they wait too long, but not usually. But sometimes. . . .
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