"The 33"-Road Bike Racing - Breakaway strategy
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09-18-01, 08:41 AM
I have been watching with interest the tour of Spain. In this race and the TDF I've noticed that there will be a few riders break away early from the pack and ride to exhaustion. In my limited experience they have always been caught by the pack well before the end of the race and they fade rapidly to the rear. From a team standpoint, what is the purpose/advantage of such a move? It seems that the team just looses one of their good sprinters or hill climbers. Any comments?
09-18-01, 08:49 AM
I remember seeing an article on the French rider Jacky Durand. He often makes those breakaway solo efforts.
His philosophy was along the lines "I've made 25 solo efforts, been caught 19 times and had 6 stage wins" so he figures its worth the risk. Sometimes the Peleton gets its maths wrong and fails to catch up.
I love it coz it makes the race so exciting - will they/won't they catch him.
It may lose them one of a team, but a break will often drag 3 or 4 other team riders away to cover. And its only one out of a team of 8? 9? With the chance of thet one getting a stage win for the team. I reckon its well worth the effort.
Must take guts tho, to contemplate 80 odd miles of effort, alone, with a pack chasing after you.
09-18-01, 10:03 AM
I can certainly appreciate the effort. Especially when two lone riders on different teams will draft one another and keep a decent pace. I guess I've not seen enough races to witness the strategy succeed. Further, I think its pretty neat what Zabel is doing for Telekom in the TDS. He seems to really thrive on the flats and really kick it on the finishes. How could anyone watch football after this;)
09-18-01, 10:12 AM
Go to http://www.lavuelta.com/ingles/index.html
Now to see Blanco win today's stage on a breakaway ride
09-18-01, 10:37 AM
After today's stage LEIPHEIMER, Levi (USP) is in 5th (first American) and MILLAR, David (COF) is in 10th (first Briton).
That's no change for Leiphemer from Sunday, but Millar is up one place.
Beloki, Sevilla and Botero are currentl giving Spain a 1,2,3 which must make the Spanish well chuffed.
09-18-01, 09:15 PM
I'm no expert, but I have some guesses.
An early break with only a couple riders barely stands a chance. There has to be enough strong riders in the break to share the work for the entire day. And generally, if a breakaway group appears to be strong enough to pose a threat for the overall stage victory, the peloton will chase and catch it.
So, the other motives for an early break are to take the primes (pronounced preems), e.g. sprint lines and/or mountain passes along the route to gain sprint or climber points.
And then, too, every once in a while a breakaway will work, if luck and timing all fall together right.
But I think the most common reason is to get sponsor visibility. Have you ever noticed that often, a team that hasn't got a snowball's chance of taking the stage, will send one of its domestiques out on a breakaway attempt. As long as the breakway is out, the team name(s)/primary sponsor(s) will be mentioned frequently. And even in written coverage, long breakaways will get mention. It costs riders, but it's good business.
09-24-01, 01:28 AM
Very often the break contains riders who are low placed domestiques and not a threat to the leaders, so their teams won't chase and the other teams often end up "looking at each other" to see who's gonna chase first or the chase just doesn't happen soon enough and sometimes no one thinks the break can "stay away".
Ride successful breaks
... How could anyone watch football after this;)
Well, real football - soccer to most - can be every bit as exciting. ;)
Poor Blanco in Thursday's stage - "if I didn't have bad luck, I'd have no luck at all."
In front by 25 seconds, pedal hits the road, down. About two Km from the finish. Gets on again [was it a new bike?], catching the group he was behind, rear wheel slides out (for reasons I still can't tell), down again.
Pretty sure win to pretty bad finish.
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