The breakaway is an essential part of road racing. If we look at the Olympic Road Races this past weekend, both the men and women’s races had multiple breakaways up the road. For many, it was to their own demise on such a technical and challenging course.
Teams might send breakaways up the road to take pressure off of the peloton with the expectation that it probably won’t stay away. Sometimes, though, they do. Whenever you are in a breakaway, it is essential to do a self-check and ask yourself “how am I going to win out of this?”
For example, if you are a sprinter in a break in a hilly race, you might need to sit on more or even not pull through in hopes of getting over the climbs and out-sprinting your competition. If you are a power rider without a sprint, you know you have to lose your breakaway companions before the finish. If you know you have the best sprinter in the field, you might just sit on to represent your team but hope that the break gets caught. There are a thousand scenarios and being able to analyze these situations on the fly are what separates successful bike racers from the rest.
Over this road season, we’ve analyzed the breakaway in three ways: what it takes to make one, how much the breakaway affects you, and how it can be used for a team goal. Read on to build on your excellent fitness.