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Why do they let breaks form?(5 posts)

Why do they let breaks form?DougSloan
Jul 23, 2002 5:47 AM
I don't get it. It seems like the main group could always keep a break from getting a way if they wanted to. Then, there is no risk of something like that 30 minute thing happening like last year, and they wouldn't have to chase them down later. So, why let it happen in the first place?

Is it purely because no one wants to do the work to chase or close the gap right away? Do they just not care if there are no leaders in the group?

Yes, the main group...Wayne
Jul 23, 2002 5:54 AM
could probably keep a break from forming. But the main group won't, the responsibility will fall on one team or a few teams. Generally, for the 1st hour or so, they do chase down stuff that is threatening for one reason or another to one team or another, and then at some point a break forms with the "right" combination of riders. Also, chasing down breaks means alot of accelerating, etc. whereas once it's gone you just settle down to a steady tempo, keep them at a respectable distance, and wait for them to tire and slow, or the sprinters team to come to the front to lift the pace and close it, or for your leader to get to the final climb and see if he can ride away from his main rivals.
So, yes they form because "no one wants to do the work to chase or close the gap right away", additionally any team represented in the break or for various other motivations may want breaks to be established.
As Wayne saysShockee
Jul 23, 2002 10:11 AM
... teams with members in the break are motivated for the break to succeed. This foists the chase responsibilities on a very few remaining teams. Chasing costs a lot of scarce energy and is better saved for more crucial times near the end of the stage, or when serious G.C. contenders are in a break. Today's break would not have happened if Botero had not cracked on Ventoux as U.S. Postal would have shut it down early.

Also, those in the break away are gambling a lot of energy on the success of the break. If they are caught in the last few kms, the members of the unsuccessful break are effectively eliminated from contending in the stage due to relative exhaustion.

Further, the contending teams want the stage to be fast (with their man near the front) mainly towards the end to ensure that only their contenders have the positioning and the legs to duke it out in late breaks or sprints. This inevitable late-stage speed usually reels in any early or late breakaways AND sets up the team captains for the sprint/last-minute break (depending on the individual specialty: some are better at 1km latebreaks, others at ~200m sprints) - two birds with one stone.

Finally, breakaways make the race more interesting for viewers and better for the sponsors.
here comes uncatchable Joecyclopathic
Jul 28, 2002 9:31 AM
why he is? noone cares to
re: Why do they let breaks form?char
Jul 29, 2002 7:10 PM

The right riders are in the break. They are no threat to the Points, Mountain, Team, Young, or GC. The break would have to challenge the 10th place rider of any of these categories to cause a reaction from the peloton way before any of the teams with riders on the podium.

This is why ONCE chased down Rumsas on the finale to Paris, with the time bonus for the first 3 riders he could have placed second, good move on his part to see if the peloton was paying attention. Didn't work, but you gotsa to try.