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In the middle of the journey #6

Alberto Bettiol at Tour de France (Ph. Getty)

Alberto Bettiol at Tour de France (Ph. Getty)

10 Sep 2020

In the middle of the journey #5

A breakaway is undoubtedly one of the aspects that distinguishes a mundane day at the Tour de France from an interesting one, and in the Tour, we can find two major types of breakaways.

THE "HOPELESS" BREAKAWAY
The breakaway during the first few stages is the one that already knows it will eventually be caught. This type of breakaway begins after only a few kilometres, if not already at the first kilometre, in which 1-4 rider(s) will go on the attack knowing that the peloton will let them go. There is an interest for the peloton to let them go, until the end of the stage when the sprinters or climbers would like to collect their glory.
Obviously, there is a great fight among the breakaway riders for the Red Number of Most Aggressive prize, which is always highly coveted in France. It is very important to go into the breakaway during the Tour, especially for Professional Continental teams, because it gives you the opportunity to display your jersey and sponsors worldwide. In any case, the breakaway riders know they are destined to be caught.

 

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THE "NUMEROUS" BREAKAWAY
Then there are the numerous breakaways in the second and third week of race, when the gaps in the general standings are over 1 hour. In a case like this, the breakaway is more likely to succeed since they do not pose an overall threat.
There are stages in which we can predict that the breakaway sets out to succeed as an unwritten rule, and therefore, everyone wants to be a part of it.
In the penultimate week, it is more difficult and at the same time easier to go on the breakaway. It’s difficult because you feel fatigue, but easy because when 20, 25, 30 riders go away it's just a matter of position within that group. You have to follow the other riders and resist, until the breakaway goes away. These are the breakaways that have success and reach the finish line, as gaps of 10, 15, 20 minutes do not bother the general classification leaders.

 

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Obviously, it will be necessary to agree with the team, but surely this week and especially the next it may be that I too will be part of one of these numerous breakaways that reaches the finish line.

 

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Ph. Gruber
 

  • Alberto Bettiol at Tour de France (Ph. Bettini)
  • Alberto Bettiol at Tour de France (Ph. Getty)
  • The Tour de France (Ph. Gruber)