The 2018 Tour De France begins on the 7th July running until the 29th July. In what will be the 105th edition of the Tour, riders will be cycling almost entirely within French borders which is one of the unique aspects of this particular Tour.

One tactic you are likely to see during the Tour De France is the breakaway. To those of you not too clued up on your cycling knowledge, this might be an unfamiliar term. In this article we will explain what the breakaway is all about.

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What Is A Breakaway?

A breakaway is an attack by an individual rider or group of riders on the peloton, in an attempt to take the lead in a quick fashion and maintain the lead for the duration of the stage/race.

They are usually unsuccessful and may well be attempted several times in one stage or race. The peloton ordinarily doesn’t chase the breakaway, preferring to keep to a steady and constant pace, reserving valuable physical and mental energy.

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Breakaway Riders Tour De France 2018 – Why Do Riders Use The Breakaway Tactic?

Breakaways may happen for many reasons, but they are usually carried out by those riders who aren’t gifted as specialist mountain climbers or sprinters. Breakaway enthusiasts are a special, opportunistic breed of cyclist.

Obviously, cyclists will deploy the breakaway tactic to get into a leading position, but there are other reasons for this tactic too.

  • Firstly, a breakaway can result in the riders accumulating mountain or sprint classification points for themselves.
  • It can also take points away from the challengers to leading riders of the breakaway’s team.
  • A less obvious reason for the breakaway tactic is to give valuable air time to rider’s sponsors. In the flat stages, this is quite often the reason for breakaway attempts.

Breakaway attempts are used pretty much from the get-go in most races. In most situations a breakaways’ success or otherwise is determined by the peloton and top contenders. If riders involved in the breakaway attempt offer any kind of threat to the General Classification, the peloton simply won’t allow the breakaway riders to get through.

However, in other circumstances, the tactic by the top contenders might be different. For instance, early in a tour, the main contenders may allow certain riders to take the lead and subsequently, those riders will have to defend the lead in the days ahead. Obviously, this is a very physically demanding task and it is more than likely that the breakaway riders will fall short as the Tour progresses.

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Can Breakaways Be Successful?

Typically, breakaway attempts are doomed to failure – unless the top contenders have made a strategic decision to allow it – and by the final 5km or so of a stage or race, the breakaway riders are usually caught.

You might be asking why they even bother. The vast majority of the time the breakaway attempt simply will not succeed, but there is a possibility, albeit a very small one, that the breakaway will be successful and that is why the tactic is used.

Essentially, the breakaway riders would have no chance of winning at any stage of the Tour De France if they didn’t attempt the breakaway. It’s a choice between no chance at all and a very slim chance of victory.

So, if you are watching the Tour De France and see a group of riders ahead of the main peloton, or you see a sudden sprint of relatively unknown riders heading towards and away from the main peloton, you now know what is happening!

Currently, we couldn’t find any bets relating to the Tour De France and breakaways, but we are sure some betting markets of this kind will emerge over the coming weeks.