Riding in a Break

A break is a small group of riders who have managed to escape from the bunch of riders. Being in this position has the advantage of whittling down the numbers who may be involved in a sprint finish, so enhancing the likelihood of a good final placing - or even a win. However, for the break to succeed, the riders need to establish a suitable gap that cannot be bridged by the main field.

Riders in a break should:

  • Give the group two or three hard turns to establish the break
  • When the break is established, only ride as hard as the weakest or slowest rider
  • Disguise your efforts and not let others know if the effort is taxing or easy - keep a poker face and making sure your body language doesn't let then down is important Avoid missing turns as this will disrupt the rhythm of the break
  • Keep the pace steady. Too fast and you will drop your breakaway companions but it's likely you'll stay ahead. Too slow and the bunch will catch them
  • If a teammate is bridging across to the break, aim to control the pace of the group, so that the teammate can make contact quickly.

Common Faults

  • Riders do too much work in the break
  • Riders can disrupt the pace of the break, making it faster or slower

Top Tips

  • When in a break, riders should ride at a similar pace and effort to the others.
  • Ensure you do not do more than your fair share of work.
  • Keep an eye on the bunch behind. If the bunch is closing the gap, don't waste energy trying to stay clear unless the rider thinks he can get to the finish line before them

Source: British Cycling Level 2 Track Course Manual

Dan Bennett

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