Dropped after a Pull in a Breakaway during a Race

In addition to all of the suggestions above (know who is in the break and who is chasing, conserve energy, you don’t need to pull, etc.) I would add one further point.

You need to understand how the break formed. Was it a selection off the front or off the back? By this I mean, did you or someone else attack to create this gap or did the rest of the group simply fail to hold the pace?

In gravel races and other events with challenging routes (hilly, crosswinds, whatever) the selection often comes from people just dropping off the back instead of a normal breakaway which is established via an attack. If this is the case you should consider everyone not in the group as dropped - even if they catch back on later they are likely not a threat in the race and you should only be watching the riders who made the selection.

In these cases it doesn’t matter if you don’t pull and it disrupts the effort of your group - who cares? Anyone who catches back on already popped at some point and you should be conserving energy.

If the breakaway was formed via an attack or more traditional means then you have to weigh the conditions above about how much to work to keep the group moving fast and avoid getting caught vs. conserving your energy (basically, see all of the advice above)


You do not have to pull in a race if you are at your limit sitting in. If you go to the front you can pull for what ever time you choose. Also, you can go to the front and bluff, easing off the gas tank, and slowing things down. You should not pull in a breakaway, if the energy expenditure will limit your chances to stay with the lead group.

Alvaro, was that the rage series in Douglass?
If so you did well. That course and riders were very fast. The top C racers, including you, beat some of the A group. Take the lessons from the race, but know you ride very well, especially for your first race!

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Ohh wow… a small world. I guess it is silly to think that I am the only one in that race that uses this forum for advice!

Yeah I was referring to the Rage series race last Saturday. It was a hard race for sure and I am very happy with my results but I always want to do better (who doesn’t?).

That said, THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR YOUR ADVICE! I think there are many ideas in here that i will try to see in my next race (this Saturday) and see how it goes… In the end my job is to stay with the pack!

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Bit of Stoic philosophy:

Your job is to work hard, improve as much as you can, and put forth your very best effort. You draw happiness and satisfaction from the INPUT you provide and from the PROCESS you go through.

Over time, that will also result in better and better results, but as they say… the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. Focus on you, and the rest will come. :grin:


I got into a breakaway in a crit a few years ago, and although I was out of my depth, I managed to make it to the end with the other two riders. Both were much stronger than me.

My tactic was to use the course. There was a strong headwind on the ‘uphill’ side of the course, and a strong tailwind on the downhill side. I was a heavier rider, so I took long pulls on the downhill, downwind sections. I definitely spent more than half of the race on the front, but did way less work than the other two who were pulling uphill and into the wind. I didn’t piss off my companions by taking weak pulls, but I also pulled when it worked in my favour.


Yup, seen a lot of that, particularly from youngsters who think they’re being terribly clever by jumping on breaks and then immediately not working. Don’t seem to have figured out yet that it’s extremely obvious what they’re doing and that none of the breaks they’re in ever stick as a result! It’s quite funny listening to them talking after the race, or seeing their Strava race report, where they’ll make a big deal about how many breaks they got in but were unlucky to miss out on the race winning move. When invariably the race winning move has come from a group of riders who have all worked their nuts off to establish a decent lead before they start indulging in being more tactical and conserving energy.

Though do also agree with the poster above that it depends a lot on the race. I’ve done a lot of racing (both crits and road races) in the last few years on flattish courses with a big strong field and some well organised teams. So breaks don’t happen by accident and they certainly don’t stay clear by accident, you need strong people who are going to work to stay away, and you probably also need enough representation from the stronger teams that the chase isn’t too organised. On more selective courses or with a weaker or less organised field then it can be very different.

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True that, agingcannon. You have to love the process. :muscle:

Yea. In the first scenario it is effectively not a breakaway, but just the peleton. And you shouldnt be in the wind in a peleton…