Saddle Slang is sponsored by Rehook. Check out our tools, bike care and apparel


noun, verb

A breakaway is when a cyclist or group of cyclists separate from the main peloton.

Example usage: The breakaway group was able to gain a significant lead on the peloton.

Most used in: Professional cycling, particularly in road races.

Most used by: Professional cyclists competing in road races.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 3/10

Also see: Sprint, Attack, Jump, Escape,


What Is a Cycling Breakaway?

A breakaway in cycling is a situation where a small group of riders escape from the main field of riders. The breakaway riders are attempting to gain an advantage by creating a gap between them and the main field. The breakaway riders will usually work together to increase their chances of staying away from the main field.

In professional cycling, breakaways are a common strategy. It is estimated that around 75% of professional races are won by breakaways. The breakaway riders must work together and use their collective strength to stay away from the main field. This means that the breakaway riders must take turns at the front of the group and rotate the pace they are riding at.

Breakaways can be successful, but they are also very difficult to achieve. The breakaway riders must be able to create and maintain a gap between them and the main field for an extended period of time. This requires a combination of teamwork, tactics, and strength.


The Fascinating Origin of the Cycling Term 'Breakaway'

The word 'breakaway' has been used in cycling since the late 19th century, when it was first used to refer to a rider or group of riders who had pulled ahead of the rest of the pack during a race. This term originated in France, specifically in the Tour de France, and was first used around the year 1895.

Riders who managed to create a 'breakaway' had a head start on the rest of the field, which gave them an advantage in the race. This was a pivotal moment in the race, and the term quickly spread throughout Europe and beyond.

Today, the word is still used in cycling, and it is also used widely in other sports. Breakaway is often used to refer to any instance when a team or individual gets a head start on their opponents.

The term has been around for over a century, and it is still widely used in cycling and other sports. It is a reminder of the exciting moments that can happen in a race, and the thrill of watching a group of riders pull ahead of the pack.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Saddle Slang

Find definitions for all of the technical terms, slang, and acronyms used in cycling. From the different types of bikes and their components, to training techniques, racing terminology and put downs, this dictionary has it all.

Talk the Talk
1 of 3