The Breakaway Theory – Taco van der Hoorn, Steve Cummings, Tim Declercq & Ben Healy

Rapha presents Life in the Peloton!

Have you ever wondered why riders attack off the front? Why do they form breakaways? Is it just for the TV cameras or is it actually a race-winning tactic?

The Tour de France is upon us and you’re almost guaranteed to see a daily breakaway.

It’s historically how a pro cycling race is run: the first 50km is riders attacking off the front – trying to form a breakaway, the breakaway goes, gets several minutes ahead, then the peloton chases them back for the final sprint. 

But why go to all this effort? And is it really that straight forward? 

Who controls how close the peloton gets? Is it the breakaway, or the peloton? Or even the team directors? And is it really that easy to just ride off the front of the peloton in the first place?

There’s so much more to breakaways than meets the eye, and I was keen to dive into this essential part of racing with some of the true specialists in the peloton. 

In this episode I speak to two masters of the breakaway: Dutchman Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) – the modern-day breakaway artist, and Steve Cummings (DS at Team Ineos Grenadiers) – the British breakaway Veteran, (who won two Tour de France stages from the break) to hear their perspective on the art of the breakaway. 

I also chat to Neo-Pro Ben Healy (EF EasyPost) for a newcomer’s perspective on pro peloton breakaways. 

And finally, I couldn’t forget the other side of a breakaway – the chase. I speak to arguably the best controller of breakaways in this generation, Belgian Tim Declercq, or The Tractor, as he’s known.

All these guys had a different take on the art of the breakaway, but one thing’s for sure – they are breakaway specialists. 

I absolutely loved this chat and I hope you gain as much insight as I did into what’s really happening in the minds of the riders racing full gas to get away from the peloton.

Stay tuned next week for Talking Luft with Steve Cummings and be sure to tune in to The Cycling Podcast next week as I cover the Tour de France with them daily.




Listen & subscribe to this series on the Life in the Peloton website, at Spotify, Apple PodcastsGooglePlayStitcherYoutube or your favourite pod app.

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Show Notes

Check out Taco’s win from the breakaway at Bink Bank Tour here and the Giro d’Italia here.

Check out Steve’s two Tour de France breakaway stage wins, 2015 here and 2016 here.

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This episode is brought to you by Rapha, makers of the world’s finest cycling clothing & accessories and the worlds largest cycling club, RCC. Find out more about Rapha: their kit, their club, their events and awesome clubhouses at

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Released: June 29, 2022