Cycling’s Best Escape Artists: 10 Of The Most Epic Breakaways Of 2019

Cycling’s Best Escape Artists: 10 Of The Most Epic Breakaways Of 2019


(whooshing) – No rider ever gets
into a breakaway thinking (sighing) this’ll do for the next
four or five hours, until we hand over the sprinters and they can have their fun. Often it does end up in a bunch, but sometimes there’s a big upset. And we love it! When those who battle to get
into the break of the day manage to stay away all
the way to the finish. So, we thought we’d take
the time to celebrate and highlight some of the
most memorable and epic breakaway moments of the year so far. (electronic music) Back in March, Stage
One of Volta Catalunya was meant to be one for the sprinters. But De Gendt had other ideas. Initially, in an early
break, with five other riders he left them all behind
with 60 kilometers to go, settling into what he
described as a steady 380 watt solo effort. Bonkers. Such was his power on the
day that he ended up crossing the line with a whopping
two minutes and 38 seconds over Max Schachmann. And if you thought that was De
Gendt at his brilliant best, think again, because he was even more
impressive at the Tour De France. On stage eight he went
clear at the very start of a 200 kilometer day. The last man to stay with
him was Alessandro De Marchi. But even the Italian was
unable to stick with De Gendt as he continued to increase
the power towards the finish. Despite the world’s best
riders racing flat out behind him, De Gendt managed
to hold off Tebo Pinot, and Julian Alaphilippe,
to take what was arguably the most impressive win of
his already impressive career. (upbeat music) At this year’s European Road
Champs in the Netherlands their courses were flat. Really flat. So, we were expecting a bit
of a predictable snooze fest if we’re honest. Not so! In the women’s race it
was absolutely blowing a hoolie as they say in Scotland. It was that windy. Some of the riders actually got blown off where the wind was funneling
down through the buildings. A decent looking breakaway
of Dutch woman Amy Pieters, Italy’s Elena Cecchini, and Germany’s Lisa Klein got cleared. Both Cecchini and Pieters are
pretty handy in a bunch kick. But, the Dutch also had
Kirsten Wild, arguably one of the riders of the season in
Lorena Weibes in their ranks. But, the breakaway stayed
clear, Lisa Klein led out with local rider literally
from a few kilometers away. Amy Pieters, who made no
mistake out kicking Cecchini, for the win. Well, can you imagine what
would have happened if she’d lost with a team like that
with the bunch behind? Cue the men’s race and Cecchini’s partner Elia Viviani, who is just
on another level this year. He clearly took the lead
from Cecchini’s ride and found himself in a
breakaway with fellow fast man Pascal Ackermann and
Belgian Yves Lampaert. Normally, a
Deceuninck-Quick-Step teammate. Again, with so many fast
finishes in the bunch behind, you would have bet your
house, your car, and your kids on it being a bunch sprint, but that’s not what happened. The trio stayed away. Viviani attacked, dropping Ackermann, and then Lampaert stood no
chance of outgunning him in a pound for pound sprint about. Viviani, European Champion. (upbeat music) When we talk about epic finishes, Stage 18 of this year’s Giro D’Italia, from Valdaora/Olang to
Santa Maria Di Sala, has got to go down in
history for its epicness. It was a mainly downhill stage, a long one at 222 kilometers with a three man break that contained AGR2 La Mondiale’s Nico Denz, Bardiani CSF’s Mirco Maestri, and Damiano Cima from the
little Nippo-Vini Fantini team. It had bunch sprint written,
painted, and nailed onto it. 320 kilometers to go and they still had in
excess of three minutes. It would be touch-and-go. At the flam bridge it
was down to something in the region of 16 seconds. The three riders out front were messing about something chronic. Denz blinked first and
went for the sprint, the peleton, with Ackermann on the front were closing and closing fast, but the rush didn’t come and Cima held on by the narrowest of margins
to take the team’s first and last Giro D’Italia stage victory. Yes, last because it was
announced the team is folding at the end of 2019. A real shame, we need stories
like this one in sport. Luckily for Cima, he’s found a home with
Gazprom-RusVelo for 2020. (upbeat music) Teenagers don’t win near
on 230 kilometer classics in their first attempt on their own! Or at least they didn’t. 2019 has been very much
the year of the youngsters and none more so than
Belgian Remco Evenepoel. Getting clear in a
breakaway with Toms Skujins, Remco just rode away on
the steep final climb of Murgil-Tontorra and held his time gap over the race favorites
behind all the way to the top. After he put in a flawless
and fearless descent. He crossed the line almost in disbelief at what he had just achieved. (upbeat music) We love Marianne Vos. In fact, you could do a
top ten video dedicated to her epic moments of this year alone. One victory that stands out
is Marianne’s stage victory into Askim in the Tour of Norway. We’re so used to those
late burnout sprints that when she went on the attack on a climb on subsequent laps, we were a little surprised that she was already on the offensive. At the time, it looked like one of those form-honing world
championship training moves. With the peleton closing behind, led by Canyon-SRAM’s Lisa Klein, in one of her trademark, monster efforts to try to set things up
for teammate Alice Barnes, Barnes closed right on the
line, but not by enough and Vos took the stage. It was absolutely brilliant. (upbeat music) Stage 19 of Vuelta is
memorable in many ways. Firstly, it will be
remembered for Movistar again forgetting the unwritten rule that you don’t attack the
overall leader when he’s down, but secondly for the solo
victory of Remi Cavagna. Again, normal rules dictate
that the breakway dutifully combines together in a
collective display of solidarity until either they get caught
with 10 kilometers to go or they stay away and
fight it out for the spoils amongst themselves. Not so, Remi. He went with 25 kilometers to go and held off the peleton
for a famous victory and his first Grand Tour stage win. You imagine that it won’t be his last. (upbeat music) By stage 18 of this year’s Tour De France you could say that things
hadn’t quite gone to plan for Nairo Quintana. And it was rumored, at
that time, that he was off to pastures new, and he was in the region of nine and a half minutes down on GC with over 5000 meters of
climbing on this stage from Embrun to Valloire, he slipped into a breakaway, which took almost 40 kilometers to fall after a frantic start. He was lucky to have some
serious climbing talent for company, as well, as
a couple of teammates. It was the Quintana of old though, who put in a monster dig, with over 26 kilometers to go. This was one of the most exciting days of this year’s tour. Bernal attacking behind
and Alaphilippe putting in one of the most epic descents we’ve seen, to maintain yellow. Quintana though, crossed the
line with almost the same gap that he’d started the final climb with. It was a brilliant win,
although much attention was focused on the red
splotch on his jersey, which turned out to be
an exploding energy gel. (upbeat music) We’re including Annameik
Van Vleuten in this one. A for her breakaway to victory, but also as it was only
her second race back after breaking a bone in her leg at the Innsbruck World
Championships in 2018. Strade Bianche is one of my
favorite races of the year. And that trademark star
was easy to pick out from the helicopter. It wasn’t a long breakaway, she made her move on the
seventh of eight gravel sectors on a steep climb, but it was just the
manner in which she went. Riding the likes of
Marianne Vos off her wheel. The way she attacked the final climb of the Via Santa Caterina into Siena was the shape of things to come in 2019. And if that was impressive, what about her ride in
the world championships in Harrogate. Her attack there, with
maybe 110 kilometers to go in the World Road Champs looked doomed, even by her own admission. Maybe we, and she, should
have had more faith. Where on earth did she
get that strength from? Maybe she was still smarting
from Chloe Dygart Owen putting in a near perfect time trial, just days before to take
that crown away from her, but still 110 kilometers out! Good grief! Was what most people’s reaction when she crossed the line, hours later, arms aloft, having dished
out one of the most epic solo breaks ever seen in
a world road race champs. The rest of the field were left picking their shattered hopes and dreams
off the roads of Yorkshire. (upbeat music) The autumn classic Paris Tours used to be a fairly predictable
sprinters type classic and there aren’t too
many of those anymore. In 2018, with a trend toward gravel, the organizers have now created a route that’s littered with
climbs of gravel sectors in the final 60 kilometers of the race. In this year’s edition, Jelle Wallays of Lotto Soudal, who
actually won this race on the old route in 2014, went off in search of the breakaway containing defending
champion Soren Kragh Andersen of Sunweb with still 50
kilometers remaining. An untimely puncture, by
Kragh Andersen when he only had the Maven Neutral
Service car for company, was the end of his stay in the lead and Wallays gave him the
smallest of sideways glances as he went pass. The chase just never
really seemed to get going. There were punctures galore, including three for Stefan Kung, and two for Niki Terpstra, who would eventually go clear with AG2R La Mondiale Oliver Naesen and take second behind Wallays, who celebrated his only win this season, with a bike above the head
post-line celebration. We love one of those. (upbeat music) And finally, you have
to include Hugh Carthy in this list. His performance on the
final stage of this year’s Tour de Suisse was simply outstanding. He went clear on his
own, just five kilometers into the 100 kilometer mountain feast and through sheer guts and determination and presumably an eye-watering
amount of raw power, he held on to win by just 22 seconds, over second place Rohan
Dennis at the finish line in Ulrichen. So those are our favorite
breakaway successes of 2019, but there are loads more. So feel free to put your
own favorite or favorites in the comment section below. If you enjoyed this video, please give us a thumbs up by clicking on the icon below this video and if you’d like some
more race related content just down here you’ll find a video showing some of the weird things that
pro cyclists do in races.