The Breakaway Calculator is an app in development for cycling fans and pro race team personnel to accurately estimate if the breakaway can hold off the peloton.
If you don't know much about cycling, this might seem like total gibberish so I'll provide a quick rundown why this app is useful for cycling fanatics. In long road races like each day of the Tour de France, it's very common for small groups of riders (a "break") to get ahead of the main pack of riders (the "peloton").
If the peloton works together and has the right conditions, they can often reel in the breakaway to make sure someone from the main pack wins instead. This is a gross oversimplification of bike racing tactics that can be inexplicably complicated at times. Knowning the speed and distance required for the peloton to catch the break is very valuable, however. This is where the Breakaway Calculator comes in handy.
The app can quickly calculate how far it'll take the peloton to catch the break with a few simple variables. A mathematics professor from cycling-crazed Belgium came up with the math, which you can see below.
Prof. Van Maldeghem's formular in case you want to calculate if the breakaway makes it to the finish today or not. 😂 pic.twitter.com/1Z3sVJyZoi— Marcel Kittel (@marcelkittel) July 6, 2016