The Breakaway - The first eCycling team for prisoners.

The Breakaway<br/>The first eCycling team for prisoners.

The Breakaway

Can a virtual sport help inmates reintegrate into the real world?

6 inmates from Oudenaarde prison race with thousands of riders on the outside world, in the virtual world of Zwift.

They challenge themselves to go for it. To become better.
Better than other riders, and better than themselves.

Sport can free people.
Replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts.
Sport is freedom. Even when you’re stuck between four walls.

Follow The Breakaway here.

An initiative by Decathlon, De Rode Antraciet vzw, Cellmade en de gevangenis van Oudenaarde.


Meet John Doe

The team members will remain anonymous. We’ll only judge their performance on the bike.

Their avatars are all named John Doe: A name used by law enforcement officers to identify an anonymous person.

Follow their rides on Zwift and Strava.

Hear the experts

Can eCycling help the reintegration of inmates?

  • Play

    Pieter Van Caeneghem

    Director of Oudenaarde prison.
    “The separation between prisoners and people from the outside disappears.”
  • Play

    Heather Loontjens

    Sports Officer at De Rode Antraciet vzw.
    “This is nearly impossible in prison.”
  • Play

    Sarah Van Pelt

    “We need to give inmates a chance to connect with the society they will eventually return to.”
  • Play

    Thomas Lejeune Debarre

    Marketing & Communication Decathlon
    “This project gives them a chance to not be a prisoner for once, but a sportsman.”

Podcast: The Escape

Attempts to escape usually fail.
Can this virtual escape attempt succeed?
This podcast puts you on the trail of The Breakaway.

The participating prisoners are all Dutch speaking — it’s why this podcast is only available in Dutch.

Teaser The Breakaway
The Break Away Podcast

Teaser The Breakaway

Sport is freedom. Sport is escape. But is that even possible when you’re always within four walls? When your daily reality is behind bars?

Episode 1: The riders

Episode 1: The riders

Who are the riders, and what are their motivations for participating in this project? What do they want to achieve, or prove?

Episode 2

Episode 2

Is everyone still in the saddle?
Or have some of the prisoners been left behind?

Episode 3
The Break Away Podcast

Episode 3

This episode is expected at the beginning of September.

Episode 4
The Break Away Podcast

Episode 4

This episode is expected at the end of September.

Their schedule

Feel like riding with one of our inmates?
Discover their time schedule and use Zwift’s “Ride With” feature.

Their ultimate challenge: The Breakaway vs. Team Justice

6 inmates in an epic virtual race against judges, police officers, prison guards and even members of the Belgian Department of Justice. The race will be live streamed on Facebook within a few months.

The Breakaway. An initiative by:
Vlaanderen verbeelding werkt
Van Rysel
Derode Antraciet
Federal Overheidsdienst Justicie