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Ironman Cervia, Italy Sept 23 2017
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Jorgan




Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Posts: 16206
Location: alles was ich bin, alles was ich war

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the draftbusters do seem to give-up when it's a large group. I was told to drop back towards the end of the bike at Outlaw, a line of probably 4 of us and I was tail-end charlie; certainly more than 2m between us! Even the packs I did see at Outlaw were nothing like you get on the Continent; maybe 5-6 guys in a loose huddle, whereas on the faster Euro IM courses they are often 20+.
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TRO Saracen




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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of my experiences of drafting in Italy (c&p'd from my race report):

First section of the bike is very flat, albeit with some dodgy road surfaces and a few sharp turns. Straight away the cheats formed into packs, and after about 20 minutes a pack caught me. Iíd spent some time with a chap in the Hotel, who had told me about the totally unjust drafting pen he had got at another race, he was innocent etc. There he was right in the middle of the pack soft tapping away at 23mph. Not impressed. This pack was about 25 strong, 3 wide so passing was impossible without crossing the white line which is a DQ. I sat up a legal distance back, fuming and frustrated, completely stuck. Took some nutrition, and waited hoping that maybe the pack would break up.

After about 10-15 mins with my power dropping I could see there was no chance of this pack breaking up so I crossed the white line and blasted past them. It would have been a DQ had I been seen, but the alternative was just to sit there for an hour (perhaps until the hill) and idle away, I was not caught and pedalled away from the cheats.

I got tangled up with another pack and had to put a dig in to get away, so my power was really all over the place. I was averaging over 22.5mph by this point, feeling strong but the hill was a surprise. A bit too far for the recce ride, so I had not seen it Ė it was longer, steeper and harder than I hoped, (this was literally the only non flat bit of the race, so this hill done twice was all of the 700m total climb). The climb dented the average speed, but it did break some packs up so the ride back to Cervia was better

and final reflections:

I think I am done with the big ticket European fast course events, at least until they find a way to control drafting. I heard from one of the refs (who was on the same airport transfer) that 300 cards were issued, over 10% of the field. Not all bike infringements, but this is at least encouraging. A whole culture change needs to occur really.

I would have ridden that bike quicker drafting like mad but with one 5 min penalty, probably with 2 x 5 mins as well. Of course some will have drafted and got away with it completely, and for too many itís just part of the race Ė turn up, draft like mad Ė you may get away with it, if so KQ is on, if not so what Ė just bad luck on the day, try again next time.

Reminds me a little of David Millarís decision to dope Ė he knew everyone else was at it, he knew everyone else was mostly getting away with it, he knew he would never be a factor in the race unless he joined them. For some the answer is the same as Millarís: join them. Not for me.

I am hoping that Florida is less drafting. Iím told that it is Ė there is some, but not to the extent of the big Euro fast course events. We will see.
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SwimsLikeAWalrus




Joined: 30 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There were plenty of 25 strong, 3 wide packs. They were a regular occurrence out on the course from my observation.

I suppose 300 being carded is better than there being 20. At least Ironman have made some sort of effort this year to tackle it.

You hear too many rumours about UK RD's not wanting to record the drafting and dangerous riding infringements, and not doing so.
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TRO Saracen




Joined: 18 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

300 cards is a start, and a good one.

But as stated, I would have ridden the bike quicker drafting but copping a card, perhaps even after copping two cards. And you still have a more than good chance of getting away with it.

Solution?

- any drafting card eliminates you from KQ (either make the stop/go race destroyingly longer or note those that have been carded in finish list and they can't get KQ and roll down is only to non carded finishers)
- getting carded in more than one event in 2 years = 2 year ban from IM racing
- using timing mat data - pretty sure 25 blokes in a peleton leaves an easily tracable set of splits (all crossing within 2 seconds etc). OK too late/impossible to issue cards but they could be culled from KQ/Roll down.

Any other ideas?
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Jorgan




Joined: 12 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think 1 penalty & no KQ is a bit much, maybe 2 infringements in one race = no KQ.

"getting carded in more than one event in 2 years = 2 year ban from IM racing"

I think you need to put the reefer down, this is Ironman.
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TheCelt67




Joined: 21 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have seen drafting at the big IM races before but I was genuinely shocked at the pelotons on show at IM Italy.
I was having one of my best rides but did blow up by around 160(ish)km mark, and I put this down to the extra effort I had to put in to get past the pelotons and draft monkeys. I actually had a guy shamelessly sit right on my back wheel for 10km or more, I kid you not.
On a positive note, I did witness quite a few cards shown and was laughing away at the group of what must have been 6 or 7 chaps all sitting in the last penalty tent. So the referees were trying. And I don't find it surprising at all to hear 300 were dished out.

Overall I really enjoyed this race though. Loved Cervia and the crowds. My fastest swim time ever. Distance seems alright. I put it down to the tides on the long leg leading out of the first 2.2km loop. Seemed to fly out on that.
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SwimsLikeAWalrus




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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TRO Saracen wrote:
300 cards is a start, and a good one.

But as stated, I would have ridden the bike quicker drafting but copping a card, perhaps even after copping two cards. And you still have a more than good chance of getting away with it.

Solution?

- any drafting card eliminates you from KQ (either make the stop/go race destroyingly longer or note those that have been carded in finish list and they can't get KQ and roll down is only to non carded finishers)
- getting carded in more than one event in 2 years = 2 year ban from IM racing
- using timing mat data - pretty sure 25 blokes in a peleton leaves an easily tracable set of splits (all crossing within 2 seconds etc). OK too late/impossible to issue cards but they could be culled from KQ/Roll down.

Any other ideas?


I totally agree it's unfair. Timing mat data does show the drafting but the issue is they have to be carded. No card, no opportunity to serve the penalty. It can't be retrospectively applied. Also its probably unrealistic to monitor the mats.

But the pelotons are the issue: I think there is a case for using film on the pelotons. Motorcyle rides past, referee blowing whistle constantly and holding up the blue card to the lot of them. So the card is shown and riders alerted. Film is then reviewed out on the road and the numbers called in. Cumbersome BUT it would mean offenders are dealt with.

I think persistent drafters should have a KQ sanction. 3 in a 2 year period and you can't KQ?

I don't think there are easy answers to it. But 300 at Frankfurt, 300(?) in Italy is at least a start.
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Doca




Joined: 27 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My report copied from elsewhere:
IM Italy 2017 race report.
Swim: I seeded myself at the back of the 60-1:10 wave and we were released in groups of 4 or 5 from a beach start with a run down to the shallow waters which meant wading in for the first 10-15 meters and allowing us to pick a good place to start swimming with zero swim biff. The sea was flat as could be hoped for, first a large loop then out for an Australian exit then a small loop. A sea IM swim for me was mostly about not swallowing too much sea water rather than clocking a fast time as the water upsets my stomach and stops me eating properly on the bike but I felt I had a good swim, stayed out of trouble, didnít get overtaken too much and exited the water in 1:11:59 which would be a great time for me except that I think it was a fast course as I ranked 1229th for the swim.
T1: Transition at Italy was comically long, I think itís about 1.5 mile from the swim exit to the dismount line. Transition is my best discipline as I clocked some good times here, I shedded my wetsuit & found my bike without hitch and off with a flying mount on to the bike. 6:16, rk153.
Bike: The bike promised to be flat and fast on smooth roads with 2x out and back loops and a single climb at the far end of each loop. The roads out on the course were indeed smooth but the roads out of Cervia town were not. Straight out of transition I hit a bump in the road that took my bento box of my bike and sent all of my energy bars & salt tablets scattered across the road. I had no choice but to stop, run back and repack it narrowly avoiding getting taken out as someone undertook me as I was trying to come to a stop at the side of the road. Back on the bike & soon out into the countryside, immediately I was overtaking lots of bikes as this is my strongest element. There was much drafting going on out on the course and I had some difficulty getting past some of the large groups that had formed without crossing the white line which would be a DQ, much shouting and abuse followed to get other riders to move out of the way. I got to the climb on the first loop in good shape and roughly at my targeted wattage. The climb was steeper than expected, straight in to the easiest gear but the climb was a refreshing change from the monotony of the course before and was crested without too much trouble. I couldnít make the best of the descent due to catching other riders at the wrong times but that was probably the first chance to take some pressure off the pedals. At the end of the first lap I was 5 watts up on target and that was taking an effect as I noticed the effort, the power was immediately lower from starting the second lap probably from the realisation that I wouldnít be able to sustain that on the second lap. It was now getting tough, before the race I had lowered the bars to get a more aero position and while I could hold the position it was hurting and I was started looking forward to the climb again for relief. I could now see lots of bikes on the other side of the road that were making their way back on their second lap. It was soul destroying to see so many drafting, literally trains of riders wheel to wheel. Iím not the most observant but it occurred to me that Iíd not seen many marshals or bikes in the penalty tent so these guys were probably getting away with it. Finally I got to the climb which was the relief I hoped for if not a little steeper than the lap before. This time though I had a free run & made the best of the descent and on to the last leg of the bike. On the run back to Cervia it felt like the wind had picked up & I was noticeably tiring, my average watts & speed decreasing little by little as time went on. About half way back I was overtaken by a rider at just the right speed that I could hold on to at the 12m drafting distance. Even at the 12 meters, into the headwind my power was noticeably lower whilst holding speed and when not into a headwind he was a significant psychological point to hold on to. I followed him all the way back to transition 5:09:15, 5 wiggle energy bars, 1 bottle of High5 ISO and 4 bottles of water later. rk238.
T2: Flying dismount, rack bike, trainers & cap on, water bottle & 2 energy gels in hand & out onto the run course. 4:10. Rk135 (best yet!)
Run: 4 laps though Cerviaís beautiful old town, harbour & park. I didnít feel great when I started running and I made comparisons to my only other IM in Austria where I felt much better starting the run; this was going to be tough. It was getting hot but most of the course was thankfully in the shade there was no shortage of feed stations and they were well stocked. I had done my long run training at 5 min/km pace and the first few kmís were at this pace but then 5:15 & then 5:30. I wasnít going to hold 5min pace but I would do my best to stay under 5:30. I took a caffeine tablet at 20 mins in and hoped that it would make me feel better. I walked the feed stations taking as much cooling water as possible to dowse over my head, have a bite of banana, a drink of coke & top up my drink bottle with ISO. The run went well up until about half way when my thighs turned to wood as they usually do and the battery on my Garmin died leaving me pacing blind. I had checked the time at half run distance and a 2 hr final half of the run would get me under 10:30 total time I was hoping for. The 3rd lap was the toughest & it would turn out to be the slowest but I was able to keep running. The legs were hurting and the desire to walk was strong but I wasnít going to walk by choice. Shortly after taking my last band signifying the last lap & final 10km I started to move a little better, may be it was because it was the last lap or maybe the last caffeine tablet I took at 20km was taking effect. Without my Garmin I wasnít able to keep track of the distance as and there were only a few distance markers on the course & as they were not need previously I had not noticed where they were. I couldnít remember which street led to which & It caught me a little by surprise when I saw the board that said 40.4 km, only 2 km to go! I was really able to enjoy those last 2 km which were best supported from the crowd up to the run in to the finish shute, a glance at the time, Brett Daughtrey 10:20:49, job done. rk367.
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TRO Saracen




Joined: 18 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You beat me by 13 seconds (10:21:02), this of course means you drafted since everybody in front was a drafting cheat..... Wink

Srlsy, well done! Great effort.
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Doca




Joined: 27 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TRO Saracen wrote:
You beat me by 13 seconds (10:21:02), this of course means you drafted since everybody in front was a drafting cheat..... Wink



Yep couldn't be much closer, no bad for an M50 Very Happy

I think if they got a bike route that went in to the mountains then this could be one of the great IM destinations. We stopped on for a few days & Cervia was dead after the event but I think that will change when they learn to milk the cash cow.
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TRO Saracen




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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The event is definitely a goer, thought the run course was really good. As you say given the countryside around there they could rustle up a classic bike course

To be fair even at the briefing it was noted that the bike course was less than ideal and that once the event was established and the benefits known they'd push for a better route.

Fairly sure they had done a number of road repairs for the event, a few stretches were newly laid tarmac.
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Oi knee, do one....
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Jorgan




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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need to paragraph Doca, my eyes hurt.
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