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Should Open Sprint Tri's allow drafting?
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Do you think some open/local sprint tri's should experiment with a draft-legal bike?
Yes
38%
 38%  [ 5 ]
No
61%
 61%  [ 8 ]
Undecided
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 13

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Daz




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 11710
Location: Hampton, London

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 3:28 pm    Post subject: Should Open Sprint Tri's allow drafting? Reply with quote

I read a letter from someone in 220 who raised the issue of drafting in open races. I for one have found myself drafting in 2 of the 14 tri's I have done in my 3 seasons as a triathlete (for one reason or another). And I have to say I found it quite interesting.

I know in the pro events it puts more of an emphasis on the stronger runners than the strong cyclists as, in most cases, a large leading pack will form and they either save their energy for the run, or know a break-away would use up too much energy for when they come off the bike.

I know introducing a draft-legal bike format to open races using mass starts would be asking for trouble. Even if the roads were closed, the though of 100s of innexperienced (at drafting anyway) cyclists doing 25+mph around a technical course is just asking for accidents to happen!!

BUT, in a staggered-start race, where people are set off in different heats, it might just work. Depending obviously on the course being used (narrow country lanes would be ill advised), you'd only get small bunches of riders working together.

And this would not take away anything from the race. Remember, you are always in the dark as to what your final position will be. So you'd still want to go at optimum pace and use as much energy as possible. This may or may not involve breaking away from your pack and chasing someone else down. Or even just letting them go on their own if you can't keep up.

At least at the end of the day, people are free to do what they like without fear of being penalised for (alleged) drafting, which, in the case of some of the larger events, is very difficult to avoid.

What do you think? Smile
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Robert




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 9238
Location: Back from outer space

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I voted no, mainly because I find that elite tris have become pretty boring as a result of the rule changes - the race only seems to start on the run leg. If triathlons are to remain an individual effort, they should remain as time trials - road racing (with drafting) only succeeds because of the politics in the peloton and/or team orders.

My 2c worth...
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Sue




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 6269
Location: North Wales

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Question It is a difficult one, I agree with Robert that sometimes elite tri's can get a little boring with all the drafting -there was an Ironman on tv last week and it was good to watch them not drafting. Do think that sometimes it is difficult to avoid -have read some of the pro's thoughts. It would mean for myself something else to learn about, could people cope with this? Actually in the few tri's I've taken part in -all pool based staggered swims, can't say I've ever been close enough to people to draft!! It would take away some of the pressure on someone like myself who is inexperianced since I often stay behind someone thinking that if I can't pass them quickly enough it looks like drafting!! (only slow) Embarassed
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Robert




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 9238
Location: Back from outer space

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sue, I saw the NZ Ironman too and couldn't believe it when one of the Aussie girls got penalised 3mins for drafting - she was alongside a fellow Aussie man to have a quick chat before pushing on.

If the draftbusters don't even know what drafting is (you can't get much of an advantage by riding side by side, only if crosswind and then positioned in a chevron) then perhaps the rule IS pointless. But it takes all the fun out of these events, both for the spectator and the competitor.
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ed_m




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 8171
Location: coventry

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the draftbusters will be using the same definition of drafting as is in the rules...

i.e. no closer than 10m.. passing within 30secs... and no side by side riding... etc

which is the same rules the competitors have.... rtfm time Rolling Eyes
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Daz




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 11710
Location: Hampton, London

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes I agree that in pro tri races drafting can place an advantage on the runners rather than the cyclists, as well as making the event a little boring. However, I'm refering to staggered-start/heated open tri's where an individual has no idea what times those before him have done, and therefore hanging at the back of several semi-decent cyclists will have no real benefit to him in the long run. Evil or Very Mad

And as for the 10m/30second rule. I think it is absolutely ridiculous to implement this is small sprint tri's, particularly those held on technical routes eg country roads. If by this definition, a marshall/draftbuster can only (ofiicially) impose a penalty if someone is within 10m of the person in front, then that would require a strip of road around 300-400m long! (20-25mph).

I've seen and heard of people being penalised/dq'd just because they were seen to be right behind the person in front. That, in itself, is NOT breaking the rules. In some circumstances the rider in front could suddenly slow down, or the rider behind is just about to overtake.
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ed_m




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 8171
Location: coventry

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hehe

i thought the idea WAS to get as close in their slipstream before you overtake.. thus scaring the crap out of them as you appear from nowhere with a good speed advantage Smile Laughing
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Spen




Joined: 04 Jul 2003
Posts: 65
Location: London/Kent

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have mixed feelings about this really as I find a lot of triathletes have fairly weak bike rides so for the strong cyclists it is an advantage as I can catch up after probably not a very good swim..however if drafting is allowed then it gives me an opportunity to get near the front and rest and attack on my run.
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Daz




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 11710
Location: Hampton, London

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

True. I think it's then up to the better cyclist in front of you to realise this and try and shake you off. I think it could be fun.

ALthough I'd prob go straight into a hedge if I spend to much time watching the guy(s) behind or in front of me Shocked Mad
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ed_m




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 8171
Location: coventry

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have done a drafting race .. on a closed course as part of a duathlon...

it was fun but i was dissappointed that most people either just weren't up for it.. or were clueless.. so very few bunches except for the fast boys.

my cycling friends take the piss out of triathletes lack of bike skills anyway.. even the elites with their pathetic attempts at breakaways etc.
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Spen




Joined: 04 Jul 2003
Posts: 65
Location: London/Kent

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cycling in a race and cycling in triathlon are two different events..
I really do get worried if I am in a bunch of triathlete cyclists because they are not known for bike handling skills...again another reason why I do Eastway, if that doesnt teach you bike handling skills nothing will..
The best point to break away is on a hill and often in Tri's there arent many of those so trying a break away especially in a drafting event is madness, unless you are a weak runner..
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Robert




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 9238
Location: Back from outer space

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy I used to be one of those cyclists and it's true that triathletes don't form alliances in their favour as much as breakaways should. All the cases I've seen involve a mini-peloton, with riders moving at random, rather than a co-ordinated, strung-out group where each rider takes a 2-min turn up front before peeling off. Takes practice, I guess, if you're not born into it - if I'm anything to go by, that practice is better used to improve the swim!

All credit to Michelle Dillon, though, in the Swansea race for shaking off a wheelsucker and working her way up the field before the run leg and beating Leanda over the line...
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Monique




Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 5
Location: Yorkshire

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2003 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I voted yes, but to qualify- I mean where a course is short laps it is difficult not to draft at some stage and common sense should be used by the draft busters- they should also know the rules themselves, something that I am not convinced about when they expect volunteer marshals to understand the finer points of drafting. It's like expecting the program seller at a football match to blow for off side.
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Daz




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 11710
Location: Hampton, London

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2003 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally agree.

I also don't feel quite as comfortable as I'd like to be when overtaking other cyclists in case a marshall thinks you are drafting behind them on a given stretch of road, when actually you are taking your time (you legally have 30secs afterall) to approach and manoevre around them. Also, if there is traffic passing on your side of the road, do you drop back, or continue your position directly behind the rider in front you wish to overtake.

This is something I'd prefer not to have to worry about when on the bike.... Crying or Very sad
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Robert




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 9238
Location: Back from outer space

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think, then, to be fair to good cyclists the distance of the bike leg should be increased in proportion to the run and swim. 100Km is nothing too strenuous if drafting's involved - I'd feel sorry for the lone breakaways, though! Twisted Evil

It would also mean changing the bikes used in tri - for a start bar-end shifters would have to go. They're illegal in drafting competitions. As are tri-bars of any length (even that tiny, in-built one I saw in 220 a few months back). Also, the standard handlebars would be favoured over bullhorns for comfort in the peloton, as would the frame geometry.

In other words, all the advances that tri has made in the bike field would go out of the window and a return made to the basic road bike.

Errr...can I change my vote? It sounds like real cycling to me! Very Happy
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