I wonder if it makes sense in drafting events to change the order of events to swim ,run ,bike ? Having the two events that are most individual run off first would allow the "individualist" the maximum chance to open up a gap on the rest of the field which would mean that by the time it got to the bike section the field would be more broken up so that the possibility of drafting is naturally lowered anyway but then if a "chasing " pack did form you would have the thrill of the bunch chasing down the break like in a big bike road race which would make for a more spectator appealing event.
As it is at the moment at the end of the swim the field is still "relatively" close together on time This means a whole bunch of people come out on the bike relatively close together and it is hard for drafting not too happen. An experienced biker who understands the correct pace he needs to set is going to have problems with not so experienced riders who don't know the right pace and either go too hard and try and overtake or simply choose to follow. The reality is that the bike section is not a time trial in the traditional sense. In a traditional time trial riders start at time intervals of from 20 seconds up to 2 minutes so if someone catches up some one else they generally have to be going a reasonable bit faster and there is no excuse in that scanario for drafting . By comparsion take a triathlon where athletes emerge on to the bike section together all wanting to do their best , how realistically are they not going to interact over the the first part of the ride. Maybe too think drafting will not happen is unrealistic ?
However , if as i started by saying the bike was last then I think the field would be more spread out by the time the bike section started and drafting less likley too happen.
Just a thought ?
Interesting idea...I think it would create an awesome sprint to the finish. It may, depending on the course, make for a much more bunched finish among the general field, however. But the run does tend to separate people, so who knows? The technology is there as far as chip timing.
Maybe draft-legal is something that should be experimented with aquabikes and duathlons first. See where it trends in terms of how people finish and whether or not it can make money for race organizers, then go from there.
Everytime I race, it seems like a large portion of the competition is racing that way. Might as well level the playing field.
Well my idea would be to do both. Have orginizers put together a tri and call it DL for draft legal and IE for individual effort and then we as athletes could pick and choose what we wanted to try. I think I would like the Individual effort for the simple reasons of I am out there as a challenge to myself then to actually win. I have looked into road races and crits but I usually don't like the tactics used. I have been elbowed and leaned on in the events and some have even tried to push my 245 lbs frame off the road... which only resulted in ticking me off mind you. I stick to my original point, allow both but label them. Then the athletes can decide.
Draft legal races are MUCH more fun to watch. If you are not with the group after the swim and then also the bike you are not going to place. You see the more strategic racers winning the racers, but also the best runners winning almost all of the events.
I think that one thing that most triathletes lack is bike handling skills. Racing in your local criterium, time trial or road racing will help everyone excel their biking portion of their triathlon. Unfortunately more likely than not triathletes that attempt to join group rides at first are the people that cause the most errors and accidents. IF USAT allowed draft legal races for age-groupers I don't think I would participate due to the fact of lack of biking knowledge and the likelihood of more accidents during the event. Don't get me wrong cause there are some fantastic cyclists out there that have moved to triathlon, but the majority of racers have poor (at best) bike handling skills
I believe a better relationship with USAT and USA Cycling would help grow both groups and events. True Cyclists hate Triathletes and most triathletes want to be better cyclists.
For the aerobars in draft-legal races, the current ITU rules say that they cannot extend beyond the end of the brake hoods and they must be capped. Many of the elites don't bother to put the shortie clipons on the bikes.
Hmmm....that is an interesting idea. Many swim programs at the collegiate level already have running integrated into their swimming programs - so - there could be some FAST swim-run specialists. Could they gain enough time to hold off a big bike pack? Maybe...
Interesting thread... I'll say this... I don't like direction Triathlon in the world stage has gone so far as draft legal racing... but I do dissaggree with the statement 'I think the race should be decided by the strongest runner and biker. It's a Re: If a draft-legal triathlon race was available, would you like to participate?athlon. They do have Re: If a draft-legal triathlon race was available, would you like to participate?athlons. ITU draft legal races do put a STRONG emphasis on swimming due to the fact that you MUST stay with the lead pack going into the bike (which by the way takes out the importance of the bike leg but not the run) and then it IS all about the run. I do many of my training rides with local cyclists in a peloton of 20 to 40 people, and it's fun and good interval training so the thing that Triathletes don't know how to cycle in a group/ca't hack it is malarky. Here's a solution... USCF has categories to deal with experience levels... maybe triathlon could consider that for say, 1st year members/number of races completed. I recently spent 23 minutes sitting on the side of the road 50 feet out of T1 in my A race because inexperienced athletes (clearly from a cycling background) were STOPPING at the mount line to clip in. Got rear ended before I was on my bike popped my rear tire and broke my rear derailleur dropout... just part of racing BUT... another good reason for classes... Hey there's an idea for a new thread...
I guess my answer to the question is YES. Though I think it's a departure from Triathlon's roots, it's what the rest of the world is doing, and we need to offer these types of races if we are going to be competitive. It's a different race. Did anyone else notice that the Age group nationals' (a non drafting race) Elite champ Re: If a draft-legal triathlon race was available, would you like to participate? was 3 minutes SLOWER than the top Age Grouper? it's sad his name wasn't posted on the USAT web site, nor was it even mentioned that the age groupers were faster than the pros (Men) Ertel was still the legit winner of the women. The only reason I noticed was that I went to the complete official results to check out times for my age group and Voila!. Anyway, that's just evidence that draft legaltriathlon is a whole other animal.
No I would not like to race in a draft-legal race it's not tri. It would be 2 disaplines and 1 team avent.
I would like to say no, but where I spend most of my time, drafting in Triathlon is sometimes legal, sometimes not, and sometimes a mix. There are even races where on the race briefing races are said to be non drafting races and 5 min into the bike leg there are still huge groups (80%) who draft and they get away with it due to the fact that otherwise the complete competition would be cancelled.
Personal experience and of course in my opinion only, draft legal races are made only for strong cyclists and have very little in it of individuality and the basic roots of Triathlon.
How I can say that.
Well take as an example an age group Olympic distance, draft legal race here, and you are the average Joe Triathlete, I.e. you swim, bike and run top 5 in your age group at a non drafting race.
1.5K swim, most of the lead swimmers for each age group comes up of the water in about 21-25 minutes. Joe is out of the water in 23 minutes plus, only 5-6 younger age groupers are ahead of him.
The "draft group" comes up of the water in around 30 minutes and they even wait a few seconds if the group not are complete. So it all starts and **** are you if you unluckily should head out on the bike leg with this hunters and not be interested in helping them up and forward!
Even with a 7 minutes lead on this pack there are no change for Joe to keep them behind when they come hammering in 50 Km/h and Joe are pushing well in 40Km/h.
So into T2, and even with a respectable 1:05 on the 40K bike leg ,the draft group left T2 more than 8 minutes ago.
Slowly Joe pick up some folks which have hammered a bit to hard on the bike, 3K to go, still 8 in your age group ahead , 700 meter from finish and Joe pass a few more who seems to have a hard time out there. Well there are the finish line. Number six, well not so bad and overall a good race for Joe.
Could the end result have been better for Joe. Maybe or maybe not in that race, but experience with and comparing to results in non drafting races when Joe have a good race says so.
Should Joe been a stronger cyclist? Sure that would have been a plus, and he is working with it. However he is okay with handling the bike the few times he hang on to the pack and he do not really see the benefits of more bike technical training because as he says, when you head out there in a non drafting race, which of course is his priority, its only yourself to push.
That sounds like a good idea, having the bike after the run. The good runners cannot draft and rest behind the biker, I LIKE THIS. I might do a draft race like this just to see.
Drafting in triathlons does not interest me at all. In fact I'd prefer for folks to have some reasonable rules to keep a respectable distance away from me, for safety reasons!
I'm a good swimmer and a competitive biker, my challenges have come during the run phase every time. I've placed second in my age group a few times. I decided to up the bar on my running. It's the only way I'll ever win my age group is if I can win the run phase. It's too easy for good runners to catch you after T2!!! Drafting and getting a lead would help to a point, but I really think the work is getting a good run!!! But I'm still figuring this stuff out as I go along too!!
No to drafting - for me!
Drafting preserves about 35to 40% of your energy on the bike leg, so if someone is drafting someone for an entire race, they will be fresher for the run portion. Try pack riding with your local cycling group or club and you will to draft. It will teach you to appreciate it for sure in training.
You are exactly correct in improving your running skills will help to make you more competitive in your age group. If you look at all the top amateurs or elites, you will notice something in common. They are usually very good in 2 legs in great in another. If it is the swim and bike they are good at and running fantastic you will be these athletes winning or placing in the top 3. You don't see as many guys out there hammering the bike and trying to hang on during the run. Racing is changing were to win you need to be a competitive runner. The run times are dropping quickly. Most winners of events will have a top 3 run split.