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Alternative drafting policies in triathlon


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M&M has the idea   If you speak to most states, they will tell the same story. I have 8 or 9 years experience as a TO / RR and have little intention of doing much else in this line in the near

When TA puts out a survey about drafting I will choose the "increase penalty time" option. Until then I'm not putting my hand up for any other volunteer duties. You are on the board, my take of the pu

C'mon Jimmy, I'm sure you've seen the shambles of the river loop in Brisbane when there's 20 people trying to ride together and all over the place. Imagine if that's a group of 100+ sweeping everythi

I know you are only looking for serious responses and this is serious. The old 7 metre rule was better. It made it easier to see who was blatantly cheating and was a reasonable enough distance to be able to estimate it in a racing situation.

 

12 meters is a guess at best.

 

Anyhow choose a distance and then have draft busters as people on bikes in a race, get the local cycling clubs to volunteer. This will make it easier to police and harder for cheats to avoid.

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Fair point BB

 

The other thing is how do we judge distance legally? If a cop looked at you speeding with the naked eye and said "I reckon u were going 117kph" and gave u a ticket it would be laughed out of court.

 

Is there technology than can foolproof distance judgment and not make it overly expensive for governing bodies and RDs?

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Maybe with new technology which could include hand held lasers or smart ankle chips, are we likely to make the TO's job easier. In spite of the difficulties in policing drafting, I believe it is worth persevering with non drafting for the vast majority.

 

I have mentioned it before but I believe that the penalty time should just be added on to the finishing time with the results showing clearly that the person had been pinged. That way there is no advantage gained by the short rest and everyone could access the results and see who had been penalised.

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Barry, I disagree - in my experience the 12m rule works better for long course. (I was skeptical when I first encountered it in 2009, but have seen it work really well since)

I would like to see a relaxation of the distance and 'drop back' timing on hills though. (Occasionally there are some of these in triathlon courses)

Coach, can you expand on the '20m no overtaking' you mentioned on another thread?

I would like to see some way of making 'completing the pass' not condone inching up next to someone and then slowing down, or passing and immediately sitting up to stretch (shits me!).

I'd like to see a technology solution with a proximity sensor that calculates how much time you've spend in the draft zone and adds that to your bike split. Not far off being possible, but would be expensive, so likely not popular.

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Two options:

 

Non drafting

  • 10 min penalty in 70.3
  • 20 min penalty in IM
  • Drafting penalty means no prizes - eg world champ places
  • draft zone starts 10k into race

 

or go to draft legal

  • pinged if you ride in a group on the aerobars
  • pinged if you are riding 3 abreast and not overtaking
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Until it can be enforced fairly for all competitors it should be done away with - draft legal.

 

Insurance is a crock, we all know people draft there arses of every race, the insurance companies know this, the insurance companies still provide the insurance knowing people are breaking rules. The insurance companies are still providing insurance to triathletes that " train" in packs on the bikes. Cyclists can draft safely but triathletes cant.... Lol. The insurance crap re drafting is crap, it's already covered everyday a triathlete trains in a pack. Cronulla tri club have packs all over the place and you cant ride unless you have insurance. It's covered.

 

As said, until it can be enforced fairly for all competitors, It should be draft legal. It's stupid having an Olympic version of the sport different to the sport. The sports origins were draft legal.... It all points to draft legal. Appreciate technical would have less to do but it would also make it safer on the bike courses getting rid of motorcycles. That's a work cover disaster waiting for our sport....million dollar fine just waiting. We create a dangerous workplace because we enforce a rule against some competitors but not all..... Lol

 

Draft legal until I can be enforced fairly.

Edited by Oompa Loompa
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I have mentioned it before but I believe that the penalty time should just be added on to the finishing time with the results showing clearly that the person had been pinged. That way there is no advantage gained by the short rest and everyone could access the results and see who had been penalised.

I don't know the answer, but I am not keen on this idea. Someone drafting an IM ride is potentially getting many 10s of minute advantage from cheating. Adding 5 mins to finish time is still not a fair reflection. If they pinged and stopped during the race for penalty, I thnk it has more deterant effect.

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I don't know the answer, but I am not keen on this idea. Someone drafting an IM ride is potentially getting many 10s of minute advantage from cheating. Adding 5 mins to finish time is still not a fair reflection. If they pinged and stopped during the race for penalty, I thnk it has more deterant effect.

 

20mins not 5.

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I think the electronic solution will just be too expensive for an already exxy sport. In general most TO's get it right with the odd bad call. We don't get enough of the blatant serial cheats who are well known.

 

Anyhow, it's like with speeding, more visible cops less speeding. Do it with TO, a hundred or so cyclists clearly marked will do it and the cyclists get the added bonus of showing how they can outride us up on the drops while we ride tricked out tri bikes

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I'm not keen on draft legal, and don't agree that it's the same as riding in a bunch in training (which is inherently cooperative rather than competitive).

However, if it must be draft legal, I say change the order to bike, swim, run (decreasing order of draft advantage).

Edited by Wardy
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I think the electronic solution will just be too expensive for an already exxy sport. In general most TO's get it right with the odd bad call. We don't get enough of the blatant serial cheats who are well known.

 

Anyhow, it's like with speeding, more visible cops less speeding. Do it with TO, a hundred or so cyclists clearly marked will do it and the cyclists get the added bonus of showing how they can outride us up on the drops while we ride tricked out tri bikes

 

I floated this idea with Vernon years ago which led us to a discussion of how a cycling draft marshall would communicate with a TO to effect the penalty? The actual TO hadn't seen the infraction so unless all the cycling 'volunteers' are TOs then it would be tricky and even a good roadie would find it tricky to cycle at 40kph and write numbers down on a clip board.

 

As a visual deterrent it could be good, but if it turns out to be another toothless tiger then the cheaters will just ignore them anyway.

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A national database of PB visitors was mooted a while ago. Recalcitrants could be denied a racing licence. I think it is worth revisiting. Not sure what the parameters should be, though.

 

Also like the idea of longer penalties and exclusion from, eg, Kona qualifying.

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I also agree that it would be worthwhile having TOs riding bikes to help catch the blantant drafters.

 

I would actually like to see 2 different drafting penalties. One lenght of time for the error in judgment drafting and a longer one where it is constant wheel sucking.

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I don't know the answers and short of ideas, but would never enter a draft legal IM. As someone whose strength is the bike why would I?

 

Don't agree with increasing the time beyond 4mins due to all the grey areas either. Not much fun to have a years sacrifice and much money completely down the drain on a borderline judgement call.

 

Don't agree with adding time afterwards either. Better to have them removed from the situation ASAP than continue to benefit.

Edited by niseko
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I also agree that it would be worthwhile having TOs riding bikes to help catch the blantant drafters.

 

I would actually like to see 2 different drafting penalties. One lenght of time for the error in judgment drafting and a longer one where it is constant wheel sucking.

Maybe a problem getting TOs who can ride a sub 5 hr IM split?

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Maybe a problem getting TOs who can ride a sub 5 hr IM split?

This is the thing, given that most courses are multi laps they don't need to. They may end up riding maybe 100kms overall. At some times they may ride slow or even pull over on the side of the road then when a pack goes by in either direction ride hard sort out the pack and move on.

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So here is a crazy idea that might encourage attacking riding. Bit wacky and zany but think about it.

 

You can draft your arse off. But only in a group of (say) 3 riders or less. As soon as you catch someone or are caught by someone and you cease to be a group of 3 or less, you have 15 seconds to become a group of 3 or less or the last person in the group is guilty of drafting.

 

So the bike leg could be some time trialling punctuated by a series of attacks. Strong riders drop the weak. And groups of strong riders who want to get away up the road have an incentive to do so, knowing that weaker riders or those not willing to chase will be in groups of other similarly weak or unwilling riders.

 

Ok - flame away!!! Am sure there are a million reasons why it won't work.

 

But other than the moral outrage that drafting is cheating, the second most common complaint I hear is about riders sitting on and getting a free ride. So let the strong drop the weak and reward those willing to attack by letting them attack with a couple of friends.

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Seriously, just leave it alone.

Tinkering with the rules rarely improves things.

You can't legislate a change of mindset.

There is plenty of scope to ride within the spirit of the rules as they stand now if you want to.

 

Intelligent, informed, subjective enforcement of the existing rules is the best case scenario for mine.

You won't get it 100%, but it's good enough for the vast majority of the paying public.

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What about a time gap? Obviously it's hard to judge when it would be such a small amount of time, so perhaps a phrase or something. e.g. If you can say "safe following distance" before you reach the last point the previous rider was at you're ok. This also allows the gap to be a variable distance based on speed, which means you can be closer when there is less effect.

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Freakin Lazer beams

 

Truck seems to have the right idea.

 

 

Non drafting

  • 10 min penalty in 70.3
  • 20 min penalty in IM
  • Drafting penalty means no prizes - eg world champ places
  • draft zone starts 10k into race

 

 

Niseko, as a strong rider I thought you would like TGL's idea.

So here is a crazy idea that might encourage attacking riding. Bit wacky and zany but think about it.

You can draft your arse off. But only in a group of (say) 3 riders or less. As soon as you catch someone or are caught by someone and you cease to be a group of 3 or less, you have 15 seconds to become a group of 3 or less or the last person in the group is guilty of drafting.

So the bike leg could be some time trialling punctuated by a series of attacks. Strong riders drop the weak. And groups of strong riders who want to get away up the road have an incentive to do so, knowing that weaker riders or those not willing to chase will be in groups of other similarly weak or unwilling riders.

Ok - flame away!!! Am sure there are a million reasons why it won't work.

But other than the moral outrage that drafting is cheating, the second most common complaint I hear is about riders sitting on and getting a free ride. So let the strong drop the weak and reward those willing to attack by letting them attack with a couple of friends.

TGL, we could share the snickers and mars bars, and distribute the killerwasps.

 

The penalty must fit the crime, but the crime must also be black and white. A TO might find it damn hard to give penalties if it meant the end of their race.

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The idea about draft legal but you can be on the aero bars when drafting sounds interesting. Could end up being some sort of giant team time trial and actually make the bike harder (with attacks and strategic moves). Could see people work really hard to find a fast group out of the swim.

 

It's a pretty radical idea though.

 

Realistically I would think that a change back to 7m (which would hopefully eliminate drop ins and make distance guesstimates a little easier on both sides), or better define the 12m rule to target cheating not the eb and flow of a race (I.e. Draft zones on particular climbs and slow congested sections of the course). Relax the part about being in the 12m zone and must complete pass. There needs to be an option to drop back. 'Drop ins' and 'sit ups' after a pass also need to be better defined in the rules and policed.

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Non drafting

 

  • 10 min penalty in 70.3
  • 20 min penalty in IM
  • Drafting penalty means no prizes - eg world champ places
  • draft zone starts 10k into race

 

 

 

I'm with truck

I think he has nailed it with his non drafting comments

Bigger penaltys has to be a bigger deterant IMHO

 

Good point on the no prizes / slots available if done for drafting and I think there should be a name and shame list available also

 

I also believe that either marked on unmarked TOs or officials should be put into the ride

They don't have to be riding sub 5 pace or even anywhere near the 180k , at port for EG you could have 6-10 stealth TOs just going up and down the cathie straight

They also don't have to be nesaseraly booking people either , just warning and being firm about telling them they aren't doing the right thing or even just radio up ahead for a stationary TO to pull them over and then book them

 

A on bike TO would be great in breaking up packs big and small also

Just stop them and let them go 1 at time every 30-60 secs , that way if you get yourself in a pack you know you will be stopped and know one likes stopping in a race

 

This year I did the bike leg at shepp on a MTB while I was out there I thought how well an on bike TO would work

If you see a group going the other way well just turn around on catch em or radio ahead to the staionary TOs set up throuout the course

 

I also had plenty of peolpe pass me and ample opportunity to see blatant drafting at its best

 

After the bike leg I actually stopped and spoke to the head TO and told her my thoughts and how well this idea/ concept could work

 

At the end of the day it all comes back to the Althetes doing the right thing , but at the moment there's a hell of a lot of people thinking I can get away with this so why not

So I think TA and RDs need to make some changes so these people think they have a far greater chance getting caught and if the penalty was a lot more time in the PB I'm sure the blatant draft cheat will be few and far between

 

I hope that "someone" has the balls and start to address this problem as I for one are looking at doing "other " type of events as I am sick to death at the amount of blatant cheating that is going on in the LC racing in this country

Cheers

Ip

 

Edit to add

Im certainly am not at All interested in making LC racing draft legal

It would wreck the hole "racing" idea for me

If I want to ride in a bunch I'll do cycle race

Edited by ironpo
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Do the organisers give a toss about drafting - probably not! Why would an organiser change anything that could potentially reduce their profit? Changing the format would reduce numbers; making drafting legal would reduce the numbers as many would be scared off by the huge packs. Draft legal races would also increase insurance costs, and most likely field size would have to be reduced - again, all resulting in less profit.

 

Like it or not, organisers do what they have to which includes having a few token draft busters as a minor deterrent to prevent an all out draft fest.

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Cameras placed discreetly on the course and possibly on volunteer competitors bicycles to capture footage of as many riders as possible.

 

The TOs can sit in a tent and review the footage after it is collected. Played back at 2x or 3x speed they can quickly identify groups and look more closely for the same riders in footage from other cameras.

 

No need for expensive wireless transmitting systems, just simple cameras placed professionally/sensibly with local storage that is collected half way through the bike and again at the end. Placed within view of Marshals to ensure they are not discovered and tampered with/stolen. Maybe $150-$200 per camera unit, maybe 10 cameras per bike course. 2 On course Moto TOs stop and replace SD cards mid race and deliver the cards to the review tent. By the time the race is over the TOs could have reviewed the Top 10-20 bike finishers, depending on the race distance.

 

Also agree with BB, 7 meters is better than 12.

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Do the organisers give a toss about drafting - probably not! Why would an organiser change anything that could potentially reduce their profit? Changing the format would reduce numbers; making drafting legal would reduce the numbers as many would be scared off by the huge packs. Draft legal races would also increase insurance costs, and most likely field size would have to be reduced - again, all resulting in less profit.

 

Like it or not, organisers do what they have to which includes having a few token draft busters as a minor deterrent to prevent an all out draft fest.

The more you think about it....." Let it go " does it really matter.

 

How bout a serious insect wave.... You want a little medal or trophy, you go of with the pros, and its policed by the TO's like no tomorrow, all there time is with the insects and the insects can only win a medal, everyone else just has a good time, gets loaded on life.

Edited by Oompa Loompa
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Cameras placed discreetly on the course and possibly on volunteer competitors bicycles to capture footage of as many riders as possible.

 

The TOs can sit in a tent and review the footage after it is collected. Played back at 2x or 3x speed they can quickly identify groups and look more closely for the same riders in footage from other cameras.

 

No need for expensive wireless transmitting systems, just simple cameras placed professionally/sensibly with local storage that is collected half way through the bike and again at the end. Placed within view of Marshals to ensure they are not discovered and tampered with/stolen. Maybe $150-$200 per camera unit, maybe 10 cameras per bike course. 2 On course Moto TOs stop and replace SD cards mid race and deliver the cards to the review tent. By the time the race is over the TOs could have reviewed the Top 10-20 bike finishers, depending on the race distance.

 

Also agree with BB, 7 meters is better than 12.

. 7mtrs is a 15min saving over 90k compared to 12mtrs
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The more you think about it....." Let it go " does it really matter.

 

How bout a serious insect wave.... You want a little medal or trophy, you go of with the pros, and its policed by the TO's like no tomorrow, all there time is with the insects and the insects can only win a medal, everyone else just has a good time, gets loaded on life.

This.

 

What percentage of Ironman fields are life stylers or bucket listers?

80%?

90%?

 

Let them be, warn them all day if its a safety thing but target those who are "racing" or elect to "race".

 

Just give them a different volour bib. Too easy.

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What about a time gap? Obviously it's hard to judge when it would be such a small amount of time, so perhaps a phrase or something. e.g. If you can say "safe following distance" before you reach the last point the previous rider was at you're ok. This also allows the gap to be a variable distance based on speed, which means you can be closer when there is less effect.

 

Sharkbait, do you mean similar to the "rule" when one learns to drive a car about a 3 second gap? In other words, vehicle one passes a telegraph pole, there should be 3 seconds between when vehicle one passes and when vehicle two passes that same telegraph pole?

 

If so, I agree it's an easier way to police the rule. It is incredibly difficult to judge a distance when on a bike at speed trying to ping drafters.

 

 

Cameras placed discreetly on the course and possibly on volunteer competitors bicycles to capture footage of as many riders as possible.

 

The TOs can sit in a tent and review the footage after it is collected. Played back at 2x or 3x speed they can quickly identify groups and look more closely for the same riders in footage from other cameras.

 

No need for expensive wireless transmitting systems, just simple cameras placed professionally/sensibly with local storage that is collected half way through the bike and again at the end. Placed within view of Marshals to ensure they are not discovered and tampered with/stolen. Maybe $150-$200 per camera unit, maybe 10 cameras per bike course. 2 On course Moto TOs stop and replace SD cards mid race and deliver the cards to the review tent. By the time the race is over the TOs could have reviewed the Top 10-20 bike finishers, depending on the race distance.

 

Also agree with BB, 7 meters is better than 12.

 

Is it ever only the top 20 riders who are drafting though? The idea of having the TOs out on motorbikes is to stop it there and then, for safety and for fairness. Guess what, at the end of the day, I DON'T want to ruin someone's day by pinging them for drafting.. but it's about safety and about fairness.

 

I am a nationally badged netball umpire, and I hate it when players glare at me for pulling them up for something.. do you think I like having to pull you up for obstructing/contacting/stepping/intimidating etc? I would rather the game flowed, and a good game is where I don't have to pull anyone up for anything! Same when I have my TO hat on. I don't want to pull you for drafting. I would rather that the whole race was fair, that no one got penalised for anything. But at the end of the day, those rules are there for a reason, and there are people who have to police that.

 

Part of any society is that you have rules.. whether that's not drinking before you drive, not speeding on the road, stopping at stop signs.. it means that there is one blanket set of rules that everyone is expected to follow, and that society can then exist together happily and without issue.

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This.

 

What percentage of Ironman fields are life stylers or bucket listers?

80%?

90%?

 

Let them be, warn them all day if its a safety thing but target those who are "racing" or elect to "race".

 

Just give them a different volour bib. Too easy.

 

Absolutely Nealo. I will happily give warnings till the cows come home to people who genuinely don't realise that they are doing the wrong thing. Rather that than ruin their day that they have paid so much to participate in. I do the same in netball. If someone doesn't "get it" then I take them aside at a break and explain the rule that they are infringing.. or I can call time and explain it to them. I would give 50 warnings before I would penalise someone in a race. I am only relatively new to the whole TO thing, and I don't want to mess up someone's day, nor do I want them causing an accident and bringing down other riders.

 

Consider too that I work with people with disabilities, and consider how some of them end up with their disabilities, I would rather not see people injuring themselves while competing in things that they are passionate about.

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Good point about demarcating racers from participants but in saying that its usually the bop and mop people that think people that are fast aren't enjoying themselves...competitive types are usually uncompromising and driven people who like to get the best out of themselves, and measure that against others...that's fun

 

and it's lots of fun to stand at the top of a podium at a world championship...

 

Got a feeling technology could play a big part in solving the drafting issue

Edited by Coach@triathlon
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Mr T normally runs the PB at Port. Some of you will have met him. He always asks the athlete why they are there.

 

He says that the very small minority are happy to admit they were deliberately drafting and got caught.

 

The vast majority come in and say they were not drafting. When they unpack the situation, one of the following is the norm:

Failing to complete the pass then dropping back - drafting

Failing to create the gap after being passed - drafting

 

Sitting out to the right and overtaking on the left are relatively rare.

 

His view is that most of these athletes simply don't know the rules.

 

We both agree that the athlete who overtakes and then sits up, currently not against the rules, should be done for blocking. They should be obliged to continue the pass at passing speed for another, say, 20seconds. This would mean that the person being passed just needs to maintain speed for the gap to form naturally. There should be no need for the overtaken to shed speed.

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Outrageous and crazy idea incoming.

 

 

Leave the rules as they are but police them better.

 

More officials on the course. The main issue is that it's 1 TO to 1000 competitors.

 

No need for bicycle TO, not practical.

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We both agree that the athlete who overtakes and then sits up, currently not against the rules, should be done for blocking. They should be obliged to continue the pass at passing speed for another, say, 20seconds. This would mean that the person being passed just needs to maintain speed for the gap to form naturally. There should be no need for the overtaken to shed speed.

This has got to be one of the most annoying things that happen - really noticeable if you've got a power meter how much you have to back off to try and let them establish the draft zone in front of you.

 

Coach@ - sophisticated electronics isn't the way to go, that would just disadvantage RDs who are putting on races with smaller fields and make it cost prohibitive. Any solution has to be cheap and easy to implement. It might not be perfect but if it gets those suckers off my back wheel I'd be happy . The reality from what I have seen is that there are a small number of FOP racers who will given half a chance draft - to me this is the group I want to see targeted. I've got a friend who got pinged a couple of years back for riding along side someone for a few seconds and having a chat - fair enough you might add except she was on her way to a 3.30 ride in a HIM and there was literally no one else around. That was a race where a pack of 30 or so went past me completely untouched by the TOs.

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This has got to be one of the most annoying things that happen - really noticeable if you've got a power meter how much you have to back off to try and let them establish the draft zone in front of you.

Coach@ - sophisticated electronics isn't the way to go, that would just disadvantage RDs who are putting on races with smaller fields and make it cost prohibitive. Any solution has to be cheap and easy to implement. It might not be perfect but if it gets those suckers off my back wheel I'd be happy . The reality from what I have seen is that there are a small number of FOP racers who will given half a chance draft - to me this is the group I want to see targeted. I've got a friend who got pinged a couple of years back for riding along side someone for a few seconds and having a chat - fair enough you might add except she was on her way to a 3.30 ride in a HIM and there was literally no one else around. That was a race where a pack of 30 or so went past me completely untouched by the TOs.

I'm hearing you truck but what if the governing body/to's held and owned the technology and brought it with them to sanctioned races? No extra cost to RDs.

 

Mate, there are people arguing against drafting on this thread that get pinged regularly. It's not just pointy ended athletes that cop penalties. People cheat. rudyard Kipling once said "Fatigue makes cowards of all" a sneaky rest or an inadvertent drop in etc. it happens.

 

Just think there must be a better, more objective, and standardised way to deal with it

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