Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Olympic Triathalon: Drafting?

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Olympic Triathalon: Drafting?

Old 08-18-16, 09:15 AM
  #1  
dmanthree
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
dmanthree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Northeastern MA, USA
Posts: 966

Bikes: 2017 Roubaix

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 345 Post(s)
Liked 49 Times in 36 Posts
Olympic Triathalon: Drafting?

I'm watching the cycling section of the Olympic men's tri, and there are no "tri bars" and they're drafting? Huh?
dmanthree is offline  
Old 08-18-16, 09:22 AM
  #2  
noodle soup
Senior Member
 
noodle soup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 6,568
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3147 Post(s)
Liked 246 Times in 167 Posts
Originally Posted by dmanthree View Post
I'm watching the cycling section of the Olympic men's tri, and there are no "tri bars" and they're drafting? Huh?
Drafting is legal, aerobars are not.
noodle soup is offline  
Old 08-18-16, 09:23 AM
  #3  
dmanthree
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
dmanthree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Northeastern MA, USA
Posts: 966

Bikes: 2017 Roubaix

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 345 Post(s)
Liked 49 Times in 36 Posts
Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Drafting is legal, aerobars are not.
Different rules for olympic tris? In normal tris the bars are legal, drafting is not. Odd. Why change the rules?
dmanthree is offline  
Old 08-18-16, 09:27 AM
  #4  
cdnredraider
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 32
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thought I saw aerobars on one of the bikes. Either way, the course was technical enough there would have been no advantage to trying to actually use aero bars.
cdnredraider is offline  
Old 08-18-16, 09:36 AM
  #5  
Doug28450
Senior Member
 
Doug28450's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 7,108

Bikes: 2016 Giant Propel Advanced SL 1

Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1668 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
It's called a Draft Legal Triathlon. USAT sponsors some and they are the format for college, most world championships and the Olympics.

The racers use road bikes and aerobars are legal. However, they may not extend beyond the furthest forward part of the brake lever and they must be bridged at the front.
Doug28450 is offline  
Old 08-18-16, 06:27 PM
  #6  
Sidney Porter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 510
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dmanthree View Post
Different rules for olympic tris? In normal tris the bars are legal, drafting is not. Odd. Why change the rules?
my understanding the non drafting is a USA thing. Other than the ironman races the pro races seem to be draft legal. It puts the importance on the swim (you need to swim fast enough to get in the main cycling pack) and run
Sidney Porter is offline  
Old 08-18-16, 07:15 PM
  #7  
ne_dan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 93
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Or you could just ride bikes and not worry about running and swimming.
ne_dan is offline  
Old 08-18-16, 07:18 PM
  #8  
TrojanHorse
SuperGimp
 
TrojanHorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Whittier, CA
Posts: 13,221

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 145 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1050 Post(s)
Liked 35 Times in 26 Posts
Originally Posted by ne_dan View Post
Or you could just ride bikes and not worry about running and swimming.
Voice of reason.
TrojanHorse is offline  
Old 08-18-16, 07:40 PM
  #9  
Voodoo76
Blast from the Past
 
Voodoo76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Schertz TX
Posts: 3,114

Bikes: Ridley Excal, CAAD10, CAAD12, Felt DA, Dolan

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 173 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 14 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by ne_dan View Post
Or you could just ride bikes and not worry about running and swimming.
The Monoathalon
Voodoo76 is offline  
Old 08-19-16, 06:05 AM
  #10  
dmanthree
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
dmanthree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Northeastern MA, USA
Posts: 966

Bikes: 2017 Roubaix

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 345 Post(s)
Liked 49 Times in 36 Posts
Originally Posted by Sidney Porter View Post
my understanding the non drafting is a USA thing. Other than the ironman races the pro races seem to be draft legal. It puts the importance on the swim (you need to swim fast enough to get in the main cycling pack) and run
I've seena a number of tris and this is the first time I've ever seen this. The reason for the no-draft rule is to even the field and test the individual without assistance. A good swimmer and average cyclist can hang with the pack and that gives them an unfair advantage.
dmanthree is offline  
Old 08-19-16, 06:17 AM
  #11  
Jakedatc
Senior Member
 
Jakedatc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: CT
Posts: 3,041
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by dmanthree View Post
I've seena a number of tris and this is the first time I've ever seen this. The reason for the no-draft rule is to even the field and test the individual without assistance. A good swimmer and average cyclist can hang with the pack and that gives them an unfair advantage.
Yep, draft legal races are a completely different game. I don't quite get the point but that is what it is.
Jakedatc is offline  
Old 08-19-16, 06:36 AM
  #12  
dmanthree
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
dmanthree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Northeastern MA, USA
Posts: 966

Bikes: 2017 Roubaix

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 345 Post(s)
Liked 49 Times in 36 Posts
Originally Posted by Jakedatc View Post
Yep, draft legal races are a completely different game. I don't quite get the point but that is what it is.
Agreed. But hey, it's the Olympics. Well, at least they fixed the lane on their basketball courts.
dmanthree is offline  
Old 08-19-16, 06:48 AM
  #13  
Doug28450
Senior Member
 
Doug28450's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 7,108

Bikes: 2016 Giant Propel Advanced SL 1

Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1668 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by Sidney Porter View Post
my understanding the non drafting is a USA thing. Other than the ironman races the pro races seem to be draft legal. It puts the importance on the swim (you need to swim fast enough to get in the main cycling pack) and run
This is pretty much true. Most of the big races are run under the ITU (International Triathlon Union) rules. The ITU is a draft legal series. As I noted earlier, the Olympics follow draft legal rules. In addition, the NCAA follows deaft legal rules. The upcoming school year is the first year that triathlon will be recognized as an NCAA sanctioned sport for women. In the past NCAA schools had triathlon teams, but they competed as club teams without school assistance. USA Triathlon runs a series for younger athletes to prepare them for draft races.
Doug28450 is offline  
Old 08-19-16, 10:50 AM
  #14  
texaspandj
Senior Member
 
texaspandj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Heart Of Texas
Posts: 3,429

Bikes: '86 , '87 , '88 , '89 Centurion Dave Scott Ironman.

Mentioned: 90 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1165 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 61 Posts
As I remember, initially in order to be considered for inclusion As a Olympic sport. Triathlon had to have so many members in their governing organization. So they invited cycling clubs around the world and had to include drafting. Or something like that, it's been years and it's very political.
Just like most sports once they they become an an Olympic sport they lose there initial purpose. Just look what happened to Taekwondo, boxing, judo etc.
Sidenote: Have you noticed how every NBC sports caster sounds like a competitors announcers e.g. dan hicks and Jim nantz. They also have dick enberg, Marv Albert, James Brown (not the singer),John tesh sound alikes.

Last edited by texaspandj; 08-19-16 at 11:16 AM.
texaspandj is offline  
Old 08-19-16, 01:50 PM
  #15  
tpero
Junior Member
 
tpero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Naperville, IL
Posts: 17

Bikes: Specialized Allez E5, Specialized Crux Pro, S-Works Langster

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dmanthree View Post
I've seena a number of tris and this is the first time I've ever seen this. The reason for the no-draft rule is to even the field and test the individual without assistance. A good swimmer and average cyclist can hang with the pack and that gives them an unfair advantage.
As part of its bid to the Olympic committee the ITU developed a format that would be faster, less subjective, and more spectator friendly, hence why they do multiple laps of the bike (8 k5 laps) and run (4 2.5k laps). The draft legal aspect makes it a completely different race dynamic that increases the importance of the swim. If you have a bad swim and miss the lead bike pack, you're basically screwed. On the flip side, these guys are such stud swimmers that making the race draft illegal would be pretty difficult because they exit T1 so close together; enforcement would very difficult and likely inconsistent. The olympic committee didn't want results to be challenged/over-turned based on drafting penalties - first one to the line wins, simple.

And don't think the bike is discounted because there's drafting. In yesterday's race, 15-20 guys came out of T1 together to form the first bike pack, but the Brownlee brothers absolutely HAMMERED the pace for the first 5k, including up the first hill. This broke the pack up big time and they dropped Mola, who is one of the fastest runners in the field. In that first 5k, Mola was taken out of contention as no one wanted to work with him to catch the first group. Not to mention, a lot of the guys that "sat in" on the first bike group paid for it on the run because their legs were decimated. Ben Kanute of the US was well placed for a top 10, but finished high 20s when he blew up on the run, while his teammate Joe Maloy was in the chase pack and finished much better, so being able to sit in is not necessarily an advantage.

The draft legal format is way more exciting to watch than traditional non-draft, in my opinion, and requires a bit more strategy.
tpero is offline  
Old 08-19-16, 02:04 PM
  #16  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 3,396

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Soma Smoothie, Miyata City Liner, Specialized FSR Comp, Fuji Professional

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1169 Post(s)
Liked 54 Times in 41 Posts
My understanding of the move to pack riding at the pro level, was for multiple reasons.

1) It was difficult at times to have judges along the course to stop drafting, especially on half and Ironman distances. Thus lot's of cheating they couldn't enforce.

2) The pack riding is now on a shorter course typically, almost like a criterium road race. This is logistically easier for the race organizers. One side effect of the shorter course is it's less optimized for racing while in an aerodynamic position using a tri/TT bike, more turns, etc...

Obviously not all races follow this drafting allowed/multiple loop race course concept. Ironman, AFAIK is no drafting, long course. Pretty much every tri that's run here On Long Island that I've done uses the IM system.
Steve B. is offline  
Old 08-19-16, 02:06 PM
  #17  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 3,396

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Soma Smoothie, Miyata City Liner, Specialized FSR Comp, Fuji Professional

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1169 Post(s)
Liked 54 Times in 41 Posts
Originally Posted by tpero View Post
As part of its bid to the Olympic committee the ITU developed a format that would be faster, less subjective, and more spectator friendly, hence why they do multiple laps of the bike (8 k5 laps) and run (4 2.5k laps). The draft legal aspect makes it a completely different race dynamic that increases the importance of the swim. If you have a bad swim and miss the lead bike pack, you're basically screwed. On the flip side, these guys are such stud swimmers that making the race draft illegal would be pretty difficult because they exit T1 so close together; enforcement would very difficult and likely inconsistent. The olympic committee didn't want results to be challenged/over-turned based on drafting penalties - first one to the line wins, simple.

And don't think the bike is discounted because there's drafting. In yesterday's race, 15-20 guys came out of T1 together to form the first bike pack, but the Brownlee brothers absolutely HAMMERED the pace for the first 5k, including up the first hill. This broke the pack up big time and they dropped Mola, who is one of the fastest runners in the field. In that first 5k, Mola was taken out of contention as no one wanted to work with him to catch the first group. Not to mention, a lot of the guys that "sat in" on the first bike group paid for it on the run because their legs were decimated. Ben Kanute of the US was well placed for a top 10, but finished high 20s when he blew up on the run, while his teammate Joe Maloy was in the chase pack and finished much better, so being able to sit in is not necessarily an advantage.

The draft legal format is way more exciting to watch than traditional non-draft, in my opinion, and requires a bit more strategy.
Great explanation.

And as note about swimming. If you mt. bike, swimming is an activity that'll make you a better mt. biker as it develops the upper body muscles. Stronger upper body helps with turning and general handling skills. I'm a better mt. biker 'cause I swim a lot. When I wasn't swimming as much, I was getting tired and had a harder time steering the bike, even when my legs were still strong. A very complementary sport to cycling.

Last edited by Steve B.; 08-19-16 at 02:09 PM.
Steve B. is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
mtn_cyclist
Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling
35
08-13-18 02:31 PM
sen2two
Road Cycling
16
02-23-15 10:34 AM
sugarbot
Road Cycling
4
10-07-13 03:04 PM
martialman.45
Tandem Cycling
17
12-17-10 04:56 PM
Plow13
Road Cycling
2
05-31-10 07:42 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.