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how to not draft.

I'm competing, or rather surviving my first tri on Sunday but have been looking at drafting rules.  I'm from time trialling on relatively open roads/ dual carriageways that make it easy to avoid.

From British Triathlon rules; "Standard distance and shorter races: the bicycle draft zone will be 10 metres long measured from the leading edge of the front wheel. A competitor may enter the draft zone of another competitor, but must be seen to be progressing through that zone. A maximum of 20 seconds will be allowed to pass through the zone of another competitor;"

I know the course, as I'm local, there are relatively short straights with  several 90 degree roundabout exits.  How difficult is it to avoid staying out of the zone?


  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425
    First thing is don't worry. The draft busters I've come across usually take a common sense approach. They generally don't police pinch points such as dead turns. I greatly doubt they're strict on the 20" rule. Often you'll get a warning if there is an issue. Expect blatant drafting to be dealt with.

    Keep moving forward and you should be fine. You'll know from your TT background that as soon as you get within 10m the drafting affect speeds you up and will slingshot past. You will get twats who speed up as you pass or jump on your wheel then try and re-take the lead immediately. So overtake crisply.
  • MgalexMgalex Posts: 28

    Well it went ok, I survived and posted an ol start time.


    The ride was a bit of a mess.  The course of two laps was at short notice cut dramatically.  Thee was a police incident that stopped us from using the whole course.  This meant that we rode four laps of a much shorter course.  Because of this, the course was very crowded.  The organisers gave the marshals instruction to give a lot of leeway on drafting. For large stretches of the course we were unable to overtake and stuck on wheels a few feet away.  a draft-illegal race became almost a chain gang in places.  Keeping a steady power was very difficult.  That said it was very enjoyable to feel the competitive spirit. again.  It is clear to me that a lot of triathletes do not have good bike handling skills.  Some were as bad at cycling as I am at swimming.  That is saying something!

  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425
    Sounds like they made the best of a bad situation. If you get stuck behind someone or something and can't do anything about it at that moment simply relax, have a bit of rest, a drink and perhaps a gel. Then when you can, go for it!

    Agree about the bike handling. So simple to coach and it's free speed. Mounts and dismounts are another easy winner but just watch at a mount/dismount line and despair

    Glad you enjoyed your first event. They are always something of a learning experience. Hope you enjoy many more
  • MgalexMgalex Posts: 28

    Always Aim High Events is the organisation and I was very impressed with their adaptability.  Other than the amount of Portaloos.... 

    I can't agree more Harry.  the mounting and dismounting that I saw in Mallorca made me cringe too.  At the time i'd not even raced.  I really thought that if a participant has paid over £3k for an aero bike they'd get a few free elastic bands and run down the street as practice.  It baffles me.   I also have raced in cyclocross. so have a bit of experience in ending flat on your face in a sandpit... 

    Rant over... I think.


    It was great to have my 5 yo running next to me as an unexpected surprise at the end of the run.   As Arnie says... "I'll be back".


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