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Can someone explain the drafting rules please.

Hello everyone can someone explain on a non drafting event what you're supposed to do when you've been overtaken.

Also no arguing about it being a good thing or bad thing .

Cheers everyone.


  • BmanBman Posts: 442
    So drafting is being under 3 bike lengths behind someone, and if you are overtaking, you are supposed to have 15sec to do it. So Im assuming, if you get overtaken and hang on behind someone for more than 15 sec, you are drafting. I think!
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    this is from memory so i could be wrong, but i thought it was 5m and 2m width was the drafting zone.

    the overtaker has to complete the maneuvre in a certain time (15secs?) but the person behind has the responsibility not to draft so if you are overtaken you should ensure that you don't stay in the zone.

    i found myself doing overtaking/being overtaken on sunday and was paranoid about it so dropped back a bit too much sometimes, and where possible tried to stay a liitle wide to be doubly sure.
  • nicknofingernicknofinger Posts: 284
    So who takes more responsibility the overtaken or the overtaker? Or is it both?
  • stratoTomstratoTom Posts: 36
    Overtaker has the responsibility of overtaking in the required time, and the overtaken has the responsibility of dropping back once passed.
  • diddsdidds Posts: 655
    wot stratotom said plus...

    "overtaken" means a part of the overtaker's wheel is in front. So ALL the overtaker has to acheive is a tad more than parity. At that juncture the overtaken has to leave the box.

  • If the box is 2m wide, I guess that maens 1m either side of the leading bike, not 2m either side.

    If that is the case, the box isn't that wide so it should be perfectly possible to let someone past without having to drop off the pace.

    That said, presumably there are plenty of situations where it is very difficult to abide by the box rule:

    For example one could imagine 2 riders moving at very similar speeds where it would be very difficult overtaking cyclist to bridge the gap in the required 15 seconds.

    Another example could be that if you are repeatedly being passed you would be forced to spend as much time dropping bac as pressing on.

    Personally I've never tried to gain a drafting benefit off someone who passes me, but I'm damned if I'm going to slow down, particularly in a shorter race! From my experience in order to actually get any benefit from drafting you have to be so far up the arse of the person in front that it is obvious what you are doing... do the rules say anything about "intention to draft" or is it just left at the box rule?
  • OK... I just checked the rues of IMUK, not sure how these differ from conventional Sprint and Oly rules but...

    * Absolutely NO DRAFTING of another bike or any other vehicle is allowed.
    * Athletes must ride single file on the far left side of the road near the curb/verge except when passing another cyclist. Side-by-side riding is not allowed.
    * Cyclists must keep a 7-meter distance (approximately 4 bike lengths) between bikes except when passing.
    * Overtaking cyclists may pass on the right for up to 20 seconds, but must move back to the left side of the road near the curb/verge after passing.
    * An overtaken cyclist must fall back 7 meters before attempting to regain the lead from the lead bike.
    * Athletes committing rule violations will be notified on the spot by an official – if road and race conditions allow.

    So, nothing about "intent" and the idea of cycling to the side seems off too.
  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    I did wonder about the rules where you are "duelling" with another rider. So you have to drop back to outside the "draft box" before having another go at them, interesting.

    In my (limited) experience loads goes on at the start of a bike leg, hard to see how it could be avoided until the riders space out a bit.
  • nicknofingernicknofinger Posts: 284
    Ok that's clear now can I ask why there's this rule?

    Still no arguing please
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    i presume it is to preserve the integrity of the time-trial nature of the bike section, so it can't turn into ad-hoc pelotons. if me and 3 other riders coming out of transition bunched up and shared the load we'd gain a significant advantage in speed and energy saved over a rider doing it alone.

    if no-one is allowed to draft then i guess the playing field is considered more level.
  • gdh250467gdh250467 Posts: 237
    I thought you had to be behind the ball . . . No wait, that's the offside rule. Can anyone recap that one as well for me!
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    i believe the penalties for drafting now include a yellow card, time in the sin-bin and having to jog around the penalty loop in your pants.
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    nicknofinger wrote:
    Ok that's clear now can I ask why there's this rule?

    Cycling is dominated by wind resistance/headwind - when compared to, say, running. The function isn't a nice straight one - a square comes into mind. So to go 5% faster takes much more effort than 5%... and it gets harder the faster you go.

    If you can tuck in behind someone, you loose all the wind resistance. So it's like being given a extra couple of pairs of incredible hulk legs.

    You could beat your PB by minutes, by following someone fast, and at the end you would be fresh as a daisy.

    In a cycling race, it is OK - because it is all about who crosses the line first. Tactics are very important. Secondly, most/all cycling races have teams. This is really the main function of the team, to work together to preserve your sprinter/hill climber or whatever. This is exemplified in the Tour De France - where you have fifteen riders in the team - most of them are just there to get the lead reader home in yellow. They are even called "Domestiques" which underscores the position. Nicole Cooke's Olympic gold was due in great part to the team tactics and the sacrifices of the others.

    In a Tri, you're not trying to establish who has the best tactics, or the best team support, but who can cover the three legs under their own steam, as best as possible.

    The real question is why is drafting allowed in Elite races? I guess it is all about who crosses the line fast. And I think we are starting to see the development of teams/team performances and tactics, in much the same way as in cycling races. It's also less important in a mass start - when people are starting in waves, then being able to draft would be manifestly unfair.

    The rules are there to support the sport - e.g. if the sport is about individual effort, then you will have one set of rules, if the sport is about teams and tactics, then another. The debate comes in deciding what the nature of the sport is, and how well the rules support that.

    If you enter an event, then the onus is on you to accept, understand, and follow the rules.

    I, for one, are happy with the drafting rules - and trying it make sure you stick with them is just another interesting challenge!
  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    There is an argument that in professional OD tri drafting on the bike means that bike ability is negated, with the winner usually being simply the person who is best at running 10k when a bit tired.
  • FlavadaveFlavadave Posts: 749
    As demonstrated by Brownlee at washington! Man that guy is good.
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