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Debate.(9 posts)

May 28, 2003 7:17 AM
Seing Sctri's response (below), combined with the exteme inactivity on this board, I thought I'd pose a question...

Draft legal or not?

Personally, I dislike draft-legal:

1. Not the original intent of the event
2. Gives certain advantage luck of the draw (right place at right time).
3. Can minimize/nullify the balance of strong swimmers/runners against strong cyclists.

Just wonderin' what sctri, brider, and other regulars thought about draft-legal format.
Hmmm, allow me to put it simply "DRAFTERS SUCK!"ZeGopha
May 28, 2003 7:46 AM
I don't like the idea of drafting because it seems to negate the need for cycling speed. If the bike is your strong point everyone else gets to take advantage of that. I have nothing agaist drafting in bike road racing because I recognize it as more of a team sport and there is a certain amount of strategy that goes into going as fast as you can. In triathlons that's not the case. It is an individual competion, and when you draft everyone is trying to save energy for the run, (thus slowing down the pack.)
doesnt negate speedsctri
May 30, 2003 6:07 PM
It doenst negate speed, if everyone is fast.

Its detremental to the race if one poor guy is sooo much stronger and gets his wheel sucked for the whole race and nuked on the run,

But the high level athletes are all so fast, and work together to stay ahead of, or catch up to, the next pack.

re: Debate.brider
May 28, 2003 11:32 AM
I guess I don't have a problem with draft legal racing IF it's on an extremely hilly course (the drafting is less of a factor). Of course, there really aren't any courses that I've come across where this would be the case -- bike courses are too easy.

With the ITU pros, there's really very little separating them any way, and taking away one of the legs (as far as a determining factor) probably doesn't affect the results that much. If the pack slows down because no one wants to go it alone (thereby wasting themselves for the run), it gives the slower swimmers a chance to catch up. However, generally, a pack can go faster than a solo (if they cooperate, which I think would be rare). So it's a toss-up. Course availablity makes designing a draft-free course a near impossibility any more. Any one entering the pro ranks now knows full well what the situation is, so it's a non-issue.

As for opening up the AG ranks to draft legal, I think that would be asking for it (as far as injuries and liablities). It's hard enough to avoid drafting with crowded courses, but to purposefully allow it just seems like far too dangerous a way to go for the average AGer.

Now, I'm not all that uncomfortable drafting even on aero-bars, so if I were to enter a draft-legal race (which probably wouldn't happen, I'm just sayin'), I wouldn't be messing my drawers over the possibilities of crashing.

Now when it comes to IM, then I say that it NEEDS to stay draft free to preserve the tradition.
re: Debate.Damn
May 29, 2003 5:44 AM
No way should drafting be made legal. The above poster mentioned it and I'll second it. Expect some crashes and I don't want to get taken out by someone trying to suck a wheel. People get desparate when they're fatigued and in a race.
I also believe in that tri's are three sports so if I'm strong in one, don't punish me by pulling someone else or trying to drop cling-ons.
I've only just started tri's and I'm already upset at the way people ride without drafting. They still weave all over the road and bunch up on the hills.
I'd like to see the wetsuit temp range be lowered too. 78 degrees is to high of a cut off mark. Maybe it's because I don't have one or don't want to invest in one. I just think it's too big of an advantage. Why not let me swim with a pool bouy then so I can have my legs float easier? Pretty soon we'll have snokels connected to periscopes.
The only thing I'd like to see is a team catagory where you swim, bike run with your team mate and can draft only your team mate. I'd like this for the sole reason of getting my wife to start tri's and helping her through them. It would only be for getting novice people to try tri's.
That's my coffee induced rant. I have to go ride now.
re: Debate.brider
May 29, 2003 1:41 PM
I remember one race in particular -- Lake Padden in Bellingham, Washington -- several years ago. On the bike leg (which was moderately hilly, but nothing steep or long enough to really shake some one) I had one gringo sucking my wheel through 3/4 of the bike leg. He just wouldn't leave me. Any way, the finish of the bike leg went up a slight incline for about 400m, then a hard left through a double-lane gate and descend into the park (transition area about 100ft into the park). Well, this genius decides to try to sprint past me on the outside going around the corner. I'm thinking "whatever." Well, he ends up taking it TOO wide and pastes himself on the chain-link gate. As I'm cruising into the transition, I'm yelling at the volunteers to tend to the guy sprawled across the pavement. Never saw him the rest of the race.
re: Debate.brider
May 29, 2003 1:42 PM
BTW, this race didn't specifically prohibit drafting, but it was strongly discouraged.
2 issues, no, lots of issuessctri
May 30, 2003 2:24 PM
Well, here goes...
As I recently graduated to the level where I am drafting, I think I have some interesting perspective.

1)IT CHANGES EVERYTHING! you have to swim super hard, and sprint out of transition to make that pack, this is hard, unfortunitally, if you swim super hard and then miss the pack, you are SOL and would have been better off pacing yourself better in the swim so that you would bear the wind alone. Moreover, who ever you are riding with in your pack, becomes your team, which is interesting because you all have the same goal, which is to get to the run transition as fast as possible. Therefore, this makes the run leg crucial. At the Syndey olympics, places 1-21, with only two exceptions, ranked in accordance with their run split, so someone called it a 10km sprint with a shower and a parade first.
2)It makes the sport more entertaining. It makes it more "specator friendly" and exciting. And even for the racers, it is an exciting feeling to be up in there like that.
3) IM should never be drafting. Ever.
4) I think that if possible, the majority of races shouldnt be draft legal, and especially not for age groupers, I know where I race you have to be certified, so that you dont take a pack down with some bonehead move.
5)Last point, from a practicality stand point, draftig does make sense sometimes, as the actual letter of the law rules on drafting and passing are pretty harsh, with a big big "zone" that you have to clear in only 15 sec.

My .02
spectator schmectatorsSteve_0
Jun 3, 2003 12:17 PM
Personally, I could care less about the spectators, which, IMO, is the largest driver behind draft-legal races. More spectators means more money for more profits. Doesnt interest me.

Item number one is the very reason I dislike drafting. A poor swimmer is SOL. I think its more exciting to see an excellant swimmer, who is an average cyclist, push his or her lead to compensate for a poor run. Likewise, its great when a a poor swimmer can slowly reel-in the lead over the next 138 miles. Much more dramatic than the first 30 swimmers forming a pack and dropping several hundred other (wise) contenders.

standard-format individualizes strategy, imo.