Can anyone explain to me

How a domestique works in tri's

19 messages
07/06/2012 at 15:58

For the last few weeks on the ITU they have talked about who will be Johnny and Ali's domestiques at the olympics....now i know what they do in road cycling..but how do they help in triathlons?

As i see it the Brownlees are the best on the swim and run...the bike seems a mass bunch so how can they help?....pace them back if they get drop or have an incident?

07/06/2012 at 16:01
Another good swim- biker who can take the wind on the bike, whether they need someone to help gap the rest, or someone to help bring them back to the front group. Someone who won't be saving anything for the run and will batter themself on the bike to assist the Brownlees in whatever way they can - that's my understanding anyway
07/06/2012 at 16:06

I suppose it makes sense B cheers...has this been going on long or is this something for the olympics to try to get the B's gold? they seem to have done it ok so far.

07/06/2012 at 16:09
I guess they want to give them the best chance to get medals. If we had another medal hope then I suppose we would go with them, but if there is no- one else who is a serious medal hope they will focus on trying to get the Brownlees medals. Allowing drafting on the bike really affects the race these days ... not sure it is a good thing tbh
07/06/2012 at 16:28

Bit pointless have a domestique for the Brownlees, who's going to keep up with them anyway.

You only have to look at the way Harry Wiltshire was treated last year to know if it goes tits up there's going to be complaints all over the place.

07/06/2012 at 16:37

I suppose if some other favourites are behind the bunch then you might have domestiques to drive it on on the front - stop the riders off the back getting back.   Then like B says if your main athlete has missed the front bunch you have someone to help pace them back up.   

Let's be honest though - the bike is a joke 99% of the time in a drafting tri - they don't even look for talented riders amongst young triathletes now do they because they recognise it's all about the run and swim.    The only time I've seen a good cyclist make it count is Tim Don when he left a group of favourites behind and bridged across to a front group of cyclists and ended up winning because of it - can't remember if it was the worlds or Olympics.   They should make it the third discipline then there might be some point to it.   

07/06/2012 at 16:56
Gazmanmeister wrote (see)

Bit pointless have a domestique for the Brownlees, who's going to keep up with them anyway.

You only have to look at the way Harry Wiltshire was treated last year to know if it goes tits up there's going to be complaints all over the place.

Wiltshire wasn't a domestique that day - and from the mouth of someone who competed at the event (B will know who I'm talking about) there were no race orders that day and it was a straight race between everyone involved.  Why Wiltshire did what he did is known only to him.

Domestiques will not be allowed to impede other athletes - that's a DQ offence - and their role is to effectively shadow their lead athletes and keep them clear of any problems, bridge any gaps, shelter them in the draft so when they hit T2, they can launch into the run.

Todd Leckie did a cracking domestique's job in San Diego - as he's been suffering shin splints he's not been able to run so helped Jonnny Brownlee to his win.  There's a great photo of him leading Brownlee on the bike - Todd is grimacing with the work he's putting in, Jonny is sat behind taking the draft and looking calm which probably helped him on the run.

Will Clarke is probably still the selector's choice for the No 3 spot but the danger is that he will try to do his own race (same with Tim Don or Stuart Hayes) - Todd Leckie could still be the dark horse of the selection as he will be happy to be a domestique and bust his balls doing that.

Edited: 07/06/2012 at 16:57
Cheerful Dave    pirate
07/06/2012 at 16:59
popsider wrote (see)

The only time I've seen a good cyclist make it count is Tim Don when he left a group of favourites behind and bridged across to a front group of cyclists and ended up winning because of it - can't remember if it was the worlds or Olympics.   They should make it the third discipline then there might be some point to it.   

That was the Worlds, but my recollection was that he was behind the favourites out of the swim and bridged the gap to them on the bike.  Stuart Hayes won an ITU race a couple of years ago by breaking away from the main field on the bike and holding on during the run, but those are the rarities.  Far too many races sees the main field cruise around the bike leg together.

cougie    pirate
07/06/2012 at 17:03

The only way to beat the Brownlees is to be off the bike well before they are. So the domestiques main job will be to bring back any breakaways I reckon. 

Pointless sitting on their wheels as they'll kick your ass on the run. 

meface    pirate
07/06/2012 at 19:23

The simple answer is the job of the domestique is to assist the main contender. Now they can do this in three ways that I can think of. Set a given hard pace in certain discipline, protect the main contender from the elements or clatter someone out in a transition or biking incident. Clearly the latter is illegal and therefore couldn't possibly happen or even be considered (see F1 for examples of it never happening).

So in the swim/bike the domestique could nail a really hard pace that works everyone over. Put Phelps in the swim and he can lead the lot easily, but it will be less punishing for the next best swimmer and destroy a weak swimmer. Ditto for the bike with a top cyclist, Lance is starting to open up the bike now and is gapping the field and he is an old man. Even possible to send a flier off the front of the run at unsustainable pace to force others into their red zones too early. Leaves athletes with a weaker swim or bike suffering before the run starts or even out of contention. So if you have an opponent with a weakness you can punish to its maximum.

Shadow the contender. Simples really, help him with his weakest disciplines by allowing him to draft on swim or bike and get a slightly easier ride. Pushing at the front of bike reduces chances of breaks. Allows breaks to be caught with less effort from the main contender.

Cheating - no explanation required.

Now the difficult question. Do we have anyone capable of being a domestique for the Brownlees?

Nope. Not even if the domestique blows everything on the swim or swim/bike. If they make the same bike group as the Brownlees it isn't because they took the effort on the swim. On the bike they may be able to offer a little support but not much IMHO.

Not sure I want to see domestiques in Triathlon and becomes unfair on teams with fewer entrants.

M.eface

07/06/2012 at 23:46

I think you've got it right Cougie - most likely it'll be to police any breaks on the bike.   If they are picking someone purely as a domestique then someone who is normally nowhere near selection might come into the reckoning - there must be some big guys who can swim well and have great power on the bike but are too big to run well.    

08/06/2012 at 10:31
popsider wrote (see)

I think you've got it right Cougie - most likely it'll be to police any breaks on the bike.   If they are picking someone purely as a domestique then someone who is normally nowhere near selection might come into the reckoning - there must be some big guys who can swim well and have great power on the bike but are too big to run well.    

see my comment about Todd Leckie in my post above.  he can swim well and is bloody good on the bike, but as he's been suffering shin splints his running is pretty ferked at the mo so isn't in with a medal chance (and he's not as quick as the top contenders on the run anyway)

Golden Boots    pirate
08/06/2012 at 15:41

Olympic selection finally announced!

Al Brownlee
J Brownlee
Stu Hayes

H Jenkins
Vicky Holland
Lucy Hall

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/triathlon/9319845/London-2012-Olympics-Team-GB-triathlon-squad-announcement-delayed-by-secret-appeals.html

I must admit I am quite excited to see how the decision to select Lucy Hall will play out. If, as is there plan, they can create a bit of a break from the word go it could make for an interesting race for those playing catchup.

The Silent Assassin    pirate
08/06/2012 at 16:00

would like to have seen Tim Don given the last place, but don't think he would he would be there to help anyone but himself

 

 

Edited: 08/06/2012 at 16:01
08/06/2012 at 17:04

the big ? there is Lucy Hall but she's a bloody good swimmer so can drag Jenks into a good bike leg. but then so is Liz Blatchford a good swimmer and I can see why she and Stimpson are miffed byt that choice. Vicky Holland's there on merit as she is having a good season so can do a good job for Jenks.

Stu Hayes v Will Clarke?  Stu is probably a better choice as a domestique as he's a very strong biker but a pants runner (relatively!) so wouldn't be a medal contender - Clarke would probably want to try to medal himself so wouldn't help the Brownlees so much.

be interesting to see how the appeals go

09/06/2012 at 10:10

What is the reason for introducing drafting in tris anyway - to make it more of a spectator sport ?  

If that's the case I can't see why they don't stick a stonking great hill and technical descent in every bike course or else stick the bike last - that would make it mean something and make for better viewing - I know it's messing about with the sport but not as much as making it drafting in the first place I'd have thought.   

meface    pirate
09/06/2012 at 12:55

I think they couldn't stop the drafting. Too many out of the swim and onto the bike at the start of the bike. Plus whoever was at front of snake at end of bike would have such a lead onto run from anyone 10 or 20 bikes down (70-140 meters).

Race distance just too short, course too narrow and athletes too close in performance.

In IM giving away 10 bike lenghts 70meters hardly matters much when there is a marathon still to run.

09/06/2012 at 21:40

I accept you'd have to have a staggered start - 2 minute intervals or something - and that would give the advantage to those starting last - but if you made earpieces illegal perhaps not too much of an advantage.   

meface    pirate
09/06/2012 at 21:58
TT style would be interesting for a bit. But what if TdF was 30 days of TT? Might be interesting to the minority enthusiast but not main TV audience. In fact early TdF were non-stop. I would watch it but not many others.

Sprint finishes are exciting and that is surely why the run is last. ITU is what it is - 'shampoo, blow dry and 10k race'. Not that I can match the pace but as others have said a good enough swim bike is all that is required.

All said and done: GO BROWNLEES!

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