Triathlon rules

How come they are just so anal?

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Blisters    pirate
27/05/2013 at 20:55

Obvious ones are not touching the bike before donning the helmet, and reverse ordering it. Then there's the 7m rule for drafting. I mean, you lose the draft if you're half a metre off the wheel. Of course it doesn't apply at Olympics, why not?


Then mandatory foot down at certain junctions. This is distinct from a full stop.
- I've witnessed this technique and can't see that it actually helps safety.
--You have the high speed unclip, scrape floor, reclip and tank off.
--The low speed unclip, touch down, wobble, look at feet enter junction, wobble, try twice to clip in again.
--And the steady approach, look at traffic, ignore the rule and cycle smoothly onwards.
--I've even seen the approach smoothly, unclip right foot, check traffic, turn left and fall on floor because the wrong foot was unclipped.

Any more stupid rules?

27/05/2013 at 20:58

Why are they stupid ? 

 

ITU and therefore the Olympics are run under different rules 

M...eldy    pirate
27/05/2013 at 21:00

Not sure I follow Blisters ... there is usually a reason behind the rule, it is what it is

seren nos yn canu    pirate
27/05/2013 at 21:02

never encountered the unclip rule in a race anywhere......

 drafting is there to make it obvious..so they can give some leeway..going behind someone like barley could be a benefit in a head wind for a few metres......

and they have4 the wonderful no ipod rule which is always adhered to or disqualification........

27/05/2013 at 21:15

The one about no un-zipped tops on men seems pointless to me.

What's wrong with a bit of chest on view?

Blisters    pirate
27/05/2013 at 22:12

Or wimmin, Wilkie.

 

Doner Kebab    pirate
27/05/2013 at 22:30

the no drafting rule isnt just about gains made from the person in front, its also if they brake hard - are you going to be able to stop as quick as them if you are in a tuck.

 

cougie    pirate
27/05/2013 at 22:53
Blisters.

You dont lose the draft 50cm off a back wheel - you can definitely feel it a few meters back. At 7 m - there is definitely no benefit - so theres no debate.

I've not seen the foot down rule - i guess this is for safety and there can be no debate that you've done it. If you struggle that much with pedals though - you shouldnt be on the road. How would you clip in at traffic lights, roundabouts and junctions ?

There is drafting allowed at the Olympics as its a completely different race.
Closed roads.
Professionals so they can handle their bikes better than most.
Impossible to impose non drafting as big bunches come out of the water together.
They ban the long tri bars for safety - you can only use the short ones.

So not stupid rules at all there ?
28/05/2013 at 04:14

"Running, walking and crawling are permitted".  Great rule!

Cheerful Dave    pirate
28/05/2013 at 08:26
cougie wrote (see)

You dont lose the draft 50cm off a back wheel - you can definitely feel it a few meters back. At 7 m - there is definitely no benefit - so theres no debate. 

You'd think so, but the pro ironman racers are always banging on about 'pace lines', or working with each other at the drafting limit gap.  I suppose though that even a minimal effect would be greater at the higher speeds they're going at, and there must be an element of 'carrot and stick' there too.

I've been in a couple of races with a 'stop and put your foot down' rule, it's been used both times at junctions with busy roads where they want to avoid anyone taking it too fast - if they have the same rule for everyone then nobody gets an advantage because the road happened to be clear when they got there, and equally there's no temptation to take a chance.

28/05/2013 at 09:05
aandersnog Kimchi Pirate wrote (see)

"Running, walking and crawling are permitted".  Great rule!

Only applicable in Ironman.  

British Triathlon Federation Rule Book.
28 Running Conduct
28.1 No form of locomotion other than running or walking is permitted. Crawling is not allowed.      
ITU Competition Rules  
6.RUNNING CONDUCT:
6.1.General Rules: a.)The athletes will: (i) Run or walk; (iii) Not crawl;

Edited: 28/05/2013 at 09:06
28/05/2013 at 09:47

You'd think so, but the pro ironman racers are always banging on about 'pace lines', or working with each other at the drafting limit gap.  I suppose though that even a minimal effect would be greater at the higher speeds they're going at, and there must be an element of 'carrot and stick' there too.

 

If my memory is working correctly, this came up on IMTalk not too long back.  The figure that sticks in my mind is that a 'draft legal' pace line was worth about 5W in terms of energy saved. 

 

Edited: 28/05/2013 at 09:47
28/05/2013 at 12:24

The mandatory foot down rule is a safety rule and is applied at junctions where the race organisers feel that the athletes should exercise due caution/stop.  There was a race just outside Bristol that had two compulsory foot down junctions.

28/05/2013 at 13:48

Foot down is usually reserved for right hand turns, where you're crossing the road.

28/05/2013 at 13:58

[sticks BTF official's hat on]

all rules are there for a reason - to ensure that races are fair and to ensure that safety is a very high priority.

for drafting, the 7m distance is from the front of the respective bikes NOT from the rear of the wheel of the bike ahead as many people think. that makes an effective distance of just over 5m from back of wheel to front of wheel which is safely beyond any draft benefit.  in long distance events the drafting distance is 10m fyi.

the foot down rule is there for safety and is applied usually when riders are exiting a road onto a busier road where there maye be fast traffic.  you may say what's the point but it's safety first to prevent any rider exiting with poor judgement and into a line of traffic.  simple as.   the ability of the rider to execute a good foot down maneouvre, or use their own judgement, is immaterial - the officials and marshalls on duty have noi idea how good a rider is.   failure to obey the rule (where applied) is penalisable with a 2 minute penalty and failure to obey a verbal instruction to put a foot down where the rule is in place, or a repeat infringement on a multi-lap course, will lead to a DQ.

and re:the unzipped tops rule - that's probably the most contentious rule that's been introduced recently but it's been brought in as the BTF are aligining their rules more closely with the ITU rules and it's an ITU rule - hence in all ITU races (and national a/g) kit must have rear facing zips.  

it's partly modesty; partly sponsorship; and bugger to manage for those not at the pointy end!!  for us officials we will take a common sense approach based upon the athlete and conditions.   ultimately you may see all new trikit having rear facing zips as then there can be no excuse.  this rule is the ipod rule of triathlon...  and btw - ipods are definitely banned...

happy to answer any rules questions 

[takes BTF official's hat off]

28/05/2013 at 13:59
UltimateBadger wrote (see)

Foot down is usually reserved for right hand turns, where you're crossing the road.

not necessarily - it can be on a left hand turn if that junction is considered dangerous for riders to enter the main road at speed due to either traffic conditions or poor visibility

Cheerful Dave    pirate
28/05/2013 at 14:15

Just out of interest FB, when they have these course-specific rules like foot down at certain junctions, do you as the BTF official get a say in where they have them (or not) or is it purely down to the local organisers, leaving you to enforce whatever they've decided?   

28/05/2013 at 14:30

depends CD

the course rules are usually decided by the RD and to get a BTF permit, they need to complete a Risk Assessment of the whole event but tbh I don't think these are scrutinised by the BTF to get the permit - as long as they supply it, pay up, they will get the permit.  so for most events we have to work with what we're given but we will give them a good looking at and ask questions.

if we're involved with course discussions for say a new event, or if we are officials at an event we know from racing it, or it's on our local turf,  we'll get to stick our tenpennorth in on race rules.  we might also ride the course in advance to see if there are any hazards that haven't been considered by the RD (we get to see the risk assessment as part of our prep) - we did that at Chichester Tri recently.

we met with a RD yesterday who wanted to check out a few things and get our advice on the event - one bit of advice was to change the bike exit procedure as frankly his plan was more dangerous!

our biggest input is probably on the swim as we have to measure the temp on race morning - that will decide no swim, short swim or full swim - and we have the final say on that.

28/05/2013 at 14:32

[Off topic(ish) but relevent]

It seems quite possible the benefits of drafting even at 10m - 12m are greater than previously thought.  Good overview here:

http://alex-cycle.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/pour-me-draft.html

Summary: In calm conditions a rider could use 27 - 30 watts fewer to maintain a speed of 40km/h.

28/05/2013 at 14:43

some interesting data there ID 

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