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2013-11-29 12:37 AM

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Subject: Legal Drafting
I am interested in peoples views on the legal drafting aspect of ironman racing, that is the 25 second period you are permitted for overtaking once you have entered the 12 meter zone. Do you take full advantage by remaining streamlined behind the rider in front, only to then pull out and overtake once you approach close to the rider ahead or do you move out to a safe passing distance as soon as you enter the 12 meter zone.

Does this practice have any significant advantage, is it considered fair sportsmanship or should it be frowned upon? I ask simply because as a BOP swimmer but fair cyclist I spend alot of time overtaking during an IM bike leg and the cumulative effect could be an advantage.

I would not wish to put other competitors off so would always pass at a safe distance and understand the need to be aware of other faster riders overtaking myself in assessing such manoeuvers.


2013-11-29 2:08 AM
in reply to: starman

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Subject: RE: Legal Drafting
I tink you've answered your own question. If it's within the rules, within your capabilities and you're not comprimising anyones safety then it's perfectly fine.
2013-11-29 7:44 AM
in reply to: starman

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Subject: RE: Legal Drafting

I ride up to within 3-4 feet and then pass.  It's perfectly legal to do so and you can slingshot your way around a bike course doing that.

2013-11-29 9:52 AM
in reply to: starman

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Subject: RE: Legal Drafting
I agree with the previous posts. get as much of an advantage as possible while staying safe and within the rules.
2013-12-05 10:19 AM
in reply to: starman

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Subject: RE: Legal Drafting
How many times do you swing out too early only to have them check their 6 and speed up? When I enter the zone, I check to make sure nobody is coming up behind. If it is clear, I will get close as possible and then pull out.
2013-12-05 2:24 PM
in reply to: starman

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Subject: RE: Legal Drafting

The number one rule about passing is to do it safely.  Not only being cautious about the person you are passing, but any other riders that may be passing you at the same time.  Also being aware of potential road hazards, areas where it may not be safe to pass (into a hard turn) or if the course is open to vehicle traffic.

Other than that, do as you please so long as it's within the rules.  Technically it's within the rules to ride up within 1 mm of another person's wheel...but it likely wouldn't be safe.



2013-12-05 4:22 PM
in reply to: GMAN 19030

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Subject: RE: Legal Drafting

Originally posted by GMAN 19030

I ride up to within 3-4 feet and then pass.  It's perfectly legal to do so and you can slingshot your way around a bike course doing that.

Me as well.  Just keep your heads up.  I almost pulled a bryan dunn at Miami coming up on another cyclist at a fast rate of speed looking down at my computer

2013-12-06 5:11 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Legal Drafting
In the above comments, I read the assumption that everyone on the Ironman course rides consistently throughout the race. I believe that is an incorrect and dangerous assumption to save moments at best. I will use me as an example. When I eat, drink, take a butt break, or need to give my legs a momentary break, I stop pedaling for a few seconds. From what I read in this thread, many of you would cause us to crash because you were too close behind me. The letter of the rule may be as you say; however, the reason for the rule is to avoid what most of you are saying. I did my first Ironman in AZ this year. I was unpleasantly amazed at how much passing without announcing...even when I was passing someone..., passing WAY to close to me (6" between your shoulder and mine, really), and cutting it close when pulling in front of me (once was literally 2" between our tires) happened. Many one the course are not your skill level, so why not let them have a fair chance at finishing the race without someone cutting it too close to save literally a moment. Are you really that close to qualifying for Kona? The above instances were the only times I did not absolutely enjoy racing in IMAZ. Triathlon involves the greatest and nicest bunch of athletes around. Some seem to forget it on the bike course. Just my 2cents.

Edited by Mikeylee 2013-12-06 5:14 PM
2013-12-06 6:48 PM
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Subject: RE: Legal Drafting

Of course no one is advocating passing in an unsafe manner.   But 3-4 feet from behind is plenty of room. if the faster rider is paying proper attention.  If you are being passed, you need to have adequate skills that when you sit up, eat, drink whatever, you don't swerve but hold your line.  There will always be dbags that pass close and cut in close.  Nothing you can do about that except stay aware and have good bike handling skills.

ETA - this is also a good example of why triathletes should train at times in group rides, so having someone ridign next to you doesn't freak you out.

And I disagree that an on your left is necessary in a race, usually (sometimes it is, that's a judgment call based on my perception of the overtaken riders' skill).  Honestly, the people I have to say on your left to are those that are blocking and/or weaving and/or passing someone else.  If you are riding on the right hand side of the road, there will hopefully be plenty of room for a safe pass.

As for those that pass me, I don't expect them to call out on my left either unless I am in their way. 

Honestly, I never got the "you aren't qualifying for Kona so slow down" complaint.



Edited by ChrisM 2013-12-06 6:48 PM
2013-12-06 7:27 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Legal Drafting
ChrisM, in all due respect, I have to say the responsibility for safe riding is for the rider approaching from the rear. They see me, but I do not necessarily see them. Yes, I am going to get eyeballs installed in my butt; however, they are not yet available in carbon. A rider behind me should not assume my skill level as they may not see the road debris visible at the last minute that I am swerving to avoid. If you are passing me close enough that I could elbow you, you should announce...it is called. Our testy. Besides, too many confuse speed with skill..."I am fast therefore I am skilled"...that is often (usually?) not true and puts others at risk. I cheer on faster riders if their riding shows respect for other racers. Example, I passed two side-by-side cyclists at IMAZ and announced I was passing. They did not move over. Not a problem to me. Problem was did cyclist #4 REALLY have to come up on my tail unannounced and pass me so we were 4 wide AND ride into oncoming cyclists? If he gets hit, he is going to take me out. I never said slow down if you are not qualifying for Kona. Ride like the wind because I strive to be as fast as you, but I advocate courtesy and safety for others and nothing more.

Edited by Mikeylee 2013-12-06 7:30 PM
2013-12-07 9:35 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Legal Drafting
And how did what I write get interpreted as ride unsafely or discourteously? I'll bet the majority of riders that pass you do so safely, but you only notice the jerks, which you will always have. Your post makes a very broad generalization There are fast dbags that pass too close and slow dbags that ride to the left, and all sorts in between.

you are right that the rider from behind has the responsibility to avoid those ahead of him or her. But that does not relieve the forward rider of also riding responsibility. If I am passing 3 feet away and someone swerves into me, that's not on me. All riders, slow, medium and fast, have the responsibility to have good bike handling skills

Edited by ChrisM 2013-12-07 9:43 AM



2013-12-07 9:37 AM
in reply to: Mikeylee

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Subject: RE: Legal Drafting

Mikey, I too respect your opinion but you're painting a very broad picture here.

I'm a pretty decent cyclist (1:01 oly, 2:20-ish HIM, 5:00-ish IM) so I tend to do my fair share of passing during a race, especially one with wave starts.  I assume the rider I'm coming up on is the worst handling cyclist in the world.  That's certainly not the case but I operate under that assumption for situational awareness purposes.  I usually only call my pass when the pass might be kind of tight due to road conditions or # of riders in my path or if the rider I'm trying to pass is blocking or not holding their line.

If I have plenty of room to maneuver around (several feet on the left) I usually do not call my pass because I have had too many instances where I come screaming up on someone at 23 mph while they're doing 17-18mph and I yell "On your left!" and for whatever reason they swerve left.  Announcing your pass sometimes has the opposite effect.

2013-12-07 9:48 AM
in reply to: GMAN 19030

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Subject: RE: Legal Drafting
Originally posted by GMAN 19030

I usually do not call my pass because I have had too many instances where I come screaming up on someone at 23 mph while they're doing 17-18mph and I yell "On your left!" and for whatever reason they swerve left.  Announcing your pass sometimes has the opposite effect.

I cannot tell you how many times this has happened. Often it makes the situation worse, even in a race, so you make a judgment call
2013-12-12 8:18 AM
in reply to: #4905977

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Subject: RE: Legal Drafting
Ok. I am really confused or just need to brush up on my rules. Drafting zone is 2 meters behind a bike in front and you have 15 seconds to pass by USAT rules. Now I haven't done anymore research than that. So where is this 12 meter 25 second rule. Thanks.

I use to call passing but don't anymore. When I would call it the person would inevitably look over then swerve over.
2013-12-12 8:23 AM
in reply to: BrotherTri

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Subject: RE: Legal Drafting

Originally posted by BrotherTri Ok. I am really confused or just need to brush up on my rules. Drafting zone is 2 meters behind a bike in front and you have 15 seconds to pass by USAT rules. Now I haven't done anymore research than that. So where is this 12 meter 25 second rule. Thanks. I use to call passing but don't anymore. When I would call it the person would inevitably look over then swerve over.

The draft zone is 7 meters behind and you have 20 seconds to complete the pass.

2013-12-12 9:16 AM
in reply to: #4912114

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Master
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Subject: RE: Legal Drafting
I stand corrected 7 meters long 2 meters wide. Under USAT 5.10.b.

Further down under exceptions you have 15 seconds to pass.

So where is this 12 meters by 25 seconds?


2013-12-12 7:22 PM
in reply to: BrotherTri

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Subject: RE: Legal Drafting
The drafting rule for WTC Ironman Age Groupers is 7 meters (4 bike lengths) with 20-seconds to make the pass. For the pros, different rules apply. The Pro draft zone is 12 meters from the front wheel of the bike in front, and they have 25-seconds to make the pass.

Some of the Ironman rules are different than the normal USAT rules.

2013-12-14 5:38 AM
in reply to: g_shotts

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Subject: RE: Legal Drafting

Originally posted by g_shotts The drafting rule for WTC Ironman Age Groupers is 7 meters (4 bike lengths) with 20-seconds to make the pass. For the pros, different rules apply. The Pro draft zone is 12 meters from the front wheel of the bike in front, and they have 25-seconds to make the pass. Some of the Ironman rules are different than the normal USAT rules.

Actually the OP is from Western Australia (according to their profile) and looking at the Athlete Guide IMWA seems to be following ITU draft zone rules which is 12 meters.

http://enews.usmevents.com.au/IMWA/ - page 18

http://www.triathlon.org/uploads/docs/itusport_competition-rules-2013_final.pdf - page 25

2013-12-14 1:36 PM
in reply to: axteraa

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Subject: RE: Legal Drafting
Originally posted by axteraa

Originally posted by g_shotts The drafting rule for WTC Ironman Age Groupers is 7 meters (4 bike lengths) with 20-seconds to make the pass. For the pros, different rules apply. The Pro draft zone is 12 meters from the front wheel of the bike in front, and they have 25-seconds to make the pass. Some of the Ironman rules are different than the normal USAT rules.

Actually the OP is from Western Australia (according to their profile) and looking at the Athlete Guide IMWA seems to be following ITU draft zone rules which is 12 meters.

http://enews.usmevents.com.au/IMWA/ - page 18

http://www.triathlon.org/uploads/docs/itusport_competition-rules-2013_final.pdf - page 25




Thanks for figuring that out!

I guess I shouldn't think everyone plays by USAT rules.

Confusion resolved......

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