ITU Worlds, what's the point of swim/bike?



A

Andrew Duncan

Guest
Harold Buck <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
> In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Andrew
> Duncan) wrote:
>
> > "Jim Gosse" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> > > Getting back to the original posting, you could apply that same to every sporting event in the
> > > world.
[...]
> > >
> > > Get the point?
> >
> > BUT...there are no rules in hockey that guarantee that the standings will be closer near the end
> > of the playoffs. [...]
>
>
>
> Looked to me like Mr. Gosse was SUPPORTING your point. He's saying "If all you want is for people
> to be close together far into the race, why don't you have one-game playoff series instead of 7,
> since then you can't have a 4-0 sweep, etc."

Hmm, it looked to me like he was disagreeing with the initial post, saying that since (according to
him) you could apply the original objection to every sporting event, the original objection was
weak. My point is that the original objection is specific to this case. However, I may have
misunderstood his position.

Andrew
 

Kristian

New Member
May 4, 2003
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Dear jackass-

1) Spell my name right.

2) Do NOT put words in my mouth, nor make up implications that are not there. I have read articles
about draft-legal races where people refused to take a pull. I think it was one of the top Aussie
women (Michellie (sp?) Jones?).

--Harold Buck

"I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."

- Homer J. Simpson [/B][/QUOTE]

Harold
1) Sorry for spelling your name incorrectly.
2) You read the articles, but you are not in these races. So why do you gripe about things you dont have full knowlege of.

If miss spelling your name makes me a "Jackass" then no worries, but at least I am not criticising an event I have never contested. If the water temp is 22, I dont complain when age groupers get to pull on their wetsuits!

Sure there are tactics and people sitting on in different packs, but that need not be your concern. To race draft legal you must be good at all 3 sports. It is easy to think if you are a great runner then just hang at the back, then run away and win. Reality is to win the race you have to have a strong swim and bike and then, a great run. If you are weak on the bike you will have no chance of running a fast time. Sure you can run 30ish fresh, but in the pack that come in together, lots lots of guys can do that. You dont come in fresh however. Conseeded, the weaker cyclist may still be there but will generally run tired, and struggle to go under 33.
 

Kristian

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May 4, 2003
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What you're missing is that the draft-legal format essentially *negates* the whole idea of triathlon
by making it easy for weak cyclists to hang in by drafting. It ends up being nothing more than a 10K
race for people who can run and swim.

--Harold Buck


Does this quote not say it is easy for weak cyclists to hang on.
Most ITU bike courses are on criterian or kermese type courses. Often with dead stop, u-turns and hot dog type formats, or ease and max exposure past transition, thus, crowd etc. 40km is the distance, and times are often around 50-55mins (This often includes swim-run and ride -run transitions) Do the math on that. There is no easy sit and it is not 'easy to hang on'. If it was then why are all the guys training on the bike so much??????????? Oh, and sitting on 55km/hr to make a pack after the swim aint a cup of tea either. At least in a time trial you get to dictate your own pace to some degree.

World champs, Olympics, World cup, Commonwealth games etc are all "triathlons".
 
H

Harold Buck

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, Kristian <[email protected]> wrote:

> 1) Sorry for spelling your name incorrectly.
> 2) You read the articles, but you are not in these races. So why do you gripe about things you
> dont have full knowlege of.

You're engaging in a logical fallacy, assuming my comments, thoughts, and opinions have no value if
I haven't participated in these events.

> If miss spelling your name makes me a "Jackass" then no worries, but at least I am not criticising
> an event I have never contested. If the water temp is 22, I dont complain when age groupers get to
> pull on their wetsuits!

The "jackass" comment had a lot more to do with you attributing comments to me that I did not make.

> Sure there are tactics and people sitting on in different packs, but that need not be your
> concern. To race draft legal you must be good at all 3 sports.

But it should be obvious that it's easier to reel someone in who beat you in the swim by 2 minutes
if you can latch onto the peloton to reel them in.

>It is easy to think if you are a great runner then just hang at the back, then run away and win.
>Reality is to win the race you have to have a strong swim and bike and then, a great run. If you
>are weak on the bike you will have no chance of running a fast time. Sure you can run 30ish fresh,
>but in the pack that come in together, lots lots of guys can do that. You dont come in fresh
>however. Conseeded, the weaker cyclist may still be there but will generally run tired, and
>struggle to go under 33.
>

--Harold Buck

"I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."

- Homer J. Simpson
 
H

Harold Buck

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
Kristian <[email protected]> wrote:

> What you're missing is that the draft-legal format essentially *negates* the whole idea of
> triathlon by making it easy for weak cyclists to hang in by drafting. It ends up being nothing
> more than a 10K race for people who can run and swim.
>
> --Harold Buck
>
>
> Does this quote not say it is easy for weak cyclists to hang on. Most ITU bike courses are on
> criterian or kermese type courses. Often with dead stop, u-turns and hot dog type formats, or ease
> and max exposure past transition, thus, crowd etc. 40km is the distance, and times are often
> around 50-55mins (This often includes swim-run and ride -run transitions) Do the math on that.
> There is no easy sit and it is not 'easy to hang on'. If it was then why are all the guys training
> on the bike so much??????????? Oh, and sitting on 55km/hr to make a pack after the swim aint a cup
> of tea either. At least in a time trial you get to dictate your own pace to some degree.
>
> World champs, Olympics, World cup, Commonwealth games etc are all "triathlons".
>

Your comment was:

>
> Harald Buck said, or implied it was easy "guys just lolling about joking at the back of the pack"
>

That misrepresents what I said. Period.

--Harold Buck

"I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."

- Homer J. Simpson
 
M

Mark Hickey

Guest
Kristian <[email protected]> wrote:

>Does this quote not say it is easy for weak cyclists to hang on. Most ITU bike courses are on
>criterian or kermese type courses. Often with dead stop, u-turns and hot dog type formats, or ease
>and max exposure past transition, thus, crowd etc. 40km is the distance, and times are often around
>50-55mins (This often includes swim-run and ride -run transitions) Do the math on that. There is no
>easy sit and it is not 'easy to hang on'. If it was then why are all the guys training on the bike
>so much??????????? Oh, and sitting on 55km/hr to make a pack after the swim aint a cup of tea
>either. At least in a time trial you get to dictate your own pace to some degree.

Nevertheless, it is VASTLY easier to sit in on the back of a pack than to pull the pack (or solo at
the same speed). While the drafters will have to hump it after a corner or U turn to rejoin, it's a
short effort.

Sitting in requires at least 30% less energy than being at the front (or solo). For example, I was
recently in a pack ride doing 28-30mph (45-48km/h) sitting on the back barely breaking a sweat.
There's no comparison to how I'd feel after 40km of that vs. soloing the same distance and speed (in
fact, I'd have to be asleep to do that solo). ;-)

>World champs, Olympics, World cup, Commonwealth games etc are all "triathlons".

Sychronized swimming is "swimming".

Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
 

Kristian

New Member
May 4, 2003
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Originally posted by Harold Buck

But it should be obvious that it's easier to reel someone in who beat you in the swim by 2 minutes
if you can latch onto the peloton to reel them in.


--Harold Buck

"I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."

- Homer J. Simpson [/B]

There is no triathlete in the world who can swim 2 mins faster than the rest of the triathletes in the pro field, but I understand your point of view. In ITU races however it is a real dissadvantage to be even 20-30 sec down out of the water, as generally the front pack has gone and that is the last you will see of them.

I use to have the same opinion as you, but soon learnt that the first guy out of the water just goes for it at the start of the bike, the second goes 1km/hr faster, the third 2km/hr faster and so on.... Until one guy is required to do a speed that is too fast and there, a split is made. Often the front pack get it together pretty quick and away they go. It is not that often a second or third pack catch a front pack, and certainly 2mins is as good as race over.
 

Kristian

New Member
May 4, 2003
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Originally posted by Mark Hickey


Nevertheless, it is VASTLY easier to sit in on the back of a pack than to pull the pack (or solo at
the same speed). While the drafters will have to hump it after a corner or U turn to rejoin, it's a
short effort.

Sitting in requires at least 30% less energy than being at the front (or solo). For example, I was
recently in a pack ride doing 28-30mph (45-48km/h) sitting on the back barely breaking a sweat.
There's no comparison to how I'd feel after 40km of that vs. soloing the same distance and speed (in
fact, I'd have to be asleep to do that solo). ;-)

Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame

You are right it is easier to sit at the back of the pack. If you are weak the u-turns will take so much out of you, you wont run any good, even if you're still there at the end of the bike leg. At a u-turn in a pack of 50 guys, the short effort is some times alot longer that riders can handle. Also, at the back, as you slow down coming in the front is accellerating out. By the time you get around you have to go 50-60km/hr all out to get back. The back is super easy on a flat straight road, but if you dont belong there the first coner will do the selection.

You can sit in a pack at high speed, with great protection. Swim 1500m in 18 mins sprint to your bike and then ride at 50ish for a while on your own or working with 1 other guy and then you may be on the back of the pack. If you arnt breaking a sweat then, give me your legs:)

In some drafting races I have felt 100 times worse than a solo effort after the 40km. I think it is the accumulation of lactate and constant changes in pace. You wouldnt have gone as fast solo, but then no one would have, age groupers race over a different course.

Probably be better to run the last 10km on my lips, they would feel fresher. Those dreams you talk about sound great, I cant get out of granny gear in mine
:p
 
T

Tom Henderson

Guest
Kristian <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:

> Harold Buck wrote:
> > But it should be obvious that it's easier to reel someone in who beat you in the swim by 2
> > minutes if you can latch onto the peloton to reel them in. --Harold Buck "I used to rock and
> > roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."
> > - Homer J. Simpson
>
>
>
> There is no triathlete in the world who can swim 2 mins faster than the rest of the triathletes in
> the pro field, but I understand your point of view. In ITU races however it is a real
> dissadvantage to be even 20-30 sec down out of the water, as generally the front pack has gone and
> that is the last you will see of them.
>
> I use to have the same opinion as you, but soon learnt that the first guy out of the water just
> goes for it at the start of the bike, the second goes 1km/hr faster, the third 2km/hr faster and
> so on.... Until one guy is required to do a speed that is too fast and there, a split is made.
> Often the front pack get it together pretty quick and away they go. It is not that often a second
> or third pack catch a front pack, and certainly 2mins is as good as race over.

So, what you're saying is, all of the pros who have any chance of winning have to be within 20-30
seconds of each other on swim time anyway, or they wouldn't make the front pack. Once they do make
the front pack, they are all fast enough to ride together in a peleton, then they start together for
a run. Sure you have to be a great cyclist and swimmer, but there's no real advantage to being
slightly better than the others in the peleton.

Sounds like we're back to the original question raised in the subject line to me.
 

Kristian

New Member
May 4, 2003
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Originally posted by Tom Henderson

So, what you're saying is, all of the pros who have any chance of winning have to be within 20-30
seconds of each other on swim time anyway, or they wouldn't make the front pack. Once they do make
the front pack, they are all fast enough to ride together in a peleton, then they start together for
a run. Sure you have to be a great cyclist and swimmer, but there's no real advantage to being
slightly better than the others in the peleton.

Sounds like we're back to the original question raised in the subject line to me.


It is not all over but you arnt in a great spot. You have to be general as every race is different.
There probably isnt that much advantage in being slightly better in the pack. Here is an example though. ITU race 1 in Japan. Barb Linquist out ran Michele Dillon. If you lokked at their best 10km times fresh I would bet you would have put your house on michele winning. She didnt, as the bike changed the whole complection of the race even though the two girls ran out of transition together.
 
R

Rebecca Bishop

Guest
Ok let me be critical:)..

It would seem that in those super flat drafting races, the triathlon bike section is still very much
the under developed sport.

Sorry folks, but in my opinion there are no clever tacitcs, no good handling skills in both men's
and women's races, so anyone with any biking experience could severely win from behind.....I can see
the potential in these drafting events for the cycling leg to become THE decisive section in the
tri. Sitting in a pack and being 'conservative' the WHOLE time is what I term, a 'novice mistake':
one has to learn to attack and get away not pull the pack along or sit at the back...this we
cyclists learnt at local level.

If you have ever been in a peleton like this in an actual cycle race, you know how much time you can
put into 'scardy-cats-better be careful' types.....think about it..

Rebecca

"Harold Buck" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> In article <[email protected]>, chris freeman <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > I understand that in theory. Watching this race though, how would you
force
> > this? There were about 50 guys coming out of the swim/bike transition together.
>
>
> Um, you give penalties for drafting, as defined by USAT, for example.
>
> --Harold Buck
>
>
> "I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."
>
> - Homer J. Simpson
 
H

Harold Buck

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, "Rebecca Bishop" <[email protected]> wrote:

> Ok let me be critical:)..
>
> It would seem that in those super flat drafting races, the triathlon bike section is still very
> much the under developed sport.
>
> Sorry folks, but in my opinion there are no clever tacitcs, no good handling skills in both men's
> and women's races, so anyone with any biking experience could severely win from behind.....

Huh? What does "severely win from behind" mean?

>I can see the potential in these drafting events for the cycling leg to become THE decisive section
>in the tri. Sitting in a pack and being 'conservative' the WHOLE time is what I term, a 'novice
>mistake': one has to learn to attack and get away not pull the pack along or sit at the back...this
>we cyclists learnt at local level.

Yeah, but this is triathlon. If you pull away from the pack and win the cycling section by 1 minute,
you still have to run. In cycling, you don't have to hold anything back; try the same thing in
triathlon and watch tons of people blow by you in the run.

--Harold Buck

"I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."

- Homer J. Simpson
 
M

Mark Hickey

Guest
Harold Buck <[email protected]> wrote:

> "Rebecca Bishop" <[email protected]> wrote:

>>I can see the potential in these drafting events for the cycling leg to become THE decisive
>>section in the tri. Sitting in a pack and being 'conservative' the WHOLE time is what I term, a
>>'novice mistake': one has to learn to attack and get away not pull the pack along or sit at the
>>back...this we cyclists learnt at local level.
>
>Yeah, but this is triathlon. If you pull away from the pack and win the cycling section by 1
>minute, you still have to run. In cycling, you don't have to hold anything back; try the same thing
>in triathlon and watch tons of people blow by you in the run.

Exactly! I don't think Rebecca has ever tried to escape from a pack of equally strong, motivated
riders. If she had, she'd know there's no escape from a pack that's working together at all
unless a) you totally bury yourself killing any chance of a decent run, b) there's a steep hill
leading to T2 and you're an awesome climber c) the pack takes itself down in an all-too-familiar
crash or d) you're so much faster and stronger than anyone in the pack that you not only can
outride them collectively, but then outrun the fastest runners who have been (relatively) resting
through the bike leg.

Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
 
R

Rebecca Bishop

Guest
I agree - that is the way 99% of triathletes seem to look at the situation - keep looking at it
like that!

BUT my friend, there is more to this that simply 'attacking' as you mention. If you understand road
tactics, there are subtle ways to 'tease' riders into working harder than they should in a strong
pack. There is then the right time to attack and go down the road, and it should be sufficient that
you can get away from stronger riders if you are an experienced and a good time trialer. If you have
people joining you, then you have to be clever and attack again.

As the standard of bike racing in triathlon is particularly low when pack riding - they rarely work
'well' or properly together; so I can see clearly that one could gain a good 4-5 minutes over 40kms
when the cards have been played right. I say this because the handling skills of some of the elite
triathletes is not wonderful, they make mistakes, so time is lost here too. Another major point
which I think is under-estimated/unseen is the 'efficiency' component - there are ways to time
trial very efficiently and hardly tire your leg muscles...efficiency is key, so is experience - it
is possible.

And for the run? well - those behind suddenly have a to make a choice!: either they try to cohese
and work together to chase that single competitor down, which should kill their running legs, OR
they sit up as usual and simply let the single rider, now running fairly well, win the race. There
is huge psychology in the tactics too which can be played which devastate strong but lesser
experienced riders like triathletes...tee hee.

In reference to you assuming that I have "never tried to get away from a strong cycle pack": I have
won four road races in this manner in my 8 year long cycling career and also been twice on podium
with Jeannie Longo in 2001.

RB

"Mark Hickey" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Harold Buck <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > "Rebecca Bishop" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> >>I can see the potential in these drafting events for the cycling leg to become THE decisive
> >>section in the tri. Sitting in a pack and being 'conservative' the WHOLE time is what I
term, a
> >> 'novice mistake': one has to learn to attack and get away not pull the
pack
> >> along or sit at the back...this we cyclists learnt at local level.
> >
> >Yeah, but this is triathlon. If you pull away from the pack and win the cycling section by 1
> >minute, you still have to run. In cycling, you don't have to hold anything back; try the same
> >thing in triathlon and watch tons of people blow by you in the run.
>
> Exactly! I don't think Rebecca has ever tried to escape from a pack of equally strong, motivated
> riders. If she had, she'd know there's no escape from a pack that's working together at all unless
> a) you totally bury yourself killing any chance of a decent run, b) there's a steep hill leading
> to T2 and you're an awesome climber c) the pack takes itself down in an all-too-familiar crash or
> d) you're so much faster and stronger than anyone in the pack that you not only can outride them
> collectively, but then outrun the fastest runners who have been (relatively) resting through the
> bike leg.
>
> Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
 
M

Mark Hickey

Guest
"Rebecca Bishop" <[email protected]> wrote:

>I agree - that is the way 99% of triathletes seem to look at the situation - keep looking at it
>like that!
>
>BUT my friend, there is more to this that simply 'attacking' as you mention. If you understand road
>tactics, there are subtle ways to 'tease' riders into working harder than they should in a strong
>pack. There is then the right time to attack and go down the road, and it should be sufficient that
>you can get away from stronger riders if you are an experienced and a good time trialer. If you
>have people joining you, then you have to be clever and attack again.

This is no doubt "do-able", but I can't see how you'd gain any time compared to using the same
amount of extra energy on the run. You'll be exerting approximately 30% more energy just to match
the pace of the pack, much less ride away from it (the energy requirement to go faster goes up
exponentially at faster speeds as you probably know). So in the end, to put any time on the rider
sitting in on the pack, you'll be putting out 35-40% more energy on the bike after you break away.
If your break is long enough to put any real time on the pack, that's going to take a serious toll
on your reserves (and therefore your run).

>As the standard of bike racing in triathlon is particularly low when pack riding - they rarely work
>'well' or properly together; so I can see clearly that one could gain a good 4-5 minutes over 40kms
>when the cards have been played right.

Once you assume the pack isn't working, all bets are off. But that's the rub - if the pack IS
working well together, you're not going to ride away from it - at least not without killing any
chance you have for a good run (unless you're much stronger than virtually everyone who's
sitting in).

> I say this because the handling skills of some of the elite triathletes is not wonderful, they
> make mistakes, so time is lost here too. Another major point which I think is
> under-estimated/unseen is the 'efficiency' component - there are ways to time trial very
> efficiently and hardly tire your leg muscles...efficiency is key, so is experience - it is
> possible.

Again, I agree that it's possible to go faster using the same energy using more efficient technique
- but an equivalent rider sitting in the pack is going to exert a lot less energy getting to T2 than
you are, and will start the run fresher. On a spring tri, with lots of corners and curves and hills,
the advantage of being in the pack starts to dissipate due to the things you mention. But most road
courses are picked for their lack of "features" like corners.

> And for the run? well - those behind suddenly have a to make a choice!: either they try to cohese
> and work together to chase that single competitor down, which should kill their running legs, OR
> they sit up as usual and simply let the single rider, now running fairly well, win the race. There
> is huge psychology in the tactics too which can be played which devastate strong but lesser
> experienced riders like triathletes...tee hee.

I'd tend to run my own race and assume the rider who's been frying out front will either fade
(allowing me to catch him) or is so much stronger than me I'd never have caught him no matter what.
But that's just me... ;-)

>In reference to you assuming that I have "never tried to get away from a strong cycle pack": I have
>won four road races in this manner in my 8 year long cycling career and also been twice on podium
>with Jeannie Longo in 2001.

If you were looking down at Ms. Longo from that podium spot, I'm really impressed (I am anyway, but
I know how hard it is for ANYONE to beat her even now). As you know, bike racing is a "whole 'nother
animal", where energy saved means nothing - just the arrival position... very different from a
triathlon.

Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame

>"Mark Hickey" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>news:[email protected]...
>> Harold Buck <[email protected]> wrote:
>>
>> > "Rebecca Bishop" <[email protected]> wrote:
>>
>> >>I can see the potential in these drafting events for the cycling leg to become THE decisive
>> >>section in the tri. Sitting in a pack and being 'conservative' the WHOLE time is what I
>term, a
>> >> 'novice mistake': one has to learn to attack and get away not pull the
>pack
>> >> along or sit at the back...this we cyclists learnt at local level.
>> >
>> >Yeah, but this is triathlon. If you pull away from the pack and win the cycling section by 1
>> >minute, you still have to run. In cycling, you don't have to hold anything back; try the same
>> >thing in triathlon and watch tons of people blow by you in the run.
>>
>> Exactly! I don't think Rebecca has ever tried to escape from a pack of equally strong, motivated
>> riders. If she had, she'd know there's no escape from a pack that's working together at all
>> unless a) you totally bury yourself killing any chance of a decent run, b) there's a steep hill
>> leading to T2 and you're an awesome climber c) the pack takes itself down in an all-too-familiar
>> crash or d) you're so much faster and stronger than anyone in the pack that you not only can
>> outride them collectively, but then outrun the fastest runners who have been (relatively) resting
>> through the bike leg.
>>
>> Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
 
H

Harold Buck

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, "Rebecca Bishop" <[email protected]> wrote:

>
> In reference to you assuming that I have "never tried to get away from a strong cycle pack": I
> have won four road races in this manner in my 8 year long cycling career and also been twice on
> podium with Jeannie Longo in 2001.

Re-read his post. Maybe they weren't "equally strong, motivated riders."
:)

--Harold Buck

"I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."

- Homer J. Simpson
 
A

Andrew Duncan

Guest
"Rebecca Bishop" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> Ok let me be critical:)..
>
> It would seem that in those super flat drafting races, the triathlon bike section is still very
> much the under developed sport.

This is an overstatement. The pro triathletes are highly motivated and very well coached. If there
is an (apparent) lack of cycling tactics, it is because the athletes and their coaches are quite
aware of the fact that these tactics will gain them nothing in a race where finishing first on the
bike means nothing.

> Sorry folks, but in my opinion there are no clever tacitcs, no good handling skills in both men's
> and women's races,

You are right, but what place is there really for tactical riding in a draft-legal race, which is
typically an Olympic-distance -- 40km -- ride? This is just too short a ride for tactics to make any
practical difference.

> Sitting in a pack and being 'conservative' the WHOLE time is what I term, a 'novice mistake': one
> has to learn to attack and get away not pull the pack along or sit at the back...this we cyclists
> learnt at local level.

It is a novice mistake for cyclists in a *cycling* race that lasts longer than an hour. What we
cyclists learn in cycling races and what we learn in multisport races is very different.

As I've pointed out before, drafting is also anti-comptetitive in a sport where riders start at
different times, seeded by their performance in the previous leg (the swim) and where the race does
not end with the bike leg. Where drafting might make sporting *and* tactical sense would be this
race: athletes all complete the swim. Their times are recorded but they all start the bike at the
same time. Everyone has the same opportunity to form a paceline, draft, break away, etc. The same
thing happens at the next transition. At the end of the race, times are added and the fastest racer
wins. Also, this race should be rather long. I would be quite interested to see (or do) something
like this.

Rebecca, your arguments are reasonable but they just apply to a different sport. They seem to ignore
all non-cycling aspects of triathlon, but the reason people dislike the presence of drafting in
triathlon is precisely its negative affect on the multisport character of the race. It has nothing
to do with our appreciation or lack for the tactical and strategic subtleties of cycling. It is as
if we were arguing that elephants are gray and you keep responding "No, no, foxes are red."

Andrew
 
R

Rebecca Bishop

Guest
Duncan,

"Andrew Duncan" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> "Rebecca Bishop" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
> > Ok let me be critical:)..
> >
> > It would seem that in those super flat drafting races, the triathlon
bike
> > section is still very much the under developed sport.
>
> This is an overstatement. The pro triathletes are highly motivated and very well coached. If there
> is an (apparent) lack of cycling tactics, it is because the athletes and their coaches are quite
> aware of the fact that these tactics will gain them nothing in a race where finishing first on the
> bike means nothing.

I agree that finishing the bike leg 'first' means 'nothing'; but I am not referring to simply coming
into transition first. I am referring to finishing the bike leg a good couple of minutes a head of
the chasing pack, or, applying team work or other, to tire out certain 'good runners' - which could
mean everything for winning the race on the run. I therefore believe bike tactics could mean
everything in a drafting legal triathlon.

> > Sorry folks, but in my opinion there are no clever tacitcs, no good
handling
> > skills in both men's and women's races,
>
> You are right, but what place is there really for tactical riding in a draft-legal race, which is
> typically an Olympic-distance -- 40km -- ride? This is just too short a ride for tactics to make
> any practical difference.

I disagree here. As I pointed out in some detail in my last posting, the triathletes, even though
extremely fit/well coached, are still seemingly way behind on numerous bike skills - this means,
that there is still a big chance for a traithlete with large road race expereince to really give the
pack a very hard time over 40kms.

> > Sitting in a pack and being 'conservative' the WHOLE time is what I
term, a
> > 'novice mistake': one has to learn to attack and get away not pull the
pack
> > along or sit at the back...this we cyclists learnt at local level.
>
> It is a novice mistake for cyclists in a *cycling* race that lasts longer than an hour. What we
> cyclists learn in cycling races and what we learn in multisport races is very different.

Hey I was not referring to a 'pure cycle race'! I am talking about an ITU triathlon race. I am
referring very clearly to triathlon and triathlon only. Yes triathlon is an "event" - the fastest
around the course wins - we do learn so much from race to race and from watching triathlon races
too. BUT we can learn from the single events too and apply the skills where they could give us a
competitive advantage. An example here would be the present high standard of swimming and running in
triathlon - all learnt mainly from the single sports and then 'applied' to triathlon. I therefore
believe that the bike section is still lagging in its 'standard of application' ( development)
within a drafting legal triathlon, like an ITU.

> As I've pointed out before, drafting is also anti-comptetitive in a sport where riders start at
> different times, seeded by their performance in the previous leg (the swim) and where the race
> does not end with the bike leg. Where drafting might make sporting *and* tactical sense would be
> this race: athletes all complete the swim. Their times are recorded but they all start the bike at
> the same time. Everyone has the same opportunity to form a paceline, draft, break away, etc. The
> same thing happens at the next transition. At the end of the race, times are added and the fastest
> racer wins. Also, this race should be rather long. I would be quite interested to see (or do)
> something like this.

NO - I really disagree. This is what triathlon is all about - it is about the "event: swim -
bike-run" ...if you can't swim with the front bunch then too bad - actually I even believe that
lower placed swimmers who are good on the bike could catch the leading bunch too - if they know how
to really get organised...! That is the nature of the sport - that IS triathlon and what makes it
what it is. Now add in some really great bike tactics even team tactics (!) where the 'ones on the
bus' suddenly have to start thinking/reacting and working, and you have a very competitive
triathlon.

> Rebecca, your arguments are reasonable but they just apply to a different sport. They seem to
> ignore all non-cycling aspects of triathlon, but the reason people dislike the presence of
> drafting in triathlon is precisely its negative affect on the multisport character of the race. It
> has nothing to do with our appreciation or lack for the tactical and strategic subtleties of
> cycling. It is as if we were arguing that elephants are gray and you keep responding "No, no,
> foxes are red."

No you have mis-understood my perspective: I would be 'applying cycling skills to drafting legal
triathlons' because I see such a big potential for the sport to come out of its rut as far as the
triathlon ITU is concerned! I find the ITU racing very dull to watch at present, as it seems to be
all about 'good swimmers and top runners' - BUT that does not give me the excuse to feel that
drafting therefore should be banned.

All I am saying is that there are other exciting solutions to bring life back to the sport at ITU,
given the present drafting rules and flat courses.

Rebecca Bishop


> Andrew
 
T

Topdog

Guest
> I agree that finishing the bike leg 'first' means 'nothing'; but I am not referring to simply
> coming into transition first. I am referring to finishing the bike leg a good couple of minutes a
> head of the chasing pack, or, applying team work or other, to tire out certain 'good runners' -
> which could mean everything for winning the race on the run. I therefore believe bike tactics
> could mean everything in a drafting legal triathlon.

However, if drafting is *NOT* legal, a strong biker would have a better chance still of tiring out
those good runners, or gaining a substantial lead on them. With them in a pack, they will likely be
closer and less tired than they would have been had they been alone.

The main thing that happens by allowing drafting is that it narrows the ability difference in the
cycling leg. While you can argue that good tactics can help widen that a bit, the same can easily be
said for good tactics in a non-drafting race. Either way, the best cyclists are almost certainly
going to gain a much smaller advantage if drafting is allowed.
 
M

Mark Hickey

Guest
"Rebecca Bishop" <[email protected]> wrote:

>I agree that finishing the bike leg 'first' means 'nothing'; but I am not referring to simply
>coming into transition first. I am referring to finishing the bike leg a good couple of minutes a
>head of the chasing pack, or, applying team work or other, to tire out certain 'good runners' -
>which could mean everything for winning the race on the run. I therefore believe bike tactics could
>mean everything in a drafting legal triathlon.

That sounds good until you look at the numbers.

Imagine this pack was chugging along at 25mph / 40km/h (a very reasonable pack speed). The soloist
makes his/her break at the exact halfway point of a 40km bike leg.

To put 2 minutes on the pack, the soloist is going to have to ride
26.67mph / 42.66km/h for the rest of the bike leg. That hurts (at least it hurts me!).

Now let's look at the relative power output (using the wonderful calculator found at
www.analyticcycling.com) of three types of riders. I used all the default entries except for slope,
which I set to 0.00 (flat).

The soloist has to muster up 289.9 watts to hold that speed.

The rider pulling the pack has to produce 242.8 watts.

But the rider sitting in (assuming a nominal 30% reduction, which should be conservative in a pack)
needs to produce only 167 watts to hang in there. That's the ouput equivalent of riding solo at only
27.75mph / 34.8km/h.

To see what this difference feels like, go out in your 53/14 and get the bike rolling as close to
27mph as you can. Note your cadence. This is how hard you'll be working for the last 28 minutes of
the bike leg.

Now without changing your cadence, shift to your 17. That's how hard the runners who will try to
catch you will be working for the last 30 minutes of the bike leg.

It would be easy enough to try this out during your next couple bricks, to see what kind of effect
30 minutes at the two paces mentioned above (26.67mph and 21.75mph) has on your run. I think you'll
find that it's likely to be more than 2 minutes at a 10k pace. At least it would be for me.

There's certainly no doubt that even if the runners DO come from behind and just catch the soloist
at the line, the soloist will have put out much more energy over the last one and a half legs
(hence, will have had to have been a better athlete to start with, and would have easily won had it
not been a draft legal race).

Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame