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



S

Stewart Fleming

Guest
Mark Hickey wrote:

> 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).

Your analysis excludes the difference between aerobic and anaerobic energy systems.

Let's say we have a lap course that includes a climb. The bike goes round that course lets say 5
times. An athlete who makes a break on the hill by putting in a max effort and then recovers back to
sustain the gap with aerobic levels will have an advantage. If they do that repeatedly, let's say
over the middle laps, they only need to work as hard as the others in the chasing pack for the
remainder of the race.

If the pack never gets organized, the gap will not close. In fact, if the pack is not smart, tries
to chase on the hill and doesn't recover as quickly as those out front, they could quite easily lose
ground. This is where a triathlete with road-race experience can benefit.

A successful road-race attack goes something like: 1) violent break from pack (high speed relative)
2) pursuit phase (sustained pace to open the gap) 3) pace the pack (match speeds). An unsuccessful
attack omits the second element. First two elements involve anerobic components for the attack, but
it is likely that an elite athlete can carry out the sustained pace either at or in worst case
slightly above LT and in the third element is only really working as hard as the rest of the pack.

Watch duathlon and triathlon world championships very closely this year since they are both based
around what I would describe as "road race" courses. If you are preparing for either event, better
be ready to train on the hills... STF
 
P

Phillip

Guest
Stewart Fleming <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
> Mark Hickey wrote:
>
> > 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).
>
>I always thought that Triathlons were an individual's race. I
believe Habanero Mark makes the correct analysis on power output. We all know it is a lot tougher to
solo for 25 miles than to ride in a peloton at the exact same speeds, but I think that drafting
bleeds the life out of what triathlons are meant to be.

It has always been you against yourself. You are the driving force behind your performance in the
race. The people you pass are an inspiration,but the race depends on you. It seems to bastardize the
essence of the sport and of the individual's efforts to include drafting on the bike.

As far as spectator value is concerned, with a true triathlon it is a race until the end. Will Tim
DeBoom catch Larsen or not? If he sits on Larsen's wheel for 56 miles, I wonder what kind of
spectator excitement that would bring?

Phillip
 
R

Rebecca Bishop

Guest
Mark,

Interesting calculations and very pretty scenario - I agree that at this pace it would indeed be
pretty tough to keep up all that speed breaking away etc...but you unfortuantely are missing some
very fundamental yet very critical points:

1. The women ITU triathletes are not reaching 40km/hr together drafting! - they are quite a bit
slower than this in the majority of races.

2. There are also ways to slow the pack right down when 'road racing', there are tactics to counter
attack, tactics to tire out riders like bending metal backwards and forwards, then there are the
tri U turn-arounds to really get those sitting at the back dropped...it all takes it toll...then
you attack with the utmost of precision and surprise at the pack's slowest pace- you're gone down
the road. All of this is heightened if you can work as a team. So getting away should be a breeze
even if you are not actually the strongest rider!

I rest my case:)

R

"Mark Hickey" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> "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
> 21.75mph / 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
 
R

Rebecca Bishop

Guest
Hi Topdog,

I have not made a comparison to the differences to non drafting and drafting races as this was not
the primary argument in the last posting. The argument was about "ITU races and what is the point of
swim/bike?" I'm saying that there is a point to drafting and swim and bike if we can 'jazz up the
bike section and get pro-active'..IF the courses remain the way they are, i.e: flat with drafting.

I agree the whole ball game changes if we consider non-drafting, but ITU is NOT non drafting
unfortuantlely! Personally I'd like to see a hillier bike course and tougher run courses at ITU
level. Here in Europe we have such tough, exciting triathlons and I'd like to see what the top elite
are really like on hilly, technical courses and run routes that go cross country or up a
mountain...then we'd see the true tri-allrounder - the champion of 'all terrain'... I hear that
Athens 2004 Olympics has a hilly course - that should be interesting at least;

R


"topdog" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> > 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.
 
T

Topdog

Guest
"Rebecca Bishop" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> Hi Topdog,
>
>
> I have not made a comparison to the differences to non drafting and drafting races as this was not
> the primary argument in the last posting. The argument was about "ITU races and what is the point
> of swim/bike?" I'm saying that there is a point to drafting and swim and bike if we can 'jazz up
> the bike section and get pro-active'..IF the courses remain the way they are, i.e: flat with
> drafting.
>
> I agree the whole ball game changes if we consider non-drafting, but ITU is NOT non drafting
> unfortuantlely! Personally I'd like to see a hillier bike course and tougher run courses at ITU
> level. Here in Europe we have such tough, exciting triathlons and I'd like to see what the top
> elite are really like on hilly, technical courses and run routes that go cross country or up a
> mountain...then we'd see the true tri-allrounder - the champion of 'all terrain'... I hear that
> Athens 2004 Olympics has a hilly course - that should be interesting at least;
>

Apparently I've missed part of all of this. It seemed that the argument was about whether allowing
drafting lessened the value of the swim\bike legs. That was where I was coming from.

Agreed - if you're going to have a course that DOES allow drafting, then you HAVE to get off a flat
course. The hillier the better - that would blow a pack apart!
 
S

Stewart Fleming

Guest
Rebecca Bishop wrote:

> I agree the whole ball game changes if we consider non-drafting, but ITU is NOT non drafting
> unfortuantlely! Personally I'd like to see a hillier bike course and tougher run courses at ITU
> level. Here in Europe we have such

Like I said, stay tuned. Check out Affoltern: http://www.duathlonwm2003.ch/indexEn.htm and
Queenstown: http://www.triworlds2003.com/ ITU duathlon and triathlon world champs course profiles.

Tell me a strategy (elite and/or age-group) that works for these courses other than treating them
like a road race on the bike. STF
 
M

Mark Hickey

Guest
Stewart Fleming <[email protected]> wrote:

>Mark Hickey wrote:
>
>> 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).
>
>Your analysis excludes the difference between aerobic and anaerobic energy systems.
>
>Let's say we have a lap course that includes a climb. The bike goes round that course lets say 5
>times. An athlete who makes a break on the hill by putting in a max effort and then recovers back
>to sustain the gap with aerobic levels will have an advantage. If they do that repeatedly, let's
>say over the middle laps, they only need to work as hard as the others in the chasing pack for the
>remainder of the race.

You've lost me. Certainly if they go all out up a hill and put on some time, they'll have used more
energy. If they then "work as hard as the others in the chasing pack" they get caught. If they work
as hard as whoever is PULLING the chasing pack, they just don't add any time to the pack beyond what
they gained on the all-out climb.

As I mentioned to Rebecca, if you can just out-power everyone else by riding away from them up a
hill, and then match their pace for the rest of the bike and run legs, you're just a lot stronger
than everyone else and would have won going away in a non-draft format race.

>If the pack never gets organized, the gap will not close. In fact, if the pack is not smart, tries
>to chase on the hill and doesn't recover as quickly as those out front, they could quite easily
>lose ground. This is where a triathlete with road-race experience can benefit.

If the lead rider crashes heavily and takes out the whole pack, it works out that way. I'd prefer if
it didn't require ineptitude on the part of the pack to allow the best athlete to win, personally.

>A successful road-race attack goes something like: 1) violent break from pack (high speed relative)
>2) pursuit phase (sustained pace to open the gap) 3) pace the pack (match speeds). An unsuccessful
>attack omits the second element. First two elements involve anerobic components for the attack, but
>it is likely that an elite athlete can carry out the sustained pace either at or in worst case
>slightly above LT and in the third element is only really working as hard as the rest of the pack.

If by "rest of the pack" you mean the guy pulling, OK. Those sitting in are not working nearly as
hard as the escapee. That's why it's so hard to engineer a successful break in a quality road race
(the vast majority of the non-mountain stages in the grand tours finish together).

>Watch duathlon and triathlon world championships very closely this year since they are both based
>around what I would describe as "road race" courses. If you are preparing for either event, better
>be ready to train on the hills...

Hills are the only thing that will help the situation at all, IMHO.

If I were going to coach a group of triathletes for a draft-legal tri, I'd insert some "pullers"
whose job would be to shelter my contender from the wind, then drop out at T2 (or finish the run at
a slow jog). They would be cycling specialists (who could swim) and could pace the contender up the
hill, then pull them to T2. If I had the manpower, I'd insert one or two spoilers to block any other
organized packs.

Of course, that wouldn't be a triathlon - but that's my point.

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

Stewart Fleming

Guest
Mark Hickey wrote:

> You've lost me. Certainly if they go all out up a hill and put on some time, they'll have used
> more energy. If they then "work as hard as the others in the chasing pack" they get caught. If
> they work as hard as whoever is PULLING the chasing pack, they just don't add any time to the pack
> beyond what they gained on the all-out climb.

That's my point from further down my original post. You describe the exact scenario of an
UNSUCCESSFUL attack in a pack bike race. If you omit the "pursuit" phase to open the gap, you WILL
get caught. However, it is a mistake to think that one or two athletes off the front of the pack are
a) working a lot harder than the pack or b) much stronger than the others. They were stronger or
faster _at one particular point_ of the race.

Of course, if the pack works together by sharing pace that is _faster_ than the two at the front can
sustain after they have opened the gap, then they will get caught. This takes a lot of coordination
amongst those in the pack.

> As I mentioned to Rebecca, if you can just out-power everyone else by riding away from them up a
> hill, and then match their pace for the rest of the bike and run legs, you're just a lot stronger
> than everyone else and would have won going away in a non-draft format race.

True and this sometimes happens in an elite race. But not very often.

> If by "rest of the pack" you mean the guy pulling, OK. Those sitting in are not working nearly as
> hard as the escapee. That's why it's so hard to engineer a successful break in a quality road race
> (the vast majority of the non-mountain stages in the grand tours finish together).

Stages in major tours come together at the end on non-mountains tages because the specialist
sprinters want the stage win and their teams will work their tails off in the last 50-60km to get
them to the front, no matter what the gap is. Sure, the estimate of how much power you need sitting
in a big pack is about 100-150W, as opposed to 350-400 driving it at the front. But a 6 hour stage
is not comparable to our 40km bike leg in a tri.

But if you do make the break, drive hard to open a gap of 1-2 minutes over 30km (quite doable in an
elite tri) and then pace the pack for the remainig 10km, you will be in just as good a state as the
chasing pack come transition. Indeed, if the pack tries to close the gap over the last 10km, they
will be working _harder_ than those at the front to do so.

> If I were going to coach a group of triathletes for a draft-legal tri, I'd insert some "pullers"
> whose job would be to shelter my contender from the wind, then drop out at T2 (or finish the run
> at a slow jog). They would be cycling specialists (who could swim) and could pace the contender up
> the hill, then pull them to T2. If I had the manpower, I'd insert one or two spoilers to block any
> other organized packs.
>
> Of course, that wouldn't be a triathlon - but that's my point.

Funny you should say that. Dutch and Belgian teams at duathlon worlds last year had that as stated
intention. Each had a specialist bike rider (ex-pro) whose job was to hang with the leaders on the
run (or at least be in the chase pack) and then _control_ the pack in the bike. Greg Watson and
Jonno Hall were doing the same jobs for US and Australia respectively. In fact, if you watched the
last lap of the bike, you'd have seen Hall setting up Greg Bennet for position at the front and
protecting him for the final run. STF
 
M

Mark Hickey

Guest
Stewart Fleming <[email protected]> wrote:

>But if you do make the break, drive hard to open a gap of 1-2 minutes over 30km (quite doable in an
>elite tri) and then pace the pack for the remainig 10km, you will be in just as good a state as the
>chasing pack come transition.

Let me in on the secret then, because I'd LOVE to be able to ride a couple MPH faster than everyone
else without using any more energy. No matter HOW you slice it, the rider "putting 1-2 minutes over
30km" is working harder than those pulling the pack, and a LOT harder than those being pulled.
That's physics - there's no strategy or technique that changes it.

And therein lies the rub. If the pack does work together, there's no way anyone can escape without
burying themselves for the run. And even if the pack doesn't work together, those just sitting in
will start the run MUCH fresher than the escapee who's put only around 60% of the energy into the
bike leg the escapee did. If the escapee stays away, it's because he/she is much stronger, not
because of the break.

> Indeed, if the pack tries to close the gap over the last 10km, they will be working _harder_ than
> those at the front to do so.

Whoever is pulling will - those sitting in will still be exerting less energy than the escapee even
at the increased pace. The harsh reality of pack riding is that the pack controls the outcome of the
race, not the escapee. If they deem it appropriate to run down all breaks, they'll do so (again,
unless the escapee is so much stronger than the rest of the pack).

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:

>
> Interesting calculations and very pretty scenario - I agree that at this pace it would indeed be
> pretty tough to keep up all that speed breaking away etc...but you unfortuantely are missing some
> very fundamental yet very critical points:
>
> 1. The women ITU triathletes are not reaching 40km/hr together drafting! - they are quite a bit
> slower than this in the majority of races.

I'd bet if you re-calculate, you'll find the general conclusions stand.

> 2. There are also ways to slow the pack right down when 'road racing', there are tactics to
> counter attack, tactics to tire out riders like bending metal backwards and forwards, then
> there are the tri U turn-arounds to really get those sitting at the back dropped...it all takes
> it toll...then you attack with the utmost of precision and surprise at the pack's slowest pace-
> you're gone down the road.

Yeah, and the pack wakes up and says, "Oh, somebody's breaking away. Let's reel them in while using
much less energy than they do, and then kick their ass in the run since they'll be spent from riding
alone for so long."

>All of this is heightened if you can work as a team. So getting away should be a breeze even if you
>are not actually the strongest rider!
>
> I rest my case:)

If you say so. How about you rest it when people actually start successfully doing what you're
proposing (people who aren't already much stronger than the competition)? Because I'm just not going
to buy it until then.

--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]>, Mark Hickey <[email protected]> wrote:

>
> If I were going to coach a group of triathletes for a draft-legal tri, I'd insert some "pullers"
> whose job would be to shelter my contender from the wind, then drop out at T2 (or finish the run
> at a slow jog). They would be cycling specialists (who could swim) and could pace the contender up
> the hill, then pull them to T2. If I had the manpower, I'd insert one or two spoilers to block any
> other organized packs.
>

And maybe a few guys to stick frame pumps through the spokes of the main competition!

> Of course, that wouldn't be a triathlon - but that's my point.

Excatly!

--Harold Buck

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

- Homer J. Simpson
 
T

Tom Rodgers

Guest
The whole point here is that ITU athletes must train SPECIFICALLY for these types of events, just
like folks who want to finish in the GC at Tour de France must train for time trials and breakaways
in steep, long climbs--even though these skills are somewhat at odds for each other. They know this
is what makes winners, so they train for this and select team members to help achieve this goal for
the captain.

It's even more complicated in draft-legal triathlon since the variations and accelerations cross
three different events. But the person who is fittest specifically for the most kinds of variables
will win the most points over the longer term across many events. It's not unlike Tiger Woods, who
despite dominance cannot win every event and cannot excel in every tournament at every phase. But he
has the best all-around game in several different areas (driving, putting, trouble shots) and
specifically trains for certain kinds of course and peaking for certain key tournaments.

If you've been to the USAT National or Olympic training centers, there is a completely different
mentality than Ironman or even age-group atheltes use in training. Bike drills, swim intervals,
running--everything is different. So it is in Europe as well. You can pretty well just throw out
over half the training methods used prior to ITU. You still use periodization, but it's a totally
different mode.

Longer Ironman and non-drafting races smoothe out the variables so you can have one or two fit
people who dominate for a number of years despite a weakness in one event (Natascha Badmann or Lori
Bowden) in the water, just like Tiger will dominate across several major tournaments. Since ITU is
shorter the results look "spikier"--hence all the arguments.

They really are two different sports, much the same way that Maria Cippolini and Erik Zabel are
racing a different race than Lance Armstrong or Jan Ullrich. They happen to both be in a sport
called "road cycling," perhaps on the same course, but they train differently, look different, and
have different goals. And the more they specialize in one facet, the farther away they get from
fundamental training in the other facet. Lance could at one time sprint with the best in the world
when he was young, but he's spent almost a decade training to become something else. Peter Reid
and Tim DeBoom can't go back to ITU, and eventually McCormack won't be able to either. It's a
matter of priorities and training, but make no mistake all are great athletes and have choices
about where to excel.

And of course, Larsen and McCrae won't be riding in Tour de France, despite still being a great
cyclists. Now a more interesting question is, can Lance Armstrong finish on the podium at Ironman
after winning 5 or 6 tours? Now that would be something--but note that no one even considers he
would have a chance at ITU racing, which even he knows he would not.

"Harold Buck" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> In article <[email protected]>, "Rebecca Bishop" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> >
> > Interesting calculations and very pretty scenario - I agree that at
this
> > pace it would indeed be pretty tough to keep up all that speed breaking
away
> > etc...but you unfortuantely are missing some very fundamental yet very critical points:
> >
> > 1. The women ITU triathletes are not reaching 40km/hr together
drafting! -
> > they are quite a bit slower than this in the majority of races.
>
> I'd bet if you re-calculate, you'll find the general conclusions stand.
>
> > 2. There are also ways to slow the pack right down when 'road racing',
there
> > are tactics to counter attack, tactics to tire out riders like bending
metal
> > backwards and forwards, then there are the tri U turn-arounds to really
get
> > those sitting at the back dropped...it all takes it toll...then you
attack
> > with the utmost of precision and surprise at the pack's slowest pace-
you're
> > gone down the road.
>
> Yeah, and the pack wakes up and says, "Oh, somebody's breaking away. Let's reel them in while
> using much less energy than they do, and then kick their ass in the run since they'll be spent
> from riding alone for so long."
>
> >All of this is heightened if you can work as a team. So getting away should be a breeze even if
> >you are not actually the
strongest
> > rider!
> >
> > I rest my case:)
>
> If you say so. How about you rest it when people actually start successfully doing what you're
> proposing (people who aren't already much stronger than the competition)? Because I'm just not
> going to buy it until then.
>
>
> --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:
>
>> 1. The women ITU triathletes are not reaching 40km/hr together drafting! - they are quite a bit
>> slower than this in the majority of races.
>
>I'd bet if you re-calculate, you'll find the general conclusions stand.

Yeah, the numbers would get very slightly closer together, but not by enough to change the
outcome much.

>> 2. There are also ways to slow the pack right down when 'road racing', there are tactics to
>> counter attack, tactics to tire out riders like bending metal backwards and forwards, then
>> there are the tri U turn-arounds to really get those sitting at the back dropped...it all
>> takes it toll...then you attack with the utmost of precision and surprise at the pack's
>> slowest pace- you're gone down the road.
>
>Yeah, and the pack wakes up and says, "Oh, somebody's breaking away. Let's reel them in while using
>much less energy than they do, and then kick their ass in the run since they'll be spent from
>riding alone for so long."

If the pack is smart, they let the escapee go - but just until they're almost out of sight. Then
they let them dangle there, cooking themselves. To add insult to injury, the pack can pick up the
pace the last couple kms and roll into T2 on the escapee's wheel.

But that would be mean... ;-)

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

Chris Freeman

Guest
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Mark Hickey wrote:

> If the pack is smart, they let the escapee go - but just until they're almost out of sight. Then
> they let them dangle there, cooking themselves. To add insult to injury, the pack can pick up the
> pace the last couple kms and roll into T2 on the escapee's wheel.
>
> But that would be mean... ;-)

This was what really prompted me to start this discussion. I don't care what anyone says about
having to be a really good cyclist to hang on to the end of the pack, this style muddles the whole
race into a run. At least it does for those actually competing for a win.

In this months Triathlete magazine there is a nice description of the St.Anthony tri in Florida. The
exact scenario as Mark describes is what happened.

"I was pretty happy with the 25-second buffer," Harrop said of the group's lead out of the water.
"But we just worked that extra bit harder and at the end of the bike didn't end up with the lead.
Instead of busting our butts, it probably would have been better for us to cruise the swim and sit
with them and bike."

This seems to be the same description I read of every draft-legal race. Maybe there are some that
don't end up this way, but everyone I've ever watched and read a race report on looks exactly the
same. Cut to T2 and see who can run the fastest.

chris

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<!doctype html public "-//w3c//dtd html 4.0 transitional//en"> <html> Mark Hickey wrote: <blockquote
TYPE=CITE>If the pack is smart, they let the escapee go - but just until they're <br>almost out of
sight. Then they let them dangle there, cooking <br>themselves. To add insult to injury,
the pack can pick up the pace <br>the last couple kms and roll into T2 on the escapee's wheel.
<p>But that would be mean... ;-)</blockquote> This was what really prompted me to start this
discussion. I don't care what anyone says about having to be a really good cyclist to hang on to
the end of the pack, this style muddles the whole race into a run. At least it does for those
actually competing for a win.
<q>In this months Triathlete magazine there is a nice description of the St.Anthony tri in Florida.
The exact scenario as Mark describes is what happened.
<q><a>"I was pretty happy with the 25-second buffer," Harrop said of the group's lead out of the
water. "But we just worked that extra bit harder and at the end of the bike didn't end up with
the lead. Instead of busting our butts, it probably would have been better for us to cruise
the swim and sit with them and bike."</i><i></i>
<r>This seems to be the same description I read of every draft-legal race. Maybe there are some that
don't end up this way, but everyone I've ever watched and read a race report on looks exactly the
same. Cut to T2 and see who can run the fastest.
<s>chris</html>

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H

Harold Buck

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

> Mark Hickey wrote:
>
> > If the pack is smart, they let the escapee go - but just until they're almost out of sight. Then
> > they let them dangle there, cooking themselves. To add insult to injury, the pack can pick up
> > the pace the last couple kms and roll into T2 on the escapee's wheel.
> >
> > But that would be mean... ;-)
>
> This was what really prompted me to start this discussion. I don't care what anyone says about
> having to be a really good cyclist to hang on to the end of the pack, this style muddles the whole
> race into a run. At least it does for those actually competing for a win.
>
> In this months Triathlete magazine there is a nice description of the St.Anthony tri in Florida.
> The exact scenario as Mark describes is what happened.
>
> "I was pretty happy with the 25-second buffer," Harrop said of the group's lead out of the water.
> "But we just worked that extra bit harder and at the end of the bike didn't end up with the lead.
> Instead of busting our butts, it probably would have been better for us to cruise the swim and sit
> with them and bike."
>
> This seems to be the same description I read of every draft-legal race. Maybe there are some that
> don't end up this way, but everyone I've ever watched and read a race report on looks exactly the
> same. Cut to T2 and see who can run the fastest.

One of my best friends, who'd never seen triathlon before the Sydney Olympics, described triathlon
as "a 10-k run for people who can swim and bike."

--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:

>One of my best friends, who'd never seen triathlon before the Sydney Olympics, described triathlon
>as "a 10-k run for people who can swim and bike."

I attended both of them. They were bloody BORING. Imagine that - the first triathlon in the
Olympics, and they almost put me to sleep.

They really weren't anything more than you describe above - sadly.

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

Harold Buck

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

> Harold Buck <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> >One of my best friends, who'd never seen triathlon before the Sydney Olympics, described
> >triathlon as "a 10-k run for people who can swim and bike."
>
> I attended both of them. They were bloody BORING. Imagine that - the first triathlon in the
> Olympics, and they almost put me to sleep.
>
> They really weren't anything more than you describe above - sadly.

Well, there was a big crach in the men's race. THAT'S what we need: for people to start saying "Oh,
people only go to those triath-A-lon thingies because they want to see a bike crash."

--Harold Buck

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

- Homer J. Simpson
 
T

Tom Rodgers

Guest
I actually liked the USA Olympic trials in Dallas in 2000 (my home town), especially the women's
race. There was even an age-group race earlier int he morning, and it was fun to warm up with the
pro women.

I understand that draft-legal ITU racing is a completely different sport than we do, and there are
27 people in America who do it. But then again, how many Americans will be racing in Tour de France
next month? But that doesn't make it all bad.

I think those who criticize ITU and draft legal racing would be best served by directing their
efforts at making IRONMAN distance an Olympic sport and insist that this format be non-drafting,
with penalities accessed as in Kona with a sin-bin, so that victors cross the finish line and truly
win the race.

Hey, the sport is still 99% non-drafting age-grouper longer stuff and pro Ironman, and the marketers
know that. I don't think there's anything wrong with their being ITU stuff, anymore than there is
anything wrong with track cyclists or one-day classic bike races on flatter terrain. No, it's not
the same is TDF, but it's a living for the pros and okay to watch.

The problem is that the rest of the world likes ITU, and if we do nothing about it, we'll end
up like male distance runners from the USA--which there haven't been any of since Prefontaine
and Shorter.

We have an "Harold Buck" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> In article <[email protected]>, Mark Hickey <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > Harold Buck <[email protected]> wrote:
> >
> > >One of my best friends, who'd never seen triathlon before the Sydney Olympics, described
> > >triathlon as "a 10-k run for people who can swim
and
> > >bike."
> >
> > I attended both of them. They were bloody BORING. Imagine that - the first triathlon in the
> > Olympics, and they almost put me to sleep.
> >
> > They really weren't anything more than you describe above - sadly.
>
>
> Well, there was a big crach in the men's race. THAT'S what we need: for people to start saying
> "Oh, people only go to those triath-A-lon thingies because they want to see a bike crash."
>
> --Harold Buck
>
>
> "I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."
>
> - Homer J. Simpson
 
T

Tom Henderson

Guest
"Tom Rodgers" <[email protected]> wrote in
news:[email protected]:

> The problem is that the rest of the world likes ITU, and if we do nothing about it, we'll end up
> like male distance runners from the USA--which there haven't been any of since Prefontaine and
> Shorter.
>

I haven't heard a groundswell of non-US age groupers in support of draftathalon either, or pros for
that matter. Have you?
 
T

Tom Rodgers

Guest
Apparently, someone must be going to events and buying products from the sponsors, or there wouldn't
be so many worldwide races. Over 150,000 in Syndney were there for the Olympic event--more
spectators than any other Olympic event, including the cycling road race/time trial. There really is
no other way for short-course pros to make a living at this point.

I am not at all saying that age-group competition should become draft legal--I am an age-grouper and
like it that way without drafting. But there's really no way of making short-course pros go back to
the old format at this point.

Let me put it this way: other countries aren't so RESISTANT to the draft-legal pro format as
Americans are. You pretty much have to recruit kids who want to go to the Olympics or seek out
people from other sports. In Europe it's more like building up cyclists there, much better.

Ironman and half-Ironman distance racing in America is not in jeopardy from draft-legal Olypmic
racing--it continues to grow. But then again, so does ITU. What's the problem? Unless you are like a
religous fundamentalist who can only see literal interprations of morals and rules, both can
peacefully co-exist.

This is a foregone conclusion with governming bodies in other countries, and actually with USAT as
well. If we want to win at the Olympics and the shoft-course world championships, we have to learn
to race draft legal, and produce better 10K runners. That's really the problem in America: slow 10K
runners. Even age-group runners will tell you that if the winner in a big-city 10K went to Europe
and did a local amateur race, they wouldn't even make the top ten. The average and the pro distance
runner in Europe is just much, must faster, just as are 95% of cyclists (except Lance Armstrong and
maybe five other people). If we treated distance running and cycling the way we do swimming in the
USA, we would be tops in short-course triathlon. Note that the American women doing so well right
now came out of collegiate and Olypmic swimming.

I say it again: no male distance runners out of this country in 20 years. Even now, Russian and
fromer eastern-bloc immigrants to American win most of the local road races, having been trained in
the old socialist system.

"Tom Henderson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> "Tom Rodgers" <[email protected]> wrote in
> news:[email protected]:
>
> > The problem is that the rest of the world likes ITU, and if we do nothing about it, we'll end up
> > like male distance runners from the USA--which there haven't been any of since Prefontaine and
> > Shorter.
> >
>
> I haven't heard a groundswell of non-US age groupers in support of draftathalon either, or pros
> for that matter. Have you?