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This excerpt from the USA Triathlon Training Series will freshen you up on key rules that can make a difference between the race of your life and utter disappointment.
Triathlon Bike Rules from Endurance Planet on Vimeo.
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Nice use of race video to attempt to illustrate some of the Position rules but the narrator blew it. He explained some of the rules incorrectly.
1. He explains (0:42 in video) that you have only 15 seconds to pass another cyclist. True…but that time constraint only matters once you enter within 3 bike lengths (the draft zone).
2. At 0:47 he makes the very important point that once you initiate a pass you MUST pass (overtake) the other cyclist (leading edge front wheel must pass the leading front edge of front wheel of cyclist you are passing). He failed to note that if you aren’t able to make the pass in 15 seconds and opt to drop back in order to move back over to the right you’ve still violated Rule 5.10a since you failed to complete the pass after entering the draft zone. The point being you have to be sure you CAN pass the cyclist in front BEFORE you enter the draft zone.
3. It would be helpful if he noted that all that is required is that the leading edge of your front wheel pass the leading edge of the front wheel of the cyclist you are passing. Once this happens, the overtaken (passed) cyclist MUST drop back and out of the draft zone within 15 seconds….thus making room for you to move over.
4. At 1:12 in the video he incorrectly states that you must completely pass the other cyclist in order to move to the right. True, if you have sufficient speed you should be able to completely pass the other cyclist and move over. But it is actually the overtaken cyclist’s responsibility to clear the draft zone by dropping back three bike lengths within 15 seconds thus give you space to move over (Rule 5.10g)
5. At 1:40 in the video he correctly states that an over taken cyclist must drop back out of the draft zone before mounting another attack to pass (Rule 5.10g) but I think he may confuse the issue by stating a cyclist who fails to complete a pass within 15 seconds “must” drop back out of the draft zone before attempting to pass again. This implies that a rider can repeatedly enter the draft zone to attempt, and fail, to pass another cyclist. Actually, you should NEVER get closer than three bike lengths unless you are CERTAIN you can pass the other cyclist. To fail and drop back is a violation of Rule 5.10a. This prevents cyclist from repeatedly entering the draft zone for 14 seconds, dropping back, and re-entering again; in effect drafting for the entire length of the bike course.
I like your use of the race video and overlays to illustrate the position rules but the narration needs to be cleaned up a bit. You should consider making more videos to explain other position rules (5.10d, 5.10f) as well as some of the other commonly violated rules. But perhaps you should first consult a Certified USAT Official for clarification.
Hi, just stumbled on your page from reddit. It’s not an article I would typically read, but I loved your perspective on it. Thanks for making a blog post worth reading!