What is drafting?
To draft is to enter the bicycle or vehicle drafting zone.
Drafting from another athlete or motor vehicle is forbidden. Athletes must reject attempts by others to draft.
An athlete is entitled to any position on the course, provided they get to that position first and without contacting others. When taking a position, an athlete must allow reasonable space for others to make normal movements without making contact. Adequate space must be available before passing. An athlete who approaches from any position to take advantage of the draft, bears responsibility for avoiding the draft.
What is the Bicycle draft zone?
The bicycle draft zone will be a rectangle 3 meters wide and 12 meters long.
The centre of the leading 3 meters edge will be measured from the leading edge of the front wheel.
An athlete may enter the draft zone of another athlete, but must be seen to be progressing through that zone. A maximum of 20 seconds will be allowed to pass through the zone of another athlete.
Vehicle draft zone: The vehicle draft zone will be a rectangle thirty-five (35) metres long by five (5) metres wide which surrounds every vehicle on the bike segment. The front edge of the vehicle will define the centre of the leading 5 metre edge of the rectangle.
Entry into the bicycle drafting zone: An athlete may enter a bike draft zone in the following circumstances:
- If the athlete enters the draft zone, and progresses through it within 20 seconds in the overtaking manoeuvre;
- For safety reasons;
- 100 metres before and after an aid station or transition area;
- At an acute turn;
- If the Technical Delegate excludes a section of the course because of narrow lanes, construction, detours, or for other safety reasons.
Overtaking: An athlete is passed when another athlete’s front wheel is ahead of theirs. Once overtaken, an athlete must move out of the draft zone of the leading athlete within 5 seconds.
Athletes must keep to the side of the course and not create a blocking incident. Blocking is where an athlete who is behind cannot pass due to the leading athlete being poorly placed on the course.
The Motorcycle/Technical Official will instruct the athletes during the briefing on which side they must pass another athlete when mounted on their bicycle.
Penalties for Drafting:
It is forbidden to draft in a race declared as draft-illegal.
Motorcycle/Technical Officials will notify the athletes who draft that they are subject to a time penalty sanction, if it is safe for them to do so. This notification must be clear and unambiguous. (A notice board will display all penalties in the Penalty Box)
The athlete sanctioned has to stop in the next Penalty Box and must stay there for a specific time depending on the race distance. 1 minute for sprint distance, 2 minutes for standard distance and 5 minutes for long distance.
It is the athlete’s responsibility to stop in the next Penalty Box. Failing to stop will result in a disqualification.
A second drafting offence will lead to a disqualification in standard distance events or shorter.
The third drafting offence will lead to disqualification for Long Distance events.
Please be advised that appeals/protests cannot be made against “judgment calls” made by officials. This includes, but is not limited to, drafting, dangerous riding, safety issues and unsporting conduct.
2) Appeals and protests
What is an appeal/protest?
An appeal is a request for a review of a decision made by a Technical Official.
A protest relates to the conduct of a competitor or race official.
Appeals/protests cannot be made against “judgment calls” made by officials. This includes, but is not limited to, drafting, dangerous riding, safety issues and unsporting conduct.
How do you lodge an appeal/protest?
If you wish to lodge an appeal/protest, you must verbally tell the Technical Official within 5 minutes of your race finish time. Paperwork for the appeal/protest must must be completed within 15 minutes of your race finish time (this paperwork will be provided by the Technical Official).
Is there a fee to lodge an appeal/protest?
There is a deposit of €30/£30, payable by the athlete lodging the appeal/protest. This deposit will be refunded if the appeal/protest is successful. If the appeal/protest is denied, there will be no refund and the money will be retained by Triathlon Ireland.
Further information can be found within ITU Competition Rules. When referencing this document, the following terms should be replaced:
• Race Referee by Technical Official
• ITU by Triathlon Ireland
• USD50 (or other USD amount until specified otherwise) by €30
• ITU Executive Board by TI Board
• Long Distance by Any race distance which is more than Standard distance
3) Barefoot running
A few instances of barefoot running have been reported at Triathlon Ireland sanctioned events over the past few months. The competitor will leave transition with their runners on, take them off on the course and replace them again prior to finishing the event. I would ask that you be vigilant when overseeing the run section of events, as barefoot running is not allowed and should result in the disqualification of the athlete. This is purely in the interest of competitor safety.
Details of all rules can be found in the Manual of Guidance or the ITU Rules on the Triathlon Ireland website.