Aiming to make triathlon racing fairer for all, Challenge Family has confirmed its commitment to a 20 metre no drafting rule, which will be enforced at The Championship 2018. According to a release from Challenge Family, the move is in response to the ‘confusion and growing unrest amongst the triathlon community regarding fairness at major events’.

Due to take place in Samorin, Slovakia at the x-bionic sphere sports facility and resort next June, The Championship 2018 will be the second iteration of Challenge Family’s middle-distance qualifier competition, following the success of the inaugural event earlier this year.

What is the 20 metre no drafting rule?
In order to negate any aerodynamic advantages a rider might achieve from following behind a fellow competitor, athletes will be asked to move out of any draft shorter than 20 metres when preparing to pass alongside.

Zibi Szlufcik, CEO of Challenge Family, said, “Following the success of The Championship 2017, many athletes commented extremely positively on the introduction of the 20 metre no draft rule in the bike leg, and how it maintained a standard for fair racing. We will, therefore, be bringing it back for The Championship 2018, and we hope this encourages even more triathletes to take part in Challenge Family races in order to qualify.”

To help administer the rule, signs and markers will be placed along the course, to help guide athletes to estimate the 20 metre rule effectively. More draft officials will be present on the course; and each rider will have 40 seconds in which to pass another competitor.

The 20 metre no drafting rule has been enforced with the aim of ensuring that The Championship 2018 ‘continues to be one of the fairest races in the calendar, for pro athletes and age-groupers alike’. Competitors have a further 10 races in which to qualify for the event in Samorin, with Challenge Florianopolis the next in the international series, taking place on 3 December, in Santa Catarina, Brazil.

The Championship 2017 champion Lionel Sanders said of the rule, “This year’s race was phenomenal, and I think the introduction of the 20 metre no draft rule certainly contributed to this. More races worldwide should implement this as standard.”

Along with the impressive venue of the x-bionic sphere, and a prize purse of €150,000 to be divided between male and female athletes, Challenge Family hopes to “attract an exciting line-up of professionals to the starting-line.”