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Drafting rules change for Ontario Triathletes and Duathletes

Sanctioned races to observe a 12 x 3 m draft zone.

With start of the triathlon season coming soon to Ontario, triathletes and duathletes need to be aware of a significant rule change in regards to the draft zone.

The board of Triathlon Ontario has agreed to enforce the ITU rules in the 2013 season, and that is likely the same for other provincial governing bodies for triathlon.

Here is the key change:

All athletes should be familiar with all of the rules in the ITU Competition Rules document to make rules are not inadvertently violated. It is the athlete’s responsibility to know the rules and the race course they are racing on.

Here are more rules specifics concerning Drafting from the ITU Competition Rules.

5.5. Drafting:

a.) General Guidelines

(i) There are two kinds of competitions, depending of the allowance of drafting:

  • Draft-legal races
  • Draft-illegal races

b.)  Draft-Illegal Races:

(i) Drafting from another athlete or motor vehicle is forbidden. Athletes must reject attempts by others to draft;

(ii) 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;

(iii) An athlete who approaches from any position to take advantage of the draft, bears responsibility for avoiding the draft;

(iv) To draft is to enter the bicycle or vehicle drafting zone:

  • Bicycle draft zone: the bicycle draft zone will be a rectangle 3 meters wide and 12 meters long. The center of the leading 3 meters edge will me 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 center of the leading 5 metre edge of the rectangle.

(v) 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.

(vi) 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 TD will instruct the athletes during the briefing on which side they must pass another athlete when mounted on their bicycle.

(vii) See the diagrams below for events where left hand side road rules apply.

5.6. Penalties for Drafting:

a.) It is forbidden to draft in a race declared as draft-illegal.

b.) Technical Officials will notify the athletes who draft they are subject to a time penalty sanction. This notification must be clear and unambiguous

c.) 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.

d.) It is the athlete’s responsibility to stop in the next Penalty Box. Failing to stop will result in a disqualification.

e.) A second drafting offence will lead to a disqualification in standard distance events or shorter.

f.) The third drafting offence will lead to disqualification for Long Distance events.