Home > News

ITU announces draft-legal race option for the 2016 Age Group Sprint World Championships

Photo by Delly Carr / triathlon.org
Photo by Delly Carr / triathlon.org

In a recent memo to its National Federations, the International Triathlon Union announced that the 2016 ITU Age Group Sprint World Championships will move from a draft-illegal to draft-legal event.

With the change, the draft-legal championship race will follow draft-legal rules. Throughout the implementation process the technical committee will continue to review the rules for age group races.There is currently no suggestion that the ITU will make any changes for Olympic or longer distance age group events. The logistics are still  unclear. For example, will a rider get pulled if about to be lapped? Certainly some athletes will welcome to move away from the TT bike set up, while others will find drafting too nerve-racking.

This move could dramatically change the sport. Athletes will need to learn to ride very differently, but the shift will also change the way athletes approach their run training.  There will also need to be a number of draft legal races established in the lead up. According to the ITU, this move is more inclusive globally, as age group athletes now have the opportunity to choose to compete in either draft-legal or non-draft legal races at the ITU World Championships. One thing is for certain, the change will make the sport more spectator friendly.

Is this a good move? Let us know.