Sunday, April 29, 2012

Olympic Triathlon: Drafting vs. Non Drafting

There has been a lot being said about the merits of drafting vs non drafting triathlon. One is supposed to be the race of truth and the other a swim/run.  The problem I believe is that they are both too gray. In ITU racing the quality of the field, size, and course play way too huge a role. In non-drafting you almost always still need to stay with "the pack."

How to improve ITU style possibly.
Lessen the field size.  Take the field size down to 10 or 20 and have Friday and Sunday races. This allows you to follow some people in the first race and root for them in the final.  There would be smaller packs and more breaks and generally more exciting.  The competitive races look like a shampoo, blow dry, and fast run to any viewer. The real problem is that almost NO ONE races this format. They grab a whole bunch of swim/runners and teach them to bike. Not to say that Simon, Gomez and Brownlee are freaking awesome and fast and would tear a new hole into non drafting races.

Shorten the distance. To do the aforementioned you would have to shorten the distance to maybe 1000, 20k, 5k.  You could mess with it quite a bit depending on the field or format throughout the season.

Messing with the field size could also make the courses more interesting. They already run loops for the crowd so this should be a no brainer. You could race from the swim onto a crit course and race by crit rules.  You could even have primes during the season to shorten the run course by 200m for prime winners. Would be exciting as hell.

I guess that is what I am really getting at. Since it is a conglomeration of different sports it is really hard to get the tactics and see the struggle especially since it is basically the most elitist of all sports as far as access goes.

Then there is the non drafting races which really should be time trial starts to be a race of truth. Or at least better drafting rules and enforcement. I also think the Iron format should be in the Olympics as well though.

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