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Drafting or coincidence? You decide
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So, there's a big half iron distance race. The cumulative splits after the bike (before T2) for the top 15 of one age group are as follows:

2:46:11
2:46:12
2:47:52
2:48:25
2:48:46
2:48:54
2:48:58
2:48:59
2:49:00
2:49:08
2:49:56
2:50:06
2:50:08
2:50:13
2:50:17

I see some groupings there (like 10 out of 15?), but one could give the benefit of the doubt and say they were riding legally.

Now, let's toss in the previous wave (in blue), adjust for the gap between waves, and draw some lines:

2:46:11
2:46:12
--------
2:46:40
2:46:43
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2:47:29
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2:47:43
2:47:52
2:47:55
2:48:04
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2:48:22
2:48:25
2:48:25
2:48:30
--------
2:48:46
2:48:54
2:48:54
2:48:58
2:48:59
2:49:00
2:49:04
2:49:08
--------
2:49:46
2:49:53
2:49:56
2:50:06
2:50:06
2:50:08
2:50:09
2:50:13
2:50:15
2:50:16
2:50:17
2:50:18

Coincidences? As Faux News says: "We report, you decide".

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Last edited by: klehner: Jun 12, 07 6:25
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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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That's a lot of work to tell everyone what they already know---that there's drafting at Eagleman. But I will say that if there's more than 1s between riders, they're riding legally. At 22-24 mph, 3 seconds is plenty legal.

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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [eganski] [ In reply to ]
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But I will say that if there's more than 1s between riders, they're riding legally. At 22-24 mph, 3 seconds is plenty legal.
That's when they are moving, not when they are coming through the last turns, getting their feet out of their shoes, and otherwise prepping for dismount.

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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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Yeah, that makes sense. Good work....

Eganski tweets
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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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I'm a fairly new triathlete and just attended a camp held by a well respected, successful coach (and competitive athlete). His take is that it's smart to "legally draft" as best you can. He strongly emphasized don't break the rules; but just as strongly encouraged using the rules to the best advantage you could.

I've "lurked" a bit around here and the drafting thing seems a consistent topic. What's your take? OK to use rules to your advantage...or follow the "spirit" of the rules? For me pretty irrelevant as I'm largely MOP, but I'm curious what the guys at the front think...
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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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I was the 2:46.12 in this analysis. Had a mechanical coming out of T1 & bottle loss/retrieval at the beginning of the bike and rode through most or all of those black splits. Wound up with a few hangers on. Around mile 30 a ref pinged some/most of them and they broke up/had to stand down on the course at the penalty box. Probably the 2:47- 2:48 group judging from the wave colors. The 2:46.11 guy finished strong and caught back up with a couple miles to go. Definitely a couple wheelsuckers in there but also some clean riders getting boxed in. FWIW.

Was my first time racing Eagleman, enjoyed it!

Marty Gaal, CSCS
One Step Beyond Coaching
Triangle Open Water Swim Series | Old School Aquathon Series
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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [martyg] [ In reply to ]
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i'd take a 2:22 bike split there any day, even with the dingleberry mess you had.. by the way, nice PR @ 4:17
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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [tomtri] [ In reply to ]
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[quote="tomtri"]I'm a fairly new triathlete and just attended a camp held by a well respected, successful coach (and competitive athlete). His take is that it's smart to "legally draft" as best you can. He strongly emphasized don't break the rules; but just as strongly encouraged using the rules to the best advantage you could.

I've "lurked" a bit around here and the drafting thing seems a consistent topic. What's your take? OK to use rules to your advantage...or follow the "spirit" of the rules? For me pretty irrelevant as I'm largely MOP, but I'm curious what the guys at the front think...[/quote]
Drafting is cheating (on the bike, draft away on the swim-run!).

Being 1m outside the draft zone is not. It's that simple. Following the "spirit" of the rules is not enough - you follow the rules or you don't race (or shouldn't at least).

It's perfectly legal to sit 8-10m behind your main competitor and pace yourself of them, as part of your race strategy. But you can't go inside the 7x3m box unless you are overtaking.

At a high pace, sitting 8-10m behind someone may give you a slight advantage. It's within the rules to use that, so go ahead. If you don't want to, then don't, but don't moan if others are trying to draft in a strictly *legal* fashion. In a race, it makes sense to maximise chance things that can swing in your favour. Then again, I think it is rare to find someone who is going exactly at your pace, hence I would look cynically at the results above and suspect they might be drafting. Then again, they could just have all been too chicken to overtake and push on in case they weren't fast enough!

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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [tomtri] [ In reply to ]
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I'm a fairly new triathlete and just attended a camp held by a well respected, successful coach (and competitive athlete). His take is that it's smart to "legally draft" as best you can. He strongly emphasized don't break the rules; but just as strongly encouraged using the rules to the best advantage you could.

I've "lurked" a bit around here and the drafting thing seems a consistent topic. What's your take? OK to use rules to your advantage...or follow the "spirit" of the rules? For me pretty irrelevant as I'm largely MOP, but I'm curious what the guys at the front think...

My take? Don't cheat. Last time I did Eagleman, I was first onto the bike and 6th off the bike in my AG: each guy who passed me did so individually, and I wouldn't and couldn't have gotten on their wheels. I don't know that I've ever been in a situation on the bike where I was in a position to "legally draft": I'm fast enough in the water that 1) there aren't a whole lot of folks around me on the bike, 2) I can't stay (legally) with anyone who can catch me on the bike, and 3) I wouldn't want to ride with anyone I can catch.

As Mr. Egan said, maybe these guys all were riding the requisite 7m apart. But as Mr. Gaal says, it didn't appear that way. If indeed they got nabbed with ~25 miles to go, it's truly remarkable that they still managed to finish together. I guess I'm not competitive enough to stay with everyone who goes by, or I'm not fast enough to be at the very pointy end where everyone (even across two age groups) is within .1% fitness levels.

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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [martyg] [ In reply to ]
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Awe Marty now you have gone and done it, don't spoil the fun

----------------------------------------------------------
I'm just a 10 cent rider on a $2,500.00 Bike

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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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Nope, I agree with you. 3s measured at mile 30 of the bike vs. 3s measured at T2 where everyone is unclipping and "spacing" themselves to be safe is a little different. Hopefully they rode legally, but who knows.

Tomtri--you don't get awards for following what you feel is the 'spirit' of the rules. Use the rules to your advantage, and that includes using the draft to slingshot your way while passing.

Eganski tweets
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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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I think the analysis would be a lot clearer if you correlated swim times, and accumulated times coming into T2 with the bike splits. Otherwise, you could have ten people with identical bike splits, but if there swim times ranged over ten minutes, they would never even have seen each other.


Behold the turtle! He makes progess only when he sticks his neck out. (James Bryant Conant)
GET OFF THE F*%KING WALL!!!!!!! (Doug Stern)
Brevity is the soul of wit. (William Shakespeare)
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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [parkito] [ In reply to ]
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Those are the cumulative (swim - T1 - bike) times that Ken used.

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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks Ken (and others). I'm slow out of the water but pretty quick on the bike. Camp coach's comment was, "use the draft as you pass people, take all 30 seconds if it meets your pace." Seems this makes sense as long as you pass within time limits and maintain legal separation otherwise. Anything short of that would be cheating... the opportunity to cheat is certainly there if one chose to do that, I'm just trying to understand race strategy relative to staying within rules while competing best I can. I can see the difficulty in trying to race "clean" if even a small number of people are not following the rules - so many people on the course (maybe not for you fast guys at the very front, but LOTS of people for me to leapfrog through MOP) and the traffic jams can be thick...
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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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I did that analysis too last night. Its too bad when that stuff happens. Fortunately I got "out of sight, out of mind" in my wave and only one of those guys from the "pack" (not insinuating anything) caught and passed me.

I didn't notice anything which resembled Clearwater. I was never passed, and it is hard to tell if packs are riding legally when passing them at a higher rate of speed. I did see a couple individual guys who were going for their big 70.3 PR, but personally I didn't see anything like Clearwater. A friend who was in my swim wave claimed there was a huge pack which rolled into T2 5 minutes behind me. It looks like the guy who took the Kona slot in my AG was in that group, but I am pretty sure he had his nose in the wind pulling the group the whole day ;-)

It seems there was a distinct difference in the pace of the draft packs at Clearwater and at Eagleman. The one "pack" I saw on Sunday was from a different AG and they were puttering along at about 23 mph. I had a little fun riding by them at about 26 and telling them to "ride like men".

The one time I really got upset was in the last couple of miles. I had been catching a group for a while. They were not riding very fast, but they were a full fledged peleton. I was trying to pass them at the point on the course where the bike and run courses converge. I really had to yell to try to get by. I yelled something to the effect of "Its pathetic if you are going to draft and go that slow!" That was my Irish temper getting the best of me. It was ludicrous the way they were riding. In fact, they almost took out a female pro who was running the other way. This would have been the section Natascha could have seen, if she was also referring to the AG competition.

Overall, I am totally pumped about my 4:14. I know it was 100% me. My 1.01 VI on my powermeter validates the fact there was no drafting for me!

Didn't take my slot to Draftwater. I'm certainly not going back till they get the kinks worked out. I think I might close out the season at Longhornman in Austin.
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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [More is MORE] [ In reply to ]
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Those are the cumulative (swim - T1 - bike) times that Ken used.


Ah, well that's different. Nevermind. ;-)

Actually, from my relative weak biking abillity, they looked like typical bike splits for a half IM for us older folk.

One other thing regarding the original subject, how many competitors were in this age group?


Behold the turtle! He makes progess only when he sticks his neck out. (James Bryant Conant)
GET OFF THE F*%KING WALL!!!!!!! (Doug Stern)
Brevity is the soul of wit. (William Shakespeare)
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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [parkito] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
I think the analysis would be a lot clearer if you correlated swim times, and accumulated times coming into T2 with the bike splits. Otherwise, you could have ten people with identical bike splits, but if there swim times ranged over ten minutes, they would never even have seen each other.
The times posted are the times the racers crossed the timing mat at the entry to T2, with 8 minutes subtracted from the earlier wave to adjust for the different wave start times. If Racer1 from the earlier wave did 2:58, then he shows up at 2:50 (as if he did 2:50 starting in the next wave). Thus, the times reflect the gaps in real time: if two racers from different waves have the same split in the list above, then they crossed the timing mat within :01 of each other in real time. Hopefully, they saw each other.

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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [NM_123] [ In reply to ]
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BUT, you can use the overtaking exception to your advantage. Should you find yourself near someone of a very similar bike pace, consistently passing and being passed (using only the 15 seconds allowed for each) will LEGALLY allow you to draft in a non-drafting event.

In this case, you can keep your speed up, and take short breaks while being overtaken.

I think this is generally difficult to do for any length of time (unless you are riding with someone who agrees to work like this), but it is drafting, and it is legal.



mckenzie
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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [parkito] [ In reply to ]
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One other thing regarding the original subject, how many competitors were in this age group?
There were approximately 230 finishers in each of the men's 35-39 and 40-44.

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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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I have never "drafted" in a race, other then drafting legally. I ALWAYS pull in behind and slingshot around within the rules. The short "draft" you experience when doing this is worth it, even with much slower riders.

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Paul
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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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Ken,

There is little doubt in my mind that there was drafting going on and that the people you have singled out probably took part in it. However, I think that it is difficult to determine that by looking at their bike finish times. In a lot of races I have been in, the end of the bike course (200 or 300 meters) gets a little bunched up with turns and areas that you need to slow down. Then there is also bike dismounts and everything (isn't the timing mat usually at the bike corral entrance?).

I know that it is more than possible to have a bike finish time within 3 seconds of a similar age-group competitor (who you started the bike with) and have no illegal drafting. It has happened to me, twice last year in fact.

So, I'm not disagreeing, as much as offering a possible explanation.

Bernie

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2013-2014 Detroit Lions---13-3 until proved otherwise.
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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [zipp] [ In reply to ]
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I have never "drafted" in a race, other then drafting legally. I ALWAYS pull in behind and slingshot around within the rules. The short "draft" you experience when doing this is worth it, even with much slower riders.
I only do that with riders who are going at a reasonable speed, and appear to be riding predictably. I don't get too close.

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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [slowbern] [ In reply to ]
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I know that it is more than possible to have a bike finish time within 3 seconds of a similar age-group competitor (who you started the bike with) and have no illegal drafting. It has happened to me, twice last year in fact.

So, I'm not disagreeing, as much as offering a possible explanation.
Absolutely. I've come off the bike with a competitor, but not one who I also got onto the bike with, and always coincidentally. But when you have groups doing that, I think your explanation is found wanting.

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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [tomtri] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
Thanks Ken (and others). I'm slow out of the water but pretty quick on the bike. Camp coach's comment was, "use the draft as you pass people, take all 30 seconds if it meets your pace."
That'd be 15 seconds longer than legal :-)

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Re: Drafting or coincidence? You decide [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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I'm just thinking that if the bike finish was "corralled" in such a way that the last 200 meters was a little windy and single file, it would be really easy for cyclists who were 15 seconds apart to become 2 seconds apart. Also, and I'm not a physics major, as speeds slow down (like at the end of the bike in the chute) don't the drafting effects decrease?

Bernie

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"Slowbern has always made astute observations."-Casey 03/10/2009
2013-2014 Detroit Lions---13-3 until proved otherwise.
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