Draft legal - runners sitting on wheels.
My son has been competing in triathlon for the last two years and has become a stand out cyclist among the rest of the competitors his age. He places very well but when it comes to draft legal events is getting super frustrated that the good runners are just sitting on his wheel on the bike and refusing to share the workload. We don't feel we should just accept this. What we want to understand is how aggressive he can be without contravening the rules to either get rid of them or force them to put in. Reading the rules I could interpret that slowing down(braking hard) while not to the left might be construed as blocking. But if he is to the left of the track does that then become the responsibility of the rider(s) behind to keep a safe distance? I won't beat around the bush, if a runner is sucking on his wheel and unresponsive to requests to share the workload he'd be quite happy to help them kiss the concrete when their front wheel makes contact with his back wheel or at least making following close to him seem like an unnecessary risk. Of course this is playing absolute hardball but is there a way according to the rules that this can be done (sudden braking to initiate a possible wheel touch or to instil fear) within the rules? Surely the runners can't have it all their own way in these events.
It is a tricky one isn't it which is why we're trying to understand what is possible and legal within the rules. Let's be honest draft legal events either by design or default penalise the good cyclists. Drafting in the run is virtually a negligible advantage. The swim from our experience sees some incredibly dirty play going on. There's kicking, gouging, pulling off of googles, leg grabbing, etc and there's never any price to be paid for those that do this but when we get out onto the bike all the sudden we're expected to be nice as pie gentlemen ready to be taken full advantage of.
If Im racing in a draft legal event then I'm going to sit on the wheel of any good cyclist that I can , hopefully saving myself for the run and hopefully finish before the better cyclist that has done all the work, why wouldn't I if I wanted a win.
Birdman I feel you and son's pain, it used to happen to me regularly when I competed. It's a blight on the sport that they make the best events draft legal which really only judges who is the best of two of the disciplines instead of all three. Cycling is virtually cancelled out for draft legal. There are things you can do within the rules like getting ahead out corners, etc but a couple of runners working together on the bike will easily pull that back in short time and will be back on your son's wheel. You probably will have guessed that the responses you've had so far have all been from runners .You're on the right track by the way and it's not necessary to have to brake very hard to cause a bit of trouble behind you. One of my finest memories is looking back after powering out of a 180 degree turning point in a wet race and seeing the three that had been circling through and taking turns in my draft were crashed out after sliding across the road on their asses because I made them make a "mistake" with some well timed touching of the brakes on the approach to the corner.Always remember the cycle course is always very big and that they can't perch an official every step along it. Just the same as the swim, what an official doesn't see or hear didn't happen.