Draft-legal racing: how to overtake in a slipstream

Got a draft-legal triathlon coming up and worried about riding and overtaking in a pack? We explain the three safe ways to switch between pacemakers

Alistair Brownlee leading the pack

There are three main ways to safely switch between pacemakers when you are riding in a group…


A. Single change

This gives you the opportunity to change partners and also means that nobody has to move out any further into the road.

1 The riders are in a compact group when the leading pair shout “change”.

2 The inside front rider eases
slightly and the outside lead rider swings across to the inside.

3 The outside rider moves up alongside the front-inside rider.

B. Double change

This method means you can ‘buddy up’ and stick with your partner throughout the ride.

1 The lead pair move out slightly, having checked it’s safe to do so and shouted “change” to alert the riders behind.

2 The lead pair now slow down, allowing the following pairs to move through towards the front.

3 The second pair are now at the
front; the original leading pair tuck
in at the back for a rest.

C. Through and off

This helps maximise the speed of your group and also shares the work evenly.

1 The outside lead rider moves to take the lead, gliding over to the inside line; the inside rear rider moves across to take the outside rear position.

2 The outside line of riders move up, so the outside rider is next to the inside leading rider.


3 This rotation continues. It’s the same process as the single change manoeuvre but carried out continuously and at speed.

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