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Cycling Conduct: Drafting

By USA Triathlon | Jan. 21, 2014, 5:26 p.m. (ET)

This week’s rule is the first in Article 5.10 — Position Fouls. 

All of the position fouls rules are interrelated and form a system that allows for effective enforcement and fair racing. The first rule is 5.10a—Drafting. The rule disallows cyclists from following closely behind another cyclist or motor vehicle.  Following closely is called drafting and the drafting cyclist benefits from reduced air resistance thereby saving a great deal of energy. 

Participants cited for drafting will receive a time penalty.  To avoid being penalized, cyclists who enter the draft zone must progress through it and complete a pass in no more than 15 seconds. 

This rule reads:

5.10a. Drafting. Except as otherwise provided in these rules, while on the cycling course, no participant shall permit his drafting zone to intersect with or remain intersected with the drafting zone of another cyclist or that of a motor vehicle. With respect to a motor vehicle (including authorized race vehicles); it is the athlete’s responsibility to move out of the vehicle’s drafting zone or to continually communicate to the vehicle to move away.

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