The ITU have come out this week and said that the 2016 Sprint Distance World Championships will be draft legal for all age group athletes.
Will the qualification races be draft legal? Will there be licensing required to race draft legal? Road bike or TT Bike?
The move to the draft legal format does remove the constant issue of TO’s interpretation of the drafting rules and will make for some very exciting racing with packs of stong swim/bikers trying to burn the legs of the quick runners but what about the safety aspect? Watching people riding in bunches can be scary enough let alone adding the adreneline and ego of a World Chamionship Race!
If people are given enough opportunity to learn their racing craft at a more local level this will be a great decision by the ITU. If not, it could turn into a pile of bloody bodies in the middle of a World Championship race!
The other issue we see is how do you start the races? You can’t have the 3-4 minute gap that we currently see between age groups as you will potentially see Women caught up in groups of Men and getting an unfair free ride, whether that be away from a group or getting dragged up to a lead group.
I’m sure we will see lots of intersting commentary on this topic over the near future and it will be a great new twist to our sport.
If your keen to head these Championships, you’ll need to be strong in both draft legal and non-drafting disciplines. As at this stage the qualification rules have not been set.
Might be a good time to get involved with your local cycling club and learn the craft of draft legal racing through Crit or Road racing as you’ll find the strong riders will be very skilled in these arts.
At this stage there has been no changes to the olympic (standard) distance races.
So keep your eyes on your local association as more info comes to light.