Triathlon Digest: Saturday, February 28, 1998
Vol. 2, No. 47
Published by Triathlon Central
In This Issue:
* Drafting debate (from James Bonney, USA)
* Reply from The Coast Report (from Col Stewart, Australia)
* Notes from the Czech Republic (from Milan Ripa, Czech Republic)
* Excerpt from USA Triathlon newsletter (from Steve Locke, USA)
From: James Bonney
Subject: Drafting debate
It would be nice to see some postings more focused around what the athletes
want instead of what the ITU has mandated. So many of you are just rolling
over and assume that the present situation is "just the way it is," so deal
Sure, there have been problems enforcing drafting, but what a pitiful display
of integrity and sportsmanship by the athletes not to follow the rules in the
first place. There was a posting not long ago that it was embarrasing for our
sport that when drafting was truly enforced, there were too many
I'm not embarrassed at all. I feel that those people didn't want to race in
a non-drafting format and really didn't deserve to be there. Don't race in
a non-drafting race if you don't want to play by the rules. There are
plenty of drafting races out there now. My point is that it doesn't make much
sense to just follow the pack and justify your actions just because others are
'doing it.' What's next? We can be fairly certain that there are some top
triathletes using illegal substances, does that mean it's OK now for everyone?
Get real people! Have a little self respect.
I personally don't like the drafting format. So I don't race in those events.
(I would expect the same respect in return from all the wheelsuckers out
there.) Sure, I think it is unfortunate that the Olympics will be a short drafting
race. However, I hope that in the future we may be able to have a second
Olympic format such as a non-drafting race with distances somewhere between a
half and a full Ironman. I am not so much complaining about the "way things
are" as I am working towards a better tomorrow where we will all have our
triathlon styles represented in the Games.
From: Col Stewart
Subject: Reply from The Coast Report
(edited for length)
To Rob, Simon, George, Wes and all that have graced these readings over
the past days with their findings and ideas on Olympics, drafting
races and the sport's management in general:
Rob! If my memory serves me right, I had a press release 1994 which
stated that the Olympic officials had witnessed the spectacle of the
Indoor Triathlon Championships at Bercy, France (Paris). They were quoted
as saying that this sport was a must for the Olympics. I feel that was the
format that they believed they were buying: Stadium racing, high speed.
Combine this with heats and finals for a spectacle of colour, sound and great
sportsmanship. As well as -- most importantly -- butts on seats (an e***d
Rob, I believe that you and Lothar Leder were part of this history-making
event along with Rina Hill, Simon Lessing, Miles Stewart and many other
outstanding pros. I really think that this is the way we should go -- for the
Olympics, for television, for spectators.
I believe that the biggest problem facing any form of racing or sport is
the very sorry lack of correct and knowledgeable professional coaching.
Some of the things that you have been all talking about are really the
jobs, questions and ideas that should be directed to your coaches (drafting
vs. pacing etc. ). It's the work of coaches to teach through training, to bring
along racing skills and motivation, as well as fitness.
I have heard many pro athletes say, "I haven't got a coach," or "I have never
needed a coach." Yet no top or Olympic sport runs without proper
How many times do you hear, "He (or she) won only because there was nobody
there?" A lot of these remarks are directed at ITU race winners. This is a
put-down or belittling of other athletes. Why would anybody do that?
I believe that you can only race those that show up on the day. If you win,
you still beat the very best there on that given day, you get the points
and the money. Why try to detract from their glory?
If you choose to not attend or not race for whatever your reason, then this
is **your** choice. Stick by your own convictions, try hard to keep these
reasons to yourself. It was **your** choice.
I study races and for the life of me, I do not see any body winning
without an all-out effort and a lot of skills -- swim, bike and run. I
admire anybody who is willing to stand up in the arena of any sports or
competition giving their all in an effort to strive for the ultimate
Drafting, non-drafting, whatever -- it's all racing, and the same top athletes
are still winning. No rules have changed that. And others are coming up
getting better as the years roll over.
It is, however, great to be a part of it all, no matter how small. I
live for it I love this sport with a passion. Every day of my life,
sunshine or rain, I awake proud to be allowed to impart any knowledge
that I have to my athletes. For without them, I am just another person.
(from Col Stewart)
From: Milan Ripa
Subject: Notes from the Czech Republic
Some notes about Czech Triathlon World:
1. All are welcome to Triathlon Training Camp at Malorca= the Island in
Middle Sea, Spain (hotel Jardin de Playa +++). From March 11 for two weeks,
till April, cost 500 USD
Information Mr Tomas Nohejl, TONO AGENCY, Tel:+420 2 6836350
2. The Awards of the Triathletes of the Year were announced on February 26
at Ambassador Hotel, Prague
Triathletes of the Year: Martin Matula and Renata Berkova
Duathletes of the Year: Ladislav Raim and Alena Peterkova
Quadriathletes of the Year: Miroslav Podborsky and Karla Polivkova
Race of the Year: EKOL Superprestige Triathlon Brno
3. The best individual Czech athlete from Nagano 98, Katerina Neumanova,
began her sport career through triathlon. Katerina is the triathlon
champion of Czech Republic 1993.
4. The schedule the Czech Republic's best pros, Martin Matula, Jan Rehula
and Martin Krnavek: ITU World Cups at Ishigaki, Auckland and Sydney.
5. The official home pages of the Czech Triathlon Association are under
Excerpt from the USA Triathlon newsletter:
USA Triathlon National Team Coaches Matt Haugen and Michelle Blessing
have scheduled a major camp for the early spring at the San Diego Olympic
Training Center (OTC). The training opportunity will take place during the
month of March.
The camp will include an array of invited USA athletes including Jill Newman,
Gail Laurence, Jimmy Riccitello, Martha Sorensen, Ryan Bolton, and many
others. Michellie Jones and her husband Peter Coulsen, along with Spencer
Smith, will also be on hand.
The camp will be the first in 1998. Several others are planned, including
specific strength and speed camps.
USA Triathlon will support up to 26 elite athletes in 1998 who are trying to
reach for their Olympic dreams. Additionally, 16 junior team members will
be provided camp experiences during the summer at the Colorado
Springs OTC. A collegiate team will also be in residence during the summer
months in Colorado Springs.
End of Triathlon Digest, which is sponsored by Triathlon Sourcebook.