Olympic Triathlon is sick, siCK, SICK!

Olympic Triathlon is sick, siCK, SICK!

Post by RunnSw » Wed, 12 Jul 2000 04:00:00


Talk about a sport which has gone to the dogs. The whole reason that I
got back into swimming, after a 13 year post-college layoff in 1981, was so
that I could compete in the then-new sport of triathlon (first one for me was
the Del Mar Days Triathlon in September, 1981).  A variety of things more or
less forced me out of the sport over then next 8 years, including wetsuits,
triathlon handlebars and other high priced bike "improvements," wave starts
(meaning I could no longer pretend I was in the same race as Tinley, Scott,
Molina, Basescu, and Allen), shortened swims and runs and lengthened bikes
(original USTS distances were 2K swim/35K bike/15K run), escalating entry fees,
less charming courses, and the birth of my children (which took away the
training time).

Anyway, I've always planned on going back into triathlon when my kids are in
college and I again have time to train for it, but, reading accounts of the US
Triathlon Olympic Trials, I'm totally grossed out.  Makes the Fastskin bodysuit
controversy in swimming look almost quaint, by comparison.

Seems that drafting on the bike will be legal in the Olympics and was legal in
Olympic Trials.  Competitors eligible for Olympic Trials were anyone ranked in
the top 125 in the world.  Some Australians competed in the men's race (though
ineligible, obviously, to make the US team).  Anyway, BOTH of the two US
triathletes who qualified at the race PAID (and readily admitted such) fellow
competitors (including the Aussies) to set up pace lines for them on the bike
(in other words, paid them to be their own private domestiques).  Turns out
this is totally legal in both cycling and in the brave new world of triathlon.

In contrast, in the women's race, the women were not "smart" enough to do this
and the women who didn't make the team complained bitterly about how the other
riders couldn't get organized into nice pace lines.  The women's winner, my new
***e Sheila Taormina (a triathlon newbie who won a 4x200 relay gold medal in
swimming
for the US in Atlanta) had the good fortune to have a great training buddie who
was also a great swimmer, and the two of them came out of the water together
and were able to work together on the bike to extend their lead (Sheila held on
in the run to win, while her training buddy faded).

Color me old-fashioned or color me a prude, but the way the men did it
(particularly) just doesn't seem to me to be the way a champion makes it to the
Olympics.

- Larry Weisenthal

 
 
 

Olympic Triathlon is sick, siCK, SICK!

Post by SBRMJ » Wed, 12 Jul 2000 04:00:00

I don't post much anymore, but Larry is a guy I respect and I have to say that
when it comes to this draft-legal stuff he will find some like-minded people on
rst. I understand all the rationale behind it, but, like many here, know it's
not the same sport.
What I didn't know, and would like more info about, was the comment on our guys
paying the aussies to keep the tempo going.  I have no idea if this is true or
not but it wouldn't surprise me. I know this happens in cycling, but this is
the first I've heard of it being done in triathlon at such an important race.
Disappointing. One can only imagine the deals in Sydney....
Mark Mannebach  
Quote:

>triathletes who qualified at the race PAID (and readily admitted such) fellow
>competitors (including the Aussies) to set up pace lines for them on the bike
>(in other words, paid them to be their own private domestiques).  Turns out


 
 
 

Olympic Triathlon is sick, siCK, SICK!

Post by Brian Wagne » Wed, 12 Jul 2000 04:00:00

Quote:

> In contrast, in the women's race, the women were not "smart" enough to do this
> and the women who didn't make the team complained bitterly about how the other
> riders couldn't get organized into nice pace lines.  The women's winner, my new
> ***e Sheila Taormina (a triathlon newbie who won a 4x200 relay gold medal in
> swimming
> for the US in Atlanta) had the good fortune to have a great training buddie who
> was also a great swimmer, and the two of them came out of the water together
> and were able to work together on the bike to extend their lead (Sheila held on
> in the run to win, while her training buddy faded).

> Color me old-fashioned or color me a prude, but the way the men did it
> (particularly) just doesn't seem to me to be the way a champion makes it to the
> Olympics.

Pardon my asking, but why is collusion only a bad thing when money is
involved?  Why does the lack of cash in the women's collusion make it
more acceptable?  Is it capitalism, rather than the perversion of the
sport, you're upset about?  Personally, I'm GLAD the men paid their
windbreakers; it only serves to highlight how insidious draft legal
tri's are, and proves those against it were right in their predictions.

 
 
 

Olympic Triathlon is sick, siCK, SICK!

Post by {USER_FIRSTNAME} {USER_LASTNAME » Wed, 12 Jul 2000 04:00:00

Everything in life changes. Sorry, but it's true. Jump in or don't.

Quote:
> Talk about a sport which has gone to the dogs. The whole reason that I
> got back into swimming, after a 13 year post-college layoff in 1981, was
so
> that I could compete in the then-new sport of triathlon (first one for me
was
> the Del Mar Days Triathlon in September, 1981).  A variety of things more
or
> less forced me out of the sport over then next 8 years, including
wetsuits,
> triathlon handlebars and other high priced bike "improvements," wave
starts
> (meaning I could no longer pretend I was in the same race as Tinley,
Scott,
> Molina, Basescu, and Allen), shortened swims and runs and lengthened bikes
> (original USTS distances were 2K swim/35K bike/15K run), escalating entry
fees,
> less charming courses, and the birth of my children (which took away the
> training time).

> Anyway, I've always planned on going back into triathlon when my kids are
in
> college and I again have time to train for it, but, reading accounts of
the US
> Triathlon Olympic Trials, I'm totally grossed out.  Makes the Fastskin
bodysuit
> controversy in swimming look almost quaint, by comparison.

> Seems that drafting on the bike will be legal in the Olympics and was
legal in
> Olympic Trials.  Competitors eligible for Olympic Trials were anyone
ranked in
> the top 125 in the world.  Some Australians competed in the men's race
(though
> ineligible, obviously, to make the US team).  Anyway, BOTH of the two US
> triathletes who qualified at the race PAID (and readily admitted such)
fellow
> competitors (including the Aussies) to set up pace lines for them on the
bike
> (in other words, paid them to be their own private domestiques).  Turns
out
> this is totally legal in both cycling and in the brave new world of
triathlon.

> In contrast, in the women's race, the women were not "smart" enough to do
this
> and the women who didn't make the team complained bitterly about how the
other
> riders couldn't get organized into nice pace lines.  The women's winner,
my new
> ***e Sheila Taormina (a triathlon newbie who won a 4x200 relay gold
medal in
> swimming
> for the US in Atlanta) had the good fortune to have a great training
buddie who
> was also a great swimmer, and the two of them came out of the water
together
> and were able to work together on the bike to extend their lead (Sheila
held on
> in the run to win, while her training buddy faded).

> Color me old-fashioned or color me a prude, but the way the men did it
> (particularly) just doesn't seem to me to be the way a champion makes it
to the
> Olympics.

> - Larry Weisenthal

 
 
 

Olympic Triathlon is sick, siCK, SICK!

Post by rtk » Wed, 12 Jul 2000 04:00:00

Quote:
>..........  A variety of things more or less forced me out of the sport

over then next 8 years, including wetsuits, triathlon handlebars and
other high priced bike "improvements," wave
starts (meaning I could no longer pretend I was in the same race as
Tinley,Scott, Molina, Basescu, and Allen), shortened swims and runs and
lengthened bikes (original USTS distances were 2K swim/35K bike/15K
run), escalating entry fees, less charming courses, and ......

Quote:
> > Color me old-fashioned or color me a prude, but the way the men did it
> > (particularly) just doesn't seem to me to be the way a champion makes it
> to the Olympics.

> > - Larry Weisenthal

Consider yourself colored and colored again.  By the way, when are they
going to outlaw flip turns and bring back the good ol' days?

plus (what Brian said: evil behavior is okay if it's free?)

Ruth Kazez

 
 
 

Olympic Triathlon is sick, siCK, SICK!

Post by timhigdogspo » Thu, 13 Jul 2000 04:00:00

Quote:

> A variety of things more or
>less forced me out of the sport over then next 8 years, including wetsuits,
>triathlon handlebars and other high priced bike "improvements," wave starts
>(meaning I could no longer pretend I was in the same race as Tinley, Scott,
>Molina, Basescu, and Allen), shortened swims and runs and lengthened bikes
>(original USTS distances were 2K swim/35K bike/15K run),

No wetsuits, and those distances, I'd have to find a different sport!  (being a
terrible swimmer and so-so runner).  Anyway don't let the Olympics and its
silly qualifying races push you away, the sport is alive and well.  I don't see
how aerobars and other bike improvements have changed the sport much.  As far
as wetsuits go I can see how they could bother some, but you could always come
down here (to south FL) where they're often not allowed.  There still are many
single wave start races and many "charming" races to choose from.  I encourage
you to try triathlon again, just ask around for the best races that fit your
style (no wetsuits, "short" bike leg, single wave) they are out there
(thankfully for me, not everywhere).  

Quote:
>Color me old-fashioned or color me a prude, but the way the men did it
>(particularly) just doesn't seem to me to be the way a champion makes it to
>the
>Olympics.

>- Larry Weisenthal

I agree, the "triathlon" in the olympics is a poor excuse for a Triathlon.  

tim(dogspot1)
buaidh no bas

 
 
 

Olympic Triathlon is sick, siCK, SICK!

Post by Mike Schwin » Thu, 13 Jul 2000 04:00:00

What would you think if you knew that several of the US athletes actively
and deliberately blocked other "not so favored" US athletes in both the swim
and bike legs in a purposeful attempt to influence the outcome of the race
for the other US athletes? Makes "working together as a team" take on new
meaning. Teams within teams, trying to see to it that not necessarily the
best athletes, but the favorite athletes, cross the finish line first

I know, you would not be suprised, as such evil things are possible only
with the advent of draft legal triathlons.

They are happening.


Quote:
> Talk about a sport which has gone to the dogs. The whole reason that I
> got back into swimming, after a 13 year post-college layoff in 1981, was
so
> that I could compete in the then-new sport of triathlon (first one for me
was
> the Del Mar Days Triathlon in September, 1981).  A variety of things more
or
> less forced me out of the sport over then next 8 years, including
wetsuits,
> triathlon handlebars and other high priced bike "improvements," wave
starts
> (meaning I could no longer pretend I was in the same race as Tinley,
Scott,
> Molina, Basescu, and Allen), shortened swims and runs and lengthened bikes
> (original USTS distances were 2K swim/35K bike/15K run), escalating entry
fees,
> less charming courses, and the birth of my children (which took away the
> training time).

> Anyway, I've always planned on going back into triathlon when my kids are
in
> college and I again have time to train for it, but, reading accounts of
the US
> Triathlon Olympic Trials, I'm totally grossed out.  Makes the Fastskin
bodysuit
> controversy in swimming look almost quaint, by comparison.

> Seems that drafting on the bike will be legal in the Olympics and was
legal in
> Olympic Trials.  Competitors eligible for Olympic Trials were anyone
ranked in
> the top 125 in the world.  Some Australians competed in the men's race
(though
> ineligible, obviously, to make the US team).  Anyway, BOTH of the two US
> triathletes who qualified at the race PAID (and readily admitted such)
fellow
> competitors (including the Aussies) to set up pace lines for them on the
bike
> (in other words, paid them to be their own private domestiques).  Turns
out
> this is totally legal in both cycling and in the brave new world of
triathlon.

> In contrast, in the women's race, the women were not "smart" enough to do
this
> and the women who didn't make the team complained bitterly about how the
other
> riders couldn't get organized into nice pace lines.  The women's winner,
my new
> ***e Sheila Taormina (a triathlon newbie who won a 4x200 relay gold
medal in
> swimming
> for the US in Atlanta) had the good fortune to have a great training
buddie who
> was also a great swimmer, and the two of them came out of the water
together
> and were able to work together on the bike to extend their lead (Sheila
held on
> in the run to win, while her training buddy faded).

> Color me old-fashioned or color me a prude, but the way the men did it
> (particularly) just doesn't seem to me to be the way a champion makes it
to the
> Olympics.

> - Larry Weisenthal

 
 
 

Olympic Triathlon is sick, siCK, SICK!

Post by Phil Squir » Thu, 13 Jul 2000 04:00:00

Isn't the US involvement in the O triathlon somewhat academic anyway? ;-)

Phil

| What would you think if you knew that several of the US athletes actively
| and deliberately blocked other "not so favored" US athletes in both the
swim
| and bike legs in a purposeful attempt to influence the outcome of the race
| for the other US athletes? Makes "working together as a team" take on new
| meaning. Teams within teams, trying to see to it that not necessarily the
| best athletes, but the favorite athletes, cross the finish line first
|
| I know, you would not be suprised, as such evil things are possible only
| with the advent of draft legal triathlons.
|
| They are happening.
|

| > Talk about a sport which has gone to the dogs. The whole reason that I
| > got back into swimming, after a 13 year post-college layoff in 1981, was
| so
| > that I could compete in the then-new sport of triathlon (first one for
me
| was
| > the Del Mar Days Triathlon in September, 1981).  A variety of things
more
| or
| > less forced me out of the sport over then next 8 years, including
| wetsuits,
| > triathlon handlebars and other high priced bike "improvements," wave
| starts
| > (meaning I could no longer pretend I was in the same race as Tinley,
| Scott,
| > Molina, Basescu, and Allen), shortened swims and runs and lengthened
bikes
| > (original USTS distances were 2K swim/35K bike/15K run), escalating
entry
| fees,
| > less charming courses, and the birth of my children (which took away the
| > training time).
| >
| > Anyway, I've always planned on going back into triathlon when my kids
are
| in
| > college and I again have time to train for it, but, reading accounts of
| the US
| > Triathlon Olympic Trials, I'm totally grossed out.  Makes the Fastskin
| bodysuit
| > controversy in swimming look almost quaint, by comparison.
| >
| > Seems that drafting on the bike will be legal in the Olympics and was
| legal in
| > Olympic Trials.  Competitors eligible for Olympic Trials were anyone
| ranked in
| > the top 125 in the world.  Some Australians competed in the men's race
| (though
| > ineligible, obviously, to make the US team).  Anyway, BOTH of the two US
| > triathletes who qualified at the race PAID (and readily admitted such)
| fellow
| > competitors (including the Aussies) to set up pace lines for them on the
| bike
| > (in other words, paid them to be their own private domestiques).  Turns
| out
| > this is totally legal in both cycling and in the brave new world of
| triathlon.
| >
| > In contrast, in the women's race, the women were not "smart" enough to
do
| this
| > and the women who didn't make the team complained bitterly about how the
| other
| > riders couldn't get organized into nice pace lines.  The women's winner,
| my new
| > ***e Sheila Taormina (a triathlon newbie who won a 4x200 relay gold
| medal in
| > swimming
| > for the US in Atlanta) had the good fortune to have a great training
| buddie who
| > was also a great swimmer, and the two of them came out of the water
| together
| > and were able to work together on the bike to extend their lead (Sheila
| held on
| > in the run to win, while her training buddy faded).
| >
| > Color me old-fashioned or color me a prude, but the way the men did it
| > (particularly) just doesn't seem to me to be the way a champion makes it
| to the
| > Olympics.
| >
| > - Larry Weisenthal
|
|

 
 
 

Olympic Triathlon is sick, siCK, SICK!

Post by Brian Wagne » Thu, 13 Jul 2000 04:00:00

Quote:

> : sport, you're upset about?  Personally, I'm GLAD the men paid their
> : windbreakers; it only serves to highlight how insidious draft legal
> : tri's are, and proves those against it were right in their predictions.

> Oh my god.  I ... I ... I ... AGREE!  Mark this as a first  :)

And another one is assimilated.  Resistance is futile!
 
 
 

Olympic Triathlon is sick, siCK, SICK!

Post by Stacy Hill » Thu, 13 Jul 2000 04:00:00


Quote:
> What I didn't know, and would like more info about, was the comment on our
guys
> paying the aussies to keep the tempo going.  I have no idea if this is
true or
> not but it wouldn't surprise me. I know this happens in cycling, but this
is
> the first I've heard of it being done in triathlon at such an important
race.
> Disappointing. One can only imagine the deals in Sydney....
> Mark Mannebach

In the television coverage that I watched I saw an interview with Ryan
Bolton after the race. He said that he was a bit disappointed at his slow
swim which had caused him to miss the main group of riders. He said he asked
another rider (he said the man's name, but I have forgotten) to help him
chase. The rider asked what was in it for him. To which Bolton, whose face
lit up in a grin when he said it, replied, "Oh there's plenty in it for
you." Then he went on to describe how that set him up for a great run.

Draw your own conclusions.

--

Stacy Hills
Reston, VA

 
 
 

Olympic Triathlon is sick, siCK, SICK!

Post by Brian Wagne » Thu, 13 Jul 2000 04:00:00

Quote:

> What would you think if you knew that several of the US athletes actively
> and deliberately blocked other "not so favored" US athletes in both the swim
> and bike legs in a purposeful attempt to influence the outcome of the race
> for the other US athletes?

Is this hypothetical, speculation, or outright allegation, and if the
last one, do you have any evidence to offer?  Not a challenge, but it
would be nice to be able to cite it to others, if you have the goods.
 
 
 

Olympic Triathlon is sick, siCK, SICK!

Post by Lauren Jens » Thu, 13 Jul 2000 04:00:00

Todd (not Lauren) here.

Lauren participated and I watched the US Olympic Trials (both women's and
men's).  Lauren at first resisted the movement towards draft-legal racing
and avoided them, but it was becoming obvious that the faster Olympic-distance
athletes were becoming even faster by doing these races.  The high speeds from
start to finish are grueling.  If you look at the highly competitive non-
drafting races the past few years, you'll see most of the same people near
the top of the results as drafting races.

Ask many of the people in the bike packs - most are doing all they can to hang
on a wheel.  The tactics are much different than in a non-drafting race.  Sure,
things like race day collusions will happen, but that is part of the tactics
of racing a draft-legal race.  Much like the local bike criterium or even
the Tour de France.  I don't understand why people complain that the "runners"
are just sitting in.  That's part of the strategy - sit in and hope the gap
doesn't get too big to close on the run or work and maybe not be able to run.
(gee, no one complains about Armstrong sucking wheel for 200km before
launching a big attack on the last mountain).

I admit to preferring the non-drafting races myself - especially races like
Memphis in May that have time trial starts which even helps to elimate much
of the drafting on the swim.

Todd Jensen

 
 
 

Olympic Triathlon is sick, siCK, SICK!

Post by Brian Wagne » Thu, 13 Jul 2000 04:00:00

Quote:

> Ask many of the people in the bike packs - most are doing all they can to hang
> on a wheel.  The tactics are much different than in a non-drafting race.  Sure,
> things like race day collusions will happen, but that is part of the tactics
> of racing a draft-legal race.  Much like the local bike criterium or even
> the Tour de France.

Ask anyone in politics, most are doing all they can to get their share
of the special interst money and sell their influence.  The tactics are
different from those of an honest statesman.  Sure, things like
Watergate and the numerous current scandals will happen, but that is
part of the tactics of Byzantine politics.  Much like the Tweed or
Dailey machines in Chicago.

OR

Ask anyone in the drug trade, most are doing all they can to get their
product to market....

I could go on all day.  Name the vice, there is a parallel.

And, Todd, your point is?

Look, if Lauren has to do it in order to compete at that level,  then
say so, and most people will appreciate the candor, and not condemn
her.  If you want to say that she shouldn't be expected to change the
triathlon world single handedly, that's cool.  But don't try to justify
the trend by virtue of its complexity, or the fact that it's still
difficult to race draft legal.  That's not the point.  The point is that
this is supposed to be an individual sport, and drafting makes it not,
and the ONLY reason drafting is there is to pander to the hordes of
brain dead couch potatoes so they'll watch it, or more to the point, so
they'll watch the beer commercials interspersed during it.

 
 
 

Olympic Triathlon is sick, siCK, SICK!

Post by TriathRon Gilcreas » Thu, 13 Jul 2000 04:00:00



Quote:
> Todd (not Lauren) here.

> Lauren participated and I watched the US Olympic Trials (both women's
and
> men's).  Lauren at first resisted the movement towards draft-legal
racing
> and avoided them, but it was becoming obvious that the faster Olympic-
distance
> athletes were becoming even faster by doing these races.  The high
speeds from
> start to finish are grueling.  If you look at the highly competitive
non-
> drafting races the past few years, you'll see most of the same people
near
> the top of the results as drafting races.

> Ask many of the people in the bike packs - most are doing all they
can to hang
> on a wheel.  The tactics are much different than in a non-drafting
race.  Sure,
> things like race day collusions will happen, but that is part of the
tactics
> of racing a draft-legal race.  Much like the local bike criterium or
even
> the Tour de France.  I don't understand why people complain that the
"runners"
> are just sitting in.  That's part of the strategy - sit in and hope
the gap
> doesn't get too big to close on the run or work and maybe not be able

to run.

That strategy is fine, even necessary, in draft-legal tri. But the
issue is not difficulty; the TdF proves that draft-legal events can be
as grueling or more so than non-draft events. The issue isn't even that
draft-legal tri exists; I think the sport is big enough for different
versions to thrive. The issue is that this particular version of tri is
directly antithetical to the original vision of triathlon as a test of
*individual* fitness, and yet this offshoot is being presented to the
world in the Olympics as Triathlon. *That's* the issue.

Quote:
> (gee, no one complains about Armstrong sucking wheel for 200km before
> launching a big attack on the last mountain).

If he did it in a tri, you can bet we'd complain. But we don't complain
about drafting in cycling for the same reason we don't complain about
it in stock car racing; it's a different sport.

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

 
 
 

Olympic Triathlon is sick, siCK, SICK!

Post by John Walter » Thu, 13 Jul 2000 04:00:00

And for God's sake, don't admit to Wagner that you've tried a duathlon!
Read more of Brian's stuff at www.***.com.
Laughing with you, BW -
JW
Quote:


> > Ask many of the people in the bike packs - most are doing all they can to hang
> > on a wheel.  The tactics are much different than in a non-drafting race.  Sure,
> > things like race day collusions will happen, but that is part of the tactics
> > of racing a draft-legal race.  Much like the local bike criterium or even
> > the Tour de France.

> Ask anyone in politics, most are doing all they can to get their share
> of the special interst money and sell their influence.  The tactics are
> different from those of an honest statesman.  Sure, things like
> Watergate and the numerous current scandals will happen, but that is
> part of the tactics of Byzantine politics.  Much like the Tweed or
> Dailey machines in Chicago.

> OR

> Ask anyone in the drug trade, most are doing all they can to get their
> product to market....

> I could go on all day.  Name the vice, there is a parallel.

> And, Todd, your point is?

> Look, if Lauren has to do it in order to compete at that level,  then
> say so, and most people will appreciate the candor, and not condemn
> her.  If you want to say that she shouldn't be expected to change the
> triathlon world single handedly, that's cool.  But don't try to justify
> the trend by virtue of its complexity, or the fact that it's still
> difficult to race draft legal.  That's not the point.  The point is that
> this is supposed to be an individual sport, and drafting makes it not,
> and the ONLY reason drafting is there is to pander to the hordes of
> brain dead couch potatoes so they'll watch it, or more to the point, so
> they'll watch the beer commercials interspersed during it.