Digest: February 8

Digest: February 8

Post by katherine william » Mon, 09 Feb 1998 04:00:00

Triathlon Digest: Sunday, February 8, 1998
Vol. 2, No. 28
Published by Triathlon Central

In This Issue:
        * Proposed World Cup arrangement (from Gerard Vroomen)
        * ITU-WTC cooperation (from Renato Locatelli, Italy)
        * Results: St. George Formula 1 Triathlon - Adelaide (from Andrew
Fraser, Australia)

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(Gerard Vroomen, who works with Cervelo Cycles-Europe, follows up "on
personal title" on points from David Rudnicki):

> ... The sport of triathlon  could learn a lesson or two from the World Cup
> Mountain Biking experiences.

The comparison with cycling definitely has its merits, as the sports
have much in common. One thing that happened with NORBA and the UCI, is
that NORBA was not too thrilled at first about the UCI being the
governing body. Many felt the UCI would take over the sport, and rid it
of its essence. The UCI made the smart move of accommodating those who
thought UCI would change the sport of mountain biking, by including some
of the "classic" races into the World Cup. The UCI has little influence
on how those classics are run, which enables the people that were at the
roots of the sport to ensure "their" sport remains the way they intended
it. Instead of NORBA races becoming more cyclocross style, we have
actually seen a shift in cyclocross where the courses are starting to
look more and more like mountainbike courses. So if Dave's analogy
holds, we are looking at non-drafting World Cup races in a couple of

We see something similar in road racing. The UCI is the governing body,
but has less presence than most other governing bodies, and race
organizers are fairly autonomous. There are different types of races
(World Cup, big Tours, small tours, small 1-day races), and all are
sanctioned by the UCI. All races have points for the UCI ranking (amount
depending on the value of the race).

If we were to transfer the "cycling model" to triathlon, it may look
something like:

10 World Cup races, which are the real one day classics such as: St.
Anthony's, Mrs. T's, Noosa, Santos, maybe Wildflower, a couple of races
in Europe (ITU Stockholm, Monaco), some in Asia (ITU race in Japan,
Laguna Phuket). All races keep their current format. One can receive a
lot of points for the World ranking at these races.

Plus, 3 major long distance races (comparable with the cycling Tours; although
the LD triathlons also only take one day, they are comparable with the
cycling Tours if you include preparation and recovery): Ironman
Australia, Germany, Hawaii, all two months apart. One can receive more
points for the World ranking at these races (double?), but there are
fewer races.

Plus, 1 World championships, at the end of the season. While some cyclists
skip the worlds because of fatigue, the field has been very strong in
past years despite the move from the beginning of September to the
middle of October.

All other triathlons of some importance are ranked and their ranking
determines how many points for the World ranking can be won. The UCI has
five levels for both one-day races and tours, with for example the three
big 20-day Tours (France, Italy, Spain) having the highest ranking, and
a 4-day tour like the Star of Besseges the lowest.

To determine who can start at the different races, half of the pro field
could be selected using the ranking, and the other half through
wildcards (organizer can decide how to distribute these, either give
them away or have qualifying races).

A format as described above would not unite the sport of triathlon, as
people and not a race schedule will have to do that, but at least it
brings some structure into the sport, the ranking would be a true
measure of athletes' performances. It would also provide a clear
structure for those who want to compete in the major races. Start at the
bottom, win some small races, get a ranking high enough to compete at
the next level, etc. The issue of drafting would be automatically
resolved. In areas where the public is very anti-drafting, race
directors will be smart enough to organize a non-drafting World Cup
race. In areas where people want to see six transitions in a race, those
races will appear. The ranking leaders will be true all-rounders.

The structure is not a miracle, and many other factors will determine
where the sport will head. Just like in cycling, it may very well be
that Ironman Hawaii (Tour the France) remains the pinnacle of the sport,
and not the world's or the Olympics. I think it is important to create a
structure that enables this.

The above is fairly easy to implement: The races are already there, all
we need is a ranking for the races, one for the athletes and the
agreement that this ranking determines 50% of who goes to which races
(including Olympics, Ironman and Worlds). With the cooperation and
common sense of governing bodies, race organizers and athletes, it would
be a matter of days. Unless there are people in high places who are not
concerned with making this a thriving sport.

There is one important way in which triathlon differs from cycling and
almost any other sport, and that is the position of the age-groupers. I
don't know of any other sport where age-groupers can race the same races
as the pros. This is an incredibly strong feature of triathlons, and one
that should enable us to attract new people to the sport. Unfortunately,
many age-groupers around the world are feeling neglected (and rightfully
so) in all current discussions determining the future of the sport, and
triathlon risks to become the only sport where age-groupers and pros can
race together but cannot stand each other. More likely, many will leave
the sport. The decision makers in the sport can make a choice: they can
have absolute control over a dying sport, or a bit of control over a
thriving sport.


Gerard Vroomen, on personal title

website: http://SportToday.org/

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From: Renato Locatelli

Subject: ITU-WTC cooperation

I read very carefully all the messages and comments on the ITU-WTC politics
and finally am very happy to see on the Digest n#161# 27 of February 27th,
1998 the second posting by David Rudnicki.

I hope the short summary he did of the World Cup Mountain Biking experience
(NORBA versus Grundig World Cup)  will open the eyes to the people who
manage triathlon worlwide.  We must prize that experience highly.   I heard
several time the world "Unity" pronounced by some triathlon managers, but
unity doesn't mean : "My opinion is the only one everybody must share in
the world".

I would like to remind you the strategy of the Roman emperor Julius Caesar
was : "Divide et impera", but finally he has been killed (by his son Bruto)
and the Roman empire died.  You see, the story of the humans is rich of
similar stories which confirm the Julius Caesar's "motto" doesn't pay in
politics and, I think, in sports too.

If one day we will see a signal of cooperation between ITU and WTC and no
more lawsuits, nor a process server who is not able to get a response at
some doors, that will be what the athletes and many organizations
are strongly supporting.   It will be also a good way to the Olympics.

Renato Locatelli

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Determined Queenslanders Miles Stewart and Jackie Gallagher made the
most of trying conditions --  blustery winds, rain and choppy seas -- at
Adelaide's Glenelg Beach, to take out round one of the 1998 St.George
Formula One Triathlon.

Stewart didn't have it all his own way -  he had to fight off a
determined challenge from a gallant Greg Bennett whom he beat in a
sprint finish for line honours.

After finishing runner-up in last year's series, the first up win in
Adelaide was vital to Stewart's quest to break Beven's four-year ***hold.

Stewart's form leading into this race had been poor by his standards but
he said his win today will shake up the "young guns" snapping at his

"In Tasmania recently,I came 12th and I was pathetic, but I knew that
the St.George F1 was what I was concentrating on. A lot of the young
kids thought that I was over the hill and finished...but bad luck guys."

With the loss of his mother just before Christmas, things haven't been
easy for Stewart.

"Everyone knows the dramas that I have been through the last year. This
series meant a lot to my mother, she was one of the avid supporters who
watched every minute of it, so this one is for her."

Defending her title, a motivated, trim and "dangerous" Jackie Gallagher
handed out a lesson to her opponents beating Loretta Harrop by 42
seconds.  Nicole Hackett was a further second back, beating Mel Mitchell
for third in a sprint finish.

"I have done more work than ever before - I am the fittest I have ever
been going into the series. My aim is to win all five races this year
but the good swimmers won't make it easy for me," said Gallagher.

In the past, Gallagher's results and fitness have fluctuated but she has
adopted a "now or never" attitude to her training and racing. Winning
the St.George Formula One title for the third time is at the top of her
priorities and she issued a stern warning to her rivals.

"I turned 30 recently, so I am not getting any younger - I have just
over three years to the Sydney Olympics. If they are not my last three
years they will certainly be my peak three years. There is no more
holding back now - I am giving it everything I've got."

1       Miles Stewart   1:25:35
2       Greg Bennett    1:25:36
3       Brad Beven      1:25:48
4       Trent Chapman   1:26:02
5       Greg Welch      1:26:26 26
6       Peter Robertson         1:26:33
7       Andrew Johns    1:26:47
8       Chris Hill      1:26:50
9       Levi Maxwell    1:27:01
10     Lothar Leder    1:27:13
11     Jan Rehula      1:27:14
12     Courtney Atkinson       1:27:17
13     Bryce Quirk     1:27:24
14     Ben Sanson      1:27:34
15     Jason Metters   1:27:58
16     Simon Knowles   1:28:38
17     Andrew Noble    1:28:44
18     Shane Reed      1:29:12
19     Craig Alexander 1:29:27
20     Paul Amey       1:30:00
21     Darren Carnell  1:30:01
22     Chippy Slater   DNF
23     Lach Vollmerhause       DNF

1      Jackie Gallagher        51:33
2      Loretta Harrop  52:15
3      Nicole Hackett  52:16
4      Mel Mitchell    52:18
5      Jo King 53:29
6      Beth Thomson    53:30
7      Barb Lindquist  53:37
8      Nici Andronicus         53:43
9      Rina Hill       54:04
10    Tracy Hargreaves        54:18
11    Rebekah Keat    54:25
12    Leanda Cave     54:44
13    Lena Edmondston 54:46
14    Angela Milne    54:57

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