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20 metre drafting rule for ‘The Championship’

The Championship from Challenge Family to include an increased drafting distance on the bike of 20 meters

Chief Correspondent
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Whether it is metres or meters… the Challenge Family have today confirmed – for both professional AND age group athletes – that ‘THE CHAMPIONSHIP’ (more on that HERE), which takes place at the x-bionic sphere© in Samorin, Slovakia on June 3, 2017, will feature a 20 meter/metre drafting distance.

This format has been used previously (with positive feedback from the athletes), most notably at the debut – and final – edition of Challenge Bahrain in 2014.

Here are the full details announced today.


CHALLENGEFAMILY has today announced that it will implement a 20 meter drafting rule on the bike leg at THECHAMPIONSHIP 2017 as a means to provide the fairest racing for all athletes. The 20 Meter drafting rule will apply for all professional and age group athletes.

Zibi Szlufcik, CEO of CHALLENGEFAMILY, said: “The Championship is our pinnacle event and we are committed to providing all athletes, be they professional or age groupers, with a fair race that rewards effort. With a minimum €150,000 prize purse there is a lot on the line for our professional athletes. It is imperative that we offer a level playing field for all. The drafting rule was one of the most critical topics of 2016 among pro athletes and for a fair race we feel it is imperative that the 20 meter rule is implemented for The Championship 2017.”

The 20 meter draft zone on the bike course will be a rectangle three meters wide and 20 meters long. An athlete will have 40 seconds to complete any overtaking maneuver once they enter the draft zone. The 20 meter will be enhanced through a new event start procedure which will see age group wave starts commencing at least 20 minutes after the last professional wave start and each wave start will have a maximum of 200 athletes.

Key aspects of the 20 meter drafting rule at The Championship:

  • Separate female and male pro start wave
  • Age Group Start minimum 20 minutes behind professional wave starts
  • Maximum 200 athletes in any one start wave
  • Minimum 10-minute gap between each age group wave start
  • Sufficient referees on the bike course
  • Markers placed and repeated at 20 meter intervals along the bike course to help athletes estimate the 20-meter distance correctly.

An athlete may enter a bike draft zone in the following circumstances:

  • If the athlete enters the draft zone, and progresses through it within 40seconds in the overtaking maneuver;
  • For safety reasons;
  • 100 meters before and after an aid station or transition area;
  • At an acute turn;
  • If the Technical Delegate excludes a section of the course because of narrow lanes, construction, detours, or for other safety reasons.

THECHAMPIONSHIP 2017 will be held at the incredible x-bionic sphere© in Samorin, Slovakia on June 3, 2017. x-bionic sphere© covers 1 million square metres and offers facilities for twenty-seven different Olympic sports. Athletes have qualified for THECHAMPIONSHIP at CHALLENGEFAMILY events across the globe.

Athletes can still qualify at the upcoming races: CHALLENGEWANAKA (New Zealand), CHALLENGEMELBOURNE (Australia), CHALLENGEGRANCANARIA (Spain), CHALLENGETAIWAN (Taiwan), CHALLENGECERRADO (Brazil), CHALLENGELISBOA (Portugal), CHALLENGERIMINI (Italy) and CHALLENGESALOU (Spain).

More information about THECHAMPIONSHIP 2017 is available at www.thechampionship2017.com.

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.

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