Draft Legal Tri & Road Cycling Strategy – Importance of Aerodynamics in a Pack

The benefits of drafting from another rider in cycling road races or draft legal triathlons is unquestionable. Some studies suggests that the air resistance can be as low as 40% when you ride behind one or more athletes.

However theres more ways to benefit from drafting and that is by changing your position even when you are drafting.


@Janos Schmidt/ITU

Specialized bikes invited ITU World Champion  Jorgensento run several test runs in the wind tunnel and to learn which is the best or worse way to position yourself on the bike when you are drafting.

The test is to compare the differences between pedaling holding the handlebar hood (brake levers) or holding at the bottom of the handlebar , the drops, positioning in a more aggressive form. The first situation was riding alone, or as many like to call, with the face in the wind and the second situation pedaling immediately behind a cyclist.

The results showed that when pedaling alone, Jorgensen had 13% savings when holding the drops compared to to holding the hoods. In the second situation, when she was just behind another cyclist, the efficiency rose to 19% holding in drops compared to the hoods.

But remember that is very important for the athlete riding in the pack with one or more athletes, to learn how to behave in this condition, because the fact of being very close to other athletes, and usually at high speed, only increases the risk of a fall, and when that happens in packs, the severity of the accident becomes much higher.

See also:  Retrospective Triathlon in the Olympic Games: Beijing 2008

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