Triathlon-Wettkampfregeln: Radfahren

Slipstream rules, behavior on the course, permitted material and seating position - the rules for the second triathlon discipline are the most extensive regulations for the entire competition. If you don't want to be penalized here, you should be familiar with the relevant specifications.

The following explanations are a summary of the most important provisions of the sports location regulations of the German Triathlon Union (SpO der DTU) in the current version.

The most important provisions at a glance

  • the rule is: drive on the right, overtake on the left
  • Helmets are compulsory, chin straps are closed - also in the transition area
  • Start number backwards
  • Seat position: Mandatory to three contact points - saddle, handlebars, pedals
  • No slipstream zone 12 meters, overtaking must be completed after 25 seconds
  • Exceptions for slipstream release

The individual regulations are detailed below:

General Provisions

  • The road traffic regulations (StVO) apply in principle
  • Drive on the right, overtake on the left (overtaking or passing on the right is strictly forbidden and will be punished with a penalty. Slow drivers who drive in the middle or on the left and thus block overtaking on the left will also be penalized)
  • Dangerous driving behavior will be punished as a violation of the rules
  • Clothing at least one piece or pants + top
  • The start number must be worn clearly visible on the back
  • Helmet:
    • Helmets are compulsory, the helmet must not show any signs of damage
    • The helmet must be on and the chin strap must be fastened from the time the bike is removed from the bike stand during the competition until it is returned to the changing area. That means: removing the helmet and even touching the chin strap is still forbidden even if the bike is being pushed in the transition area during the competition

Material & seating position

  • the bicycle may only be propelled by human muscle power
  • It must have front and rear brakes, brake levers must NOT protrude forward, disc brakes are allowed
  • no additional panels or wind deflectors are allowed (only: the rear wheel may be a disc wheel - however, use may be prohibited in extreme weather conditions)
  • Start number stickers for the bike should be attached clearly legible from the left side
  • Bottles or storage containers must not be made of glass or fragile material
  • Use of a camera (on the bike or on the helmet) is only permitted with the approval of the competition management, mirrors are prohibited
  • Handlebar attachments / armrests are permitted in races with a slipstream ban, prohibited in races with slipstream approval (see point slipstream approval below)
  • all tube ends on the handlebars and handlebar attachments must be sealed
  • Sitting position: the obligation to the three contact points on the bike applies
  • Permissible seating position: Seat on the saddle, feet on the pedals, hands on the handlebars or forearms on the trailer (only if slipstream is prohibited)

Picture credits: Sportordnung DTU

  • Impermissible seating positions: seated on the top tube / behind the saddle / "supertuck" position

Picture credits: Sportordnung DTU

slipstream ban

Affects the majority of triathlon events in grassroots sport. If no other provisions are expressly named in the competition announcement, these rules apply in principle:

  • Slipstreaming behind or to the side of another participant is prohibited
  • The slipstream zone is 12m long, measured from the front edge of the front wheel to the front edge of the following competitor's front wheel
  • When overtaking, the slipstream zone must be crossed as quickly as possible, the overtaking process must be completed after 25 seconds
  • overtaken as soon as the front wheel of the person overtaking is in front of the front wheel of the person being overtaken > then the person being overtaken must drop back and keep the slipstream distance himself
  • Driving in the slipstream zone is permitted in the following situations, except when overtaking:
    • at aid stations
    • 500m before and after the transition zone

slipstream release

Only affects a few exceptional competitions in mass sport (but is the norm in elite and federal league races). The slipstream clearance must be expressly stated in the event announcement, otherwise the principles of the slipstream ban apply.

  • there are no slipstream rules, group driving is allowed
  • only racing bikes or bicycles with racing bike handlebars are permitted (gravel bikes/crossers are ok, but no triathlon bikes)
  • Handlebar attachments / armrests on the racing bike handlebars are prohibited, no matter what length
  • Disc wheels are prohibited

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