You will face one set of cycling – in the middle of your race, after the first set of running and before the last set of running. To change between running and cycling you will race through Transition.
The London Duathlon Richmond Park course is suitable for all cyclists, whether you regularly take to the road with your road bike, or head out occasionally on your hybrid bike. On the day roads will be closed to all competitors except essential race traffic and emergency vehicles. It’s important you study the challenge Route Maps as you will be responsible for navigating the course successfully and safely while also counting your laps.
Duathlons, like many other races, have rules and recommendations to adhere to ensuring all competitors enjoy the event. It is worth considering these during training:
- Be alert to any traffic that appears on the course (race traffic and emergency vehicles)
- Always cycle on the left, unless overtaking, and beware of competitors passing you
- Competitors must only overtake where it is safe to do so
- We recommend that overtaking competitors give an audible warning that they are passing “On your right”
- No drafting is allowed, i.e. taking shelter behind or beside another competitor during the bike leg of the race (see explanation below)
A road bike will allow you to cycle faster on the roads as the tyres are smoother and provide less resistance. The frame is also lighter, reducing the effort required, and the drop handlebars allow you to take up a more aerodynamic position. Always ensure you are familiar with the bike, the gears and braking before the event.
Mountain or hybdrid bikes can be used on the course. However, we would suggest changing the tyres to road tyres, which are more efficient on tarmac, and training with these on prior to race day. As with all bikes, we recommend getting them serviced before the event to avoid mechanical problems during the event.
Your safety is our priority, and therefore approved cycling safety helmets of ANSI Z90.4, SNELL B90, EN 1078 or an equivalent national standard must be worn by competitors. (NOTE: a CE mark is NOT an approval mark). Any helmet bought in recent years will comply but check for damage which would stop it protecting you properly. Your helmet will pass the safety inspection as long as it has no cracks in it, has no damage to it and bears a CE & EU safety mark inside it. The strap must also be in good working order.
Drafting is when cyclists race in a pack and one cyclist can shelter behind the other to save energy. This is what you have seen in the Tour de France. Drafting is against the rules for all but the Elite Competitors and is therefore against the rules for London Duathlon. You can be disqualified from the race for drafting.
A cycling draft zone is defined as a rectangle surrounding every competitor that is 3 metres wide and extends 7 metres behind the front wheel of a competitor’s bike. The front edge of the front wheel will define the centre of the leading edge of the rectangle.
Competitors may enter the draft zone of another competitor for the purpose of overtaking but must be seen to be progressing through that zone. A maximum of 15 seconds is allowed to pass through the zone of another competitor. If an overtaking maneuver is not completed within 15 seconds the overtaking cyclist must drop back.
When a competitor is passed by other competitors, it is his/her responsibility to move out of the draft zone of the overtaking competitor. Failure to do so may result in an official caution. A competitor is passed when another competitor’s front wheel is ahead of his/her front wheel.
Race day reminder
On the day, you must provide your own water/drinks on the bike. There will be no drink stations on the bike route – you should prepare a drink that is suitable for you and have it on your bike before the race starts.
Make sure that you have practised taking the bottle from its cage and replacing it without weaving across the road. You should also select where to drink depending on other cyclists around you and the route. Some bottles and backpacks have straws that avoid the need to handle the bottle and may be a worthwhile investment. Make sure the backpack doesn't obscure your race number.