Ah, time trials. It’s a whole different barrel of monkeys than road races. I will offer 2 general rules that will apply throughout though:
- It’s your job to know the rules.
- If a Comm tells you to do something, it’s because they know the rules and want you to succeed. Just do what they tell you.
There is little sense in debating during TT’s - managing a TT can make the friendliest Comm grumpy. Best to ask them after the event if you don’t understand something.
- No earphones - just sayin.
- Show up to the start line well before your start time, not less than 3 minutes. We don’t care what your watch states, you start according to our clocks. If you aren’t there, your timing starts anyways. Keep in mind that if you show up just before your start, we can still mandate a bike check and hold you back.
- The Combine generally doesn’t use holders for starts. That means you start from a still position with one foot on the ground. You cannot be rolling or doing a track stand. If we do have a holder, you don’t get a push, so make sure to pedal.
- If you are late, you still need to check in with the Comm for bike inspection. You also need to have stopped and have one foot on the ground. The Comm will instruct you when it is ok to depart – this is necessary so that you don’t interfere with other riders.
- If you have a·recognised mishap in the first 100 metres only, you are allowed a restart. A mishap is usually from a fall, puncture or essential part of your bike breaking. Just come back to the start and tell the Comm you had a mishap and want a restart. S/he will slot you in at the next appropriate point, probably after the current wave, and your timing will start from then.
- Ride on the left hand side of the lane.
- Don’t draft riders you catch or who catch you. There should be a 2m lateral gap between riders at all times. The 25m draft zone is the point at which Comms watch whether you are drafting or being paced. You can’t be within 25m of another rider for more than 1k.
- Ride hard
This really isn’t a fun subject to write about. You need an engineering degree to properly understand the Tech Regs – they are confusing. Please keep rule number 2 from above in mind. If you are into details though, there is a really great video that explains a lot and teaches you Spanish.
Basics - Many local clubs will run aero and non-aero categories. Essentially if anything on your bike or person (wheels, bike, helmet, etc) isn’t allowed in a normal road race, then you are in the aero category. For some silly reason in the tech regs, the track rules around booties also apply to time trials on the road - the Comm can decide on the day whether the weather conditions make shoe covers unnecessary. 9 out of 10 Comms won’t take issue and therefore allow shoe covers, but refer to rule 2 above. All I can say is that Comms actually operate independently of the Combine.
Having a rear red light is still required.
Technical - I don’t really want to try to rewrite the Tech Regs on TT bikes for you, see the video for that. Many triathlon bikes are actually not time trial legal. The Combine Comms generally don’t get overly pedantic about bikes. If a Comm say something to you about your bike, it is probably to inform you so that you don’t show up to an Open event with an issue. If your bike has a UCI approved sticker on it, you’re in pretty good shape for rapid approval. Wheels coverings that attempt to turn your cheap wheel into a disc wheel aren't allowed.
On a final note, I have a whole other posting to write about the appeals process if you do get pinged. Essentially, if you disagree with a decision, you need to appeal within 15 minutes of the announcement. After that, results are final.
I hope that helps. You can email if you have any questions about this or Comms’ topics you’d like to hear about.