Highest priority placed on fairness and safety during the race

Highest priority placed on fairness and safety during the race
New measures against ‘technical doping’ at DATEV Challenge Roth

When DATEV Challenge Roth takes place on 17 July, additional measures will be introduced to ensure a safe and fair race and to keep out any ‘black sheep’. As in previous years, the organiser of the world’s largest long distance triathlon, Felix Walchshöfer, has placed the highest priority on providing the best possible race for all competitors.

The 20 swim start groups were re-allocated this year. Changes include that all athletes with an expected finish time of less than nine hours will now start in the first group (6:30am) with women following 20 minutes later in groups five and six from 6:50am. This will provide significant benefits for the female and also the slower age-group athletes by providing calmer water.

Last year’s introduction of the ‘penalty kilometres’ for drafting violations on the bike proved to be a highly effective deterrent with only half as many drafting penalties given than the previous year.  A change this year is the ‘penalty kilometres’ will now be applied at the beginning of the marathon at the 1.5km mark. This will allow more clarity on the final rankings and results in the final stages of the race.

The largest addition this year is the prevention of so-called ‘technical doping’ on the bike with the use of unauthorised small auxillary engines. This is a new issue: at the end of January a motor was found hidden on a bike at the cyclo-cross World Championships in Zolder, Belgium. In the triathlon world such cheating is yet to be seen. However DATEV Challenge Roth is being proactive and will block from the outset any such behaviour through intensive and complex control mechanisms and measures. The competition referees are already trained in these issues and at bike check-in, each individual bike will be checked by a mechanic. On race day itself, stationery and mobile thermal imaging cameras along the course will be used to identify any modifications to the wheels. Finally, when in T2, each wheel will again undergo scrutiny by a thermal imaging camera.

“We don’t want to put anyone under suspicion,” said Felix Walchshöfer. “On the contrary, we want to protect our fair and honest athletes. We place huge importance on the sport of triathlon, and especially our event staying clean. Through our comprehensive preventative measures, we will ensure there is no chance of cheating at DATEV Challenge Roth.”



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