Yes we all know about the drafting at IM FL. It can be nearly impossible to stay legal. In 2007 I complained after the race that if you stay legal off the back of one of the many giant peletons, people just pass you and fill in the legal 7m gap in front of you and you just have to keep moving backwards, which requires using your brakes. So you eventually get pissed and ride up the outside of the huge line of riders, and get to the front (assuming there aren’t 15 guys riding by the yellow line blocking). Then it starts again. Unless the drafters start getting really lazy, like they did in the last 15 miles into a big headwind (2007). I couldn’t stand going 15mph off the back of the pack, so rode up the outside and got on the front and picked up the pace. I finally turned around several miles later to find the pack a speck on the horizon. Then I just sat up and said to myself why work hard when all these cheaters are just slugging along at 15mph?
My buddy Dean just got back from IMFL, and had the same experience. What bugged him most was some of the women buried in the middle of big packs of men. He spoke to one he saw doing this in the pack ahead of him for many miles, and she replied that she wasn’t afraid of the draft marshals in such a big pack. I call this the “school of fish” cheating method. If the “school” of drafters is big enough, your chances of getting “preyed on” are slim. Thankfully he later saw her in the penalty tent, so as many a sardine has learned the hard way, some members of the school always get eaten. But what is really a shame is that so many drafting cheater sardines know full well they are cheating and just don’t care. I can only hope that karma (Madam Pele?) will catch up with them.
This a great video which says it all!