Louise Minchin accused of drafting in epic bike race, but what is it?

Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin was recently accused of cheating during a triathlon.

The 49-year-old completed the Slateman race in Snowdonia, which includes 1,000 metre swim, 51 km bike ride, and 11 km run.

However, after completing the prestigious race she was accused by a fellow triathlete of cheating by drafting.

But what is drafting, and does it actually constitute cheating?

Drafting is a cycling term, and refers to when one rider stays behind another.

They can make use of the slipstream from the person in front to save energy and cut wind resistance.

Louise was accused of using the slipstream of a Team GB cyclist to give herself a leg up during particularly hilly parts of the course.

Louise was having an interview about the triathlon and her new book about the sport with presenter Dan Walker.

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One person then said ‘You cheated’, specifically referring to the fact another cyclist placed themselves directly in front of Louise during the cycling leg, which apparently gave her an unfair advantage.

In professional races, there is a no drafting rule, but in open categories, it is seen as a commonplace practice.

In this case drafting was not allowed.

A British Triathlon spokesperson said:

The Snowdonia Slateman Triathlon is a British Triathlon permitted event, with the event organiser having submitted documentation detailing the safety provisions in place. The event is a draft-illegal event and competitors are briefed on this beforehand.

The British Triathlon Technical Officials report following this event stated that penalties were issued to a number of competitors, having been witnessed by the officiating team, and these are reflected in the event results. The report does not highlight the need for any further investigation.

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In this instance, a woman who also completed the Slateman told ,

It’s a hard race. During the cycling I feel like I’m dying. Louise is making out she’s done this super-duper thing and it makes me mad.

She’s lied to people a little bit.

Louise Minchin denies that she cheated in the race.

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