Major changes unveiled for the 2014 Transamerica Chicago Triathlon presented by Toyota, including:
- New Bike Course for the International distance event – the first course change in 18 years.
- New start sequence for all Sunday races (Pro, International, then Sprint waves).
- Optional Saturday bike racking for all Sunday races.
- Flexible race morning transition entry for all Sunday races
- Designated Spectator viewing areas with complimentary shuttle service.
New bike course
(pending final approval by the City of Chicago)
The new bike course will offer participants a true tour of Chicago, starting at the scenic lakefront, tunneling underneath the bustling Loop, through the heart of the financial district, then cruising down the city’s most exclusive freeway.
Both Sprint and International distance cyclists will start the course as usual, exiting transition and riding north on Lake Shore Drive. All cyclists will now turn around at Hollywood Blvd (previously Foster Avenue) and proceed south. International participants will exit at the Wacker Drive egress ramp, while Sprint participants exit (as usual) at the Randolph Street egress ramp.
The International bike course leads west along Intermediate Wacker Drive, where the unique experience begins: a ride underneath the city along the newly-rebuilt (and completely traffic-free) Intermediate Wacker Drive. Cyclists will proceed west then south to Monroe Street, hitting the ramp to Upper Wacker Drive where the course greets the heart of Chicago’s financial district. Riders will proceed south to a turnaround at Adams St, passing the iconic Willis Tower then proceeding to the Randolph Street down ramp and back to Lower Wacker. Just past Michigan Avenue, the course leads cyclists to another down ramp, setting-up an exclusive experience: cruising down the Lower Randolph Busway – Chicago’s most secretive and unobstructed expressway. The open-air Busway offers a unique vantage point for spectators as triathletes ride through the heart of Grant Park while suspended 15 feet below ground level. Athletes will proceed south through Place to a turnaround point underneath I-55, then return north on the Busway, back to Middle Randolph and into transition.
2014 bike course specs
|Bike Course Specs||Previous Course||2014 Course||Previous Course||2014 Course|
|Total Climb||536 ft||575 ft||816 ft||631 ft|
Race weekend implications
While the new bike course is specific to International distance participants, the implications affect all Sunday participants.
Mandatory athlete briefings
Given the many weekend changes, all Sprint, International and Triple Challenge athletes will be required to attend a 30-minute presentation at the Transamerica Chicago Triathlon presented by Toyota Multisport & Fitness Expo. Schedules will be released prior to race weekend.
Saturday bike check
Sunday participants now have the opportunity to check their bikes into the DuSable Harbor Transition area on Saturday. New title sponsor, Transamerica, is making possible this enormous convenience. Exact details and timelines will be available prior to race weekend.
Extended Sunday transition access
A major challenge for participants has been long wait times between leaving transition and starting the race. In previous years, International participants were required to wait multiple hours, presenting a variety of complications. This year, realizing that Sprint athletes would now be faced with this same issue, we are proud to announce a new transition process.
A divided transition compound will be created, separating International, Sprint and Triple Challenge athletes. Transition will open for both groups at 4:30 a.m. in DuSable Harbor. Specific timelines for all participants will be identified prior to race weekend.
NOTE: Due to possible course interference, all athletes and spectators must reference mandatory access routes along specific timelines. Access maps with be posted prior to race week. Due to heightened security levels, no exceptions will be granted.
New start schedule
The new bike course will allow Elite participants the ability to start first, providing unobstructed space along previously congested Lake Shore Drive. International race participants will start next, allowing them protection from prolonged exposure to possible heat issues. International distance athletes will no longer ride a second loop on Lake Shore Drive, offering Sprint participants a less congested course of their own.
New bike course rules
The International bike course requires two distinct ride/pass zones, relative to specific areas of the course:
1. Ride Left, Pass Right
This rule remains in effect for the first 14.5 miles of the International bike course, along Lake Shore Drive’s median lanes. The rule was created to keep cyclists clear of cars in the outer lanes (which are buffered by safety barrels and cones). Cyclists who wish to pass must look for clearance to their right side, move to the right, complete the pass, then move back to the left (median). Those being passed must remain three bike lengths behind in order to avoid a drafting penalty. The Ride Left, Pass Right rule applies to the entire Sprint bike course field.
2. Ride Right, Pass Left
(International participants only)
After immediately crossing the Chicago River, all International distance athletes will turn left, exiting Lake Shore Drive at the Wacker Drive egress ramp. This down ramp leads cyclists west on Intermediate Wacker Drive. At this point, all cyclists must follow the standard Ride Right, Pass Left protocol for the duration of the race. Cyclists who wish to pass must look for clearance behind them and on the left. Once clear, they will move left, complete the pass, then move back to their right side.
USA Triathlon officials will patrol the bike course, ensuring safety, proper positioning and passing among the field. In addition, 20 Bike Marshals will be on course, reiterating rules, aiding stranded cyclists and ensuring general course safety. Participants are asked to obey all signals and instruction. Penalties, including disqualification, can be assessed for noncompliance.
Triple Challenge participants
These enhancements will modify the original Triple Challenge format. This year, following Saturday’s SuperSprint race, you are welcome to check your bike at transition in Grant Park. Sunday morning, you will compete in the International race first, starting just after 6:00 a.m. After completion, you will then begin the Sprint race after 10:00 a.m. Start times are subject to change. Further details to come.
Special implications to all participants, including those currently registered, will be unveiled in the coming weeks. Please contact us at email@example.com with immediate questions.
- Click here to review the official Press Release
- Click here for the proposed 2014 Course Map
- Click here for Transamerica Chicago Triathlon Multisport & Fitness Expo details
- Click here to register for the 2014 Transamerica Chicago Triathlon presented by Toyota