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Guide to French Triathlon Rules for Visiting Triathletes

There are some subtle differences in the rules for triathlons in France triathletes from other countries should be aware of. To help you prepare I've picked some that might trip up a visiting U.S. triathlete. These may not be extensive and feel free to comment if you have had experience over there and know of others:

  • Some coaches in the U.S. advise taking your wetsuit off completely at the beach before you get to T1. You can't do this in France. You have to keep it partially on until you reach the transition area.

  • You have to wear your number on the bike. Has to be clearly visible on the middle of your back. So put your race belt and number on in T1 and then turn it around for the run.

  • You can't run bare chested. In the U.S. for non-Ironman events it's still legal for a guy to just wear shorts. Torso must be covered in France.

  • This is a strange one. You have to attach your number to your race belt on at least 3 points (i.e. 3 safety pins). I guess they really don't want it to fall off...

Penalty system

They're still really into their football cards.

If an official shows you a:

Yellow Card: This means a warning. Stop doing whatever illegal thing you're doing before proceeding. Hopefully it's not too hard to figure out what that is with an official pointing and yelling at you in French.

Blue Card: Drafting violation. You will have to wait a specified period of time in a waiting area after completing T2. If you don't you will be DQed. The time of the penalty depends on the distance of the race. Check your specific race info for details.

Red Card: You're out.

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