Yes, crits are dangerous and there are a-holes everywhere. Especially in crits. Certainly the overall vibe in Triathlons is generally very supportive and congenial. It's a stark difference from the testo-fueled local crit scene in my experience, and really quite a nice thing.
Doesn’t change the fact that triathletes are horrible bike handlers. I could sadly list a dozen examples just from my own limited experience. Almost got taken out in Escape from Alcatraz last year by some fool on a full carbon, disc wheel TT bike. Drifted 5 feet over, right into me while reaching for his bottle. I yelled and yelled, but no matter, crashed right into me. Luckily a forearm shiver made sure he was the one who went down
All true, especially the bike handling bit. But their sport doesn't require pack riding so of course this is completely normal and a predictable outcome.
Of course they struggle in crits which is the greatest test of bike handling. But road cyclists in general would also struggle if asked to run a full marathon in under 4 hours after riding at over 36km/r for 5 hours non drafting.
I can speak as I did tris for 12 years (1986 to 1997). During this period I did some club racing in my off season (winter). I had great pleasure beating some of those roadies and reminding them it wasn't my normal sport. Do triathletes make fools of themselves? Of course. But a little mutual respect wouldn't go astray either. Triathletes show a lot of ignorance which can be hilarious as per some of the embarrassing photographs in this thread. But the ignorance cuts both ways albeit less funny when roadies get it wrong.