By Andrew Dewhurst on 23/07/14 at 11:05 pm
China’s emergence as a host country of top flight triathlon events continues with the 2014 JiayuGuan ITU World Cup Triathlon this weekend, the first time the venue has hosted an ITU World Cup race after previously hosting a Continental Cup event.
The race is the fifth ITU World Cup on the 2014 calendar and the second in China after Chengdu in May. And like Chengdu no stone is left unturned by local organizers in the hosting of athletes, officials and the running of a successful event.
Conditions are forecast to be hot and dry with temperatures in the early 30’s and humidity low in the dry desert air. Water temperatures will not be quite so warm though, with the man-made lake at the event venue fed by the Talai River, with waters originating in the high mountains not far from the city.
Elite Men Preview
Jarrod Shoemaker (USA) carries top seeing into this event and on arrival has expressed confidence in his form as he builds towards Edmonton. The likeable American has not had a great season with DNF’s in Auckland and Yokohama and a disappointing 40th in Chicago. But a 5th place finish in Chengdu is more a guideline of his abilities in the heat and if on form, he will be tough to beat here.
Also contending for a third career ITU World Cup Podium is Igor Polyanskiy (RUS), the former medal winner at the 2013 ITU U23 World Championships has endured a largely wretched season, failing to finish in three of his four ITU World Series events but showed signs of improvement with a top 10 in Holten earlier in July.
Joe Maloy (USA) by contrast has been a model of consistency this year, top 30 in all of his events including World Tri Series starts in Auckland, Yokohama and Chicago. Sergio Sarmiento (MEX) is a proven top ten World Cup racer and must be respected, so too Jesse Featonby (AUS) who has won his last two Asian Cup races and Yuichi Hosoda (JPN) who is looking for a breakthrough performance at this level.
Elite Women Preview
Yuka Sato (JPN) was the first winner of the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010 but has just the two World Cup podiums since that time. This is her opportunity for a first win at this level and you know Sato will be at home in the heat on Saturday.
Lisa Perterer (AUT) has enjoyed a handful of World Cup podiums and was 4th in Chengdu in May but her breakthrough performance was a 9th place finish in Chicago last month so she looks well placed to contend in Jiayuguan.
Others to watch include Mateja Simic (SLO), Maria Czesnik (POL) and the Russian pairing of Anna Burova and Arina Shulgina. Jessica Broderick (USA) wears number 16 but was 2nd in Chengdu so must be respected in this one.
Team ITU has also sent a five strong team of athletes to Jiayuguan, with Simic amongst them. Others to race thanks to the support of the ITU are Ron Darmon (ISR), Aleksandr Latin (EST), Manuel Huerta (PUR) and Martin Oliver (URU). All will race and gain vital experience under the watchful eye of Team ITU head coach Mick Delamotte (AUS). Team ITU athletes are those who have received a scholarship from the ITU to race at an ITU World Cup race.