By Merryn Sherwood on 20/04/11 at 8:58 am
The Extremadura 2011 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships might be the first in history, but there will be plenty of athletes with a world class ITU resume behind them next week.
The official start lists for this historic ITU event have been released and they include a number of world champion triathletes from different ITU disciplines, and even two three-time Olympians.
Spain’s Ivan Rana and Switzerland’s Olivier Marceau both finished in the top-10 when triathlon made its Olympic debut at the Sydney 2000 Games and both have won ITU world championships, in 2002 and 2000 respectively. They also both went on to compete at the Athens and Beijing Olympics, joining that rare three-time Olympian club. Now both are entered for Extremadura to take part in another slice of ITU history. Rana is still active on the elite ITU circuit, he finished fourth at the ITU Ishigaki World Cup just last week, while Marceau has delved into some cross tri racing, he claimed bronze at the 2009 European Championships.
Rana and Marceau aren’t the only Olympians to switch into cross tri next week though, Rana’s Spanish teammate Eneko Llanos, the Netherlands’ Rob Barel, Portugal’s Bruno Pais and South African Conrad Stoltz have all entered. Lanos competed in both the Sydney and Athens Olympics, but has also had an equally successful Multisport career winning the 2003 ITU Long Distance World Championship and the 2007 European Cross Triathlon championships.
Barel’s switch to multisport has also been impressive, given he had a break after the Sydney Olympics. When he came back to triathlon seven-years later, it was as an age-grouper and he took a world title in the 50-54 age-group category at 2007 long distance world championships. He then won the European cross triathlon championships in the same age-group. When Barel made the step to the elite men’s field in the 2008 European cross distance triathlon event, he won.
Pais competed at the Beijing Games, while Stoltz competed at the Sydney and Athens Games.
It isn’t just Olympians that will have a shot at the first world cross triathlon title though and there are athletes in the field who already have an ITU Multisport world title under their belt. Current Winter Triathlon World Champion Pavel Andreev (RUS) will race and he has winning form in that discipline, he hasn’t lost a Winter Triathlon race he has entered in 2011. Slovakia’s Tomas Jurkovic and Peter Mosny are both Under23 Winter Triathlon World Champions, while Great Britain’s Richard Stannard won the 2006 ITU Aquathlon World Championship.
In the women’s field, Austrian Carina Wasle won the 2009 Winter Triathlon World Championship, France’s Marion Lorblanchet won an ITU junior world championship at the 2002 world titles, while Great Britain’s Darrelle Parker won the women’s 40-44 world title at the Vancouver ITU World Championships in 2008. Parker also has a good record in cross triathlon, she won the 2009 Sardinia European title race in that same age-group.
Overall there are 26 women and 12 different countries represented in the elite women’s field. Hosts Spain will field the biggest team with five athletes, while Kyrgyzstan will have four on the start line.
There are 35 in the men’s field, with 17 different countries represented. The USA will have the biggest team with six and Spain have four athletes.
The inaugural elite world titles will be decided over a 1km swim, 20km mountain bike and 6km cross-country run. The event also features age-group categories, as well as junior and paratriathlon races. All athletes have the option to also enter the cross duathlon which consists of a 6km cross-country run, 20km mountain bike and finishes with a 3km cross-country run.
The championships will be staged at “The Ring”, in Extremadura, an International Innovation Centre for outdoor sports.
To find out more about the Extremadura ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships, please click here to visit the event website.
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