Historic Triathlon this Sunday

Historic Triathlon this Sunday

By ITU Admin on 14/06/07 at 12:00 am

This Sunday the who’s who of triathlon will gather in the American heartland for the seventh installment of the 2007 BG Triathlon World Cup series.  The Des Moines BG Triathlon World Cup will make triathlon history by offering the richest-ever prize purse for a triathlon competition with more than US$700,000 in cash and prizes.  The first-place winners in the men’s and women’s divisions will each take home paychecks of US$200,000, filtering down to US$3,000 for the 15th place man and woman.

The start list includes multiple world cup winners as well as Olympic, world and continental champions, all racing for the swollen purse and valuable Olympic qualification points.  Many national federations are using this event as a direct Olympic qualifier for their athletes because of the Olympic-calibre field racing.

Snowsill, Bennett, Dillon, Tanner, Hewitt, Sweetland, Densham, Luxford, Gomez, Kahlefeldt, Ospaly, Robertson, Whitfield, Kemper, Docherty, Henning and Gemmell are among the heavy-hitters present for their chance to make triathlon history and hopefully gain a birth to the Beijing Olympic Games.

In the women’s event, Aussie Emma Snowsill leads the 50 women as the pre-race favourite.  The 3-time world champion has not lost a world cup to another woman, besides absent Vanessa Fernandes of Portugal, since 2005 in Hungary, where, despite running almost a minute faster then anyone else, a mechanical problem on the bike caused her to miss the first pack.

The competition is much closer in the men’s competition, where any number of men could win on the day including current world number one ranked Javier Gomez of Spain, recent world cup winners Filip Ospaly of the Czech Republic and Simon Whitfield of Canada or running phenom Brad Kahlefeldt of Australia.  Not to be forgotten are Olympic silver medalist Bevan Docherty of New Zealand, reigning world champion Tim Don of Great Britain and multiple world cup winner Andy Potts of the United States.  Add another dozen top contenders and fireworks are expected to fly this Sunday.

The elite athletes will swim their 1.5 kilometres at Grays Lake, then cycle directly through downtown Des Moines and complete a 6-lap, criterium-style bike course. They will transition at Finkbine Drive in front of the Capitol building, complete a 4-lap run around a course in downtown Des Moines and cross the finish line back at the Capitol.

With the recent addition of national U.S. broadcaster Fox Sports Net to the ITU family of broadcasters and host broadcaster NBC televising the race through out the continent, the world’s eyes will be squarely focused Midwestern city as the world’s top triathletes swim-bike-run their way into the triathlon history books. 

Click here for up-to-date athlete start lists and race information.

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