By ITU Admin on 29/05/06 at 12:00 am
In the shadow of Spain’s Royal Palace 150 of the top triathletes are ready to test the waters of the famous Casa de Campo grounds in the heart of Madrid this Sunday. This is a landmark event as the International Triathlon Union (ITU) begins their new partnership with BG Group, which was announced Friday. The start of the 2008 Olympic Qualification period, a US$100,000 prize purse and a forecasted thirty-three degrees Celsius will quickly heat up the competition at the 2006 Madrid BG Triathlon World Cup.
People at home can tune into TriCast™ Live! and catch live audio commentary, timing, photos and text updates from the historic city of Madrid, by visiting triathlon.org.
Last year’s winners Vanessa Fernandes (POR) and Tim Don (GBR) are both here with three of the other four podium athletes from 2005. Ana Burgos (ESP), Volodymyr Polikarpenko (UKR) and Reto Hug (SUI) are the other three surely hoping for a repeat performance of last year and their share of the increased prize purse and valuable Olympic qualifying points.
Fernandes has now won nine world cups in a row and is looking for number ten. Anja Dittmer (GER) is here and after taking some time off in 2005, had a stellar performance in her first world cup back only three weeks ago in Mazatlan with a silver medal.
Seven of the top ten finishers from Mazatlan are in Madrid including Fernandes, Dittmer, Burgos, Andrea Whitcombe (GBR), Lauren Groves (CAN), Ainhoa Murua (ESP) and Helen Tucker (GBR). Add world-ranked number four, Joelle Franzmann (GER) and up-and-coming star Andrea Hewitt (NZL) and the course will not be the only thing to heat up Sunday morning.
The women’s race will start at 10:15am CEST (GMT+1)
As always, a strong Spanish team will be ever hard to beat in front of their cheering countrymen. Ivan Rana (ESP) will lead the team with hopes of his first world cup podium since May 2004.
In the men’s race, everyone will be watching Polikarpenko closely as he not only finished second here last year but has competed in only one world cup this year, winning it. Rasmus Henning (DEN) is fresh off a win at the Mazatlan World Cup and looks very strong hoping to continue his success.
Mark Fretta (USA) will wear number one on the start line as the top-ranked man in Madrid but is in second place overall in the world cup rankings. However, he can take the overall lead with an eleventh place finish here.
The men race will start at 1:00pm CEST (GMT+1).
Thanks to the new partnership, ITU will not only be increasing world cup prize money to US$100,000 but also topping the ITU Triathlon World Championships and BG Triathlon World Cup series purses to US$250,000 each.
Find more details about this event - 2006 Madrid BG Triathlon World Cup