By ITU Admin on 29/05/07 at 12:00 am
The Spanish capital of Madrid will host the fifth round of the 2007 BG Triathlon world Cup series this Sunday, June 3rd. With the recent announcement that Madrid will once again bid for the Olympic Games in 2016, the metropolis is a buzz with Olympic dreams. This mimics the hopes of 124 world cup triathletes who will be on the start line in Madrid to begin the second qualification period for Beijing 2008.
Both world number-one ranked Vanessa Fernandes of Portugal and hometown boy, Javier Gomez will race this weekend to try and defend their titles from 2006. Fernandes has dominated the Madrid BG Triathlon World Cup by winning here every year since its inception in 2003. A win this weekend will put Fernandes at three world cup wins for the season and put her in a commanding lead in the 2007 world cup rankings.
Fighting the 2006 world cup series champion, Fernandes, for the valuable Olympic qualification points one the line will be 55 other top women including 2004 and 2005 world cup series winners Anja Dittmer of Germany and Annabel Luxford of Australia. Luxford has raced three of the first four world cups this season in hopes of returning to top form after a foot injury sidelined her early in the entire 2006 season.
2006 Madrid BG Triathlon World Cup silver medalist Andrea Hewitt of New Zealand will be back to try and nip the young Portuguese athlete after leading most of the race last year until being passed by Fernandes at the mid-point of the 10 kilometre run.
Last year the 24-year old Gomez won the first world cup of his young career here in front of thousands of Spanish fans. From this the university student would go on to win two more world cups and finish second at the 2008 Olympic test-event in Beijing to become the overall 2006 world cup series champion.
The ensuing battle between Gomez and Australian Brad Sticksy Kahlefeldt will continue as the Commonwealth Games gold medalist Kahlefeldt has made the short trip from his French training base in the Pyrenees to try and best the young Spaniard and in doing so take over the world cup rankings lead.
Kahlefeldts teammate and 3-time triathlon world champion Peter Robbo Robertson is back after not racing in an ITU race since the 2006 world championships in September. Instead choosing to take some time away from triathlon to recharge his batteries by spending a month trekking through the Himalayan mountains. Robertson is one of the most exciting racers on the ITU circuit choosing always to give it everything he has. This will be his first visit to Spain.
Robertsons good friend Ivan Raa of Spain is also back to racing after taking some time off of triathlon to regain the form which saw him claim a world championship gold medal in 2002. A third world champion in the form of Tim Don of Great Britain will also be on the start line on Sunday for his first world cup of 2007. Don is the reigning world champion with his gold medal performance in Lausanne, Switzerland last fall.
Other men to watch include a number of up and coming athletes such as reigning Under23 world champion Will Clarke of Great Britain, Bruno Pais of Portugal and Jan Frodeno of Germany. A few world cup veterans are also in contention in Kris Gemmell of New Zealand, who has two world cup podiums already this year, Filip Ospaly of the Czech Republic, who finished second at the recent Lisbon world cup, and ever-present Reto Hug of Switzerland.
The women and men will take the start line at 10:15 GMT+1 and 13:00 GMT+1, respectively.
All the race action will be broadcast live over the internet on Tricast at triathlon.org.
Find more details about this event - 2007 Madrid BG Triathlon World Cup