Salford World Cup this weekend

Salford World Cup this weekend

By ITU Admin on 24/07/07 at 12:00 am

For the fifth consecutive year, the BG Triathlon World Cup series travels to its only UK stop, in Salford, England.  The home crowds will have a number of contenders to cheer for including current world champion Tim Don who’s coming off a win at the Hyde Park triathlon this past weekend.  Last year’s Under23 World and European champion Will Clarke will also race this weekend.  He’ll be eager to return to the podium after a bronze medal here one year ago.  Andrew Johns will also be looking to get back on the Salford podium after winning it all in 2003.  A pair of promising young Brits will make their elite men’s world cup debut in Salford.  Ritchie Nicholls is coming off a big win at the Under 23 European Championships this past weekend while Alistair Brownlee won the Junior European Championships last month, adding to his Junior World Championship from 2006. 

The British women will be well represented with 2004 Salford winner Michelle Dillon leading the way.  The veteran comes into Salford with two World Cup podium finishes, as well as a silver medal at the Duathlon World Championships.  Joining Dillon will be Andrea Whitcombe, this year’s Long Distance World Champion Leanda Cave and Rosie Clarke, younger sister of Will’s.  She’s fresh off winning the Under23 European Championships last weekend in Finland.

But as always the home team will face a stiff competition from a strong international field.  Last year’s men’s and women’s winners will both be back to defend their titles.  Aussie Brad Kahlefeldt began the year on fire with a win in Mooloolaba and bronze in Lisbon.  After back to back DNFs, he proved to be back in good form with a bronze medal showing this past weekend in Kitzbuhel.  Meanwhile Samantha Warriner hasn’t raced since Des Moines in mid-June but the Kiwi can never be counted out in Salford with a win last year and silver in 2005.

Canadian veteran Simon Whitfield is back in top form after his second win of the year; a dramatic sprint win in Kitzbuhel last week.  He’s the only man to capture multiple World Cup wins this season and has moved into a tie for third among all-time World Cup winners.  Reigning European champion Javier Gomez should be well rested and ready to take aim at another World Cup podium.  The Spaniard comes into Salford as the world number one, but by a slim margin.  Bevan Docherty is hot on his heels, just four points behind.  The Olympic silver medalist has been heating up in his last few races, runner-up in Des Moines and winning in Edmonton.

Among the international women, world number one Vanessa Fernandes will race a World Cup for the first time since Madrid in early June.  The world number one added a fourth European Championships to her stellar career and this weekend will look to inch closer to Emma Carney’s all-time World Cup record.  Canadian teenager Kirsten Sweetland will race Salford for the first time, as will Aussie Emma Moffatt, who won her first World Cup title in Edmonton last month.  Her teammate Erin Densham comes into this weekend with confidence and momentum from winning Hyde Park last week.

After diving off the pontoon, athletes will swim two laps in the Huron Basin in expected 17 degree water before cycling a technical 8-lap course.  The run consists of four laps on a flat fast course that finishes outside the award winning Lowry Museum.

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