By ITU Admin on 30/10/06 at 12:00 am
In only a few hours time, the top triathlon nations in the world will swim, bike and run together, as a team, in a new, quick-paced race format for the title of Top Triathlon Nation. Together there are 20 teams racing in the womens and mens events representing many of the powerhouse triathlon countries such as the United States, Germany, Canada, Spain, Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands and Kazakhstan.
Be sure to tune into Tricast Live! for full race coverage starting at 3pm local time (GMT-6).
The race format is a team relay of three team members each completing a super sprint triathlon of a 250m swim, 6.6km draft-legal cycle and 1.6km run each before handing off to the next team mate. The first team to complete the 3 x super sprint will win the title of strongest triathlon team. Each nation can enter as many teams as they wish. Not only is national pride at stake but also a prize purse of US$50,000 , that will be awarded to the top 3 teams equally to both men and women.
This will only be the second time the event has been run with the first being in Tiszaujvaros, Hungary in 2003. At that time the Australians were number one, winning both the womens and mens titles.
This year the Australian contingent will not be racing this time around, however, as they wind down a long season. Who will be the new team champs? Will it be the traditional triathlon strongholds of Oceania and the Americas? Or will the rising European nations challenge?
Canada and the United States will both field strong teams on the mens side led by 2000 Olympic gold medalist Simon Whitfield (CAN) and 2005 world cup champion Hunter Kemper (USA). In the women it is veteran Laura Bennett leading the young U.S. team and budding star Lauren Groves anchoring the Canadian camp.
The meteoric rise of young Javier Gomez in the already strong Spanish camp with the consistent German team led by second-ranked Joelle Franzmann in the women and Jan Frodeno on the mens side there is sure to be fierce competition for the Americas.
The other nations on the start line are looking to establish themselves as a triathlon superpower but where they lack experience or results they look to make-up for with determination. In this super sprint race, it is all about speed, grit and team spirit.