By ITU Admin on 28/02/07 at 12:00 am
This weekend Flassin-Saint Oyen, Italy will play host to the 2007 ITU Winter Triathlon World Championships. Hundreds of winter enthusiasts from 23 countries will visit the mountain town in the Italian Alps to represent their nation in the eleventh edition of the run, cycle and ski event.
The Elite, Junior and Under23 athletes will race on Saturday with the Elite Team and Age Group events on Sunday. Elite and Under23 athletes will race the traditional distances of a 7.5 kilometre run on packed snow followed by a 12 kilometre cycle on snow and finish with a 10 kilometre cross-country ski. All three disciplines will take place on a groomed, 3-lap course. Junior and Age Group competitors will race a two lap course of a 5 kilometre run, 8 kilometre bike and 6.6 kilometre ski. The competition should take athletes 80 to 90 minutes to complete.
Both 2006 world champions Benjamin Sonntag and Sigrid Mutscheller, formerly Lang, of Germany are present to try and defend their titles. Mutscheller is a four-time champion already and will be gunning for her fifth title, and fourth in a row, on Saturday. By far the race favourite, in her stunning career Mutsheller has been on the world championship podium eight times of a possible ten with 4 gold medals, 3 silver and one bronze. At last year’s world championships in Sjusjoen, Norway she won by almost five minutes.
In the men’s event, all three of last year medalists are in Italy to try and take top honours. Both 2006 silver and bronze medalists Alf Roger Holme and Arne Post, both of Norway, will be strong competition for Sonntag. These three will be joined on the start line by European Champion Andreas Svanebo of Sweden and Pan American Champion Mike Kosler of the United States in their quest for gold.
In the women’s team relay, Germany will look to again take gold and keep their streak alive. The German women’s team has won the team championship every year since the event’s induction in 2002. A strong Norwegian team, however, will be looking for its turn atop the podium after finishing second to Germany the past 4 years.
For the men’s team relay, it will be Norway looking for its third title in as many years. They will have stiff competition from the ever-close Germans, who have finished second the past two years. The home-town favourite, Italians, are also sure to give the crowds something to cheer about with two teams entered.
Flassin Mountain is located just outside of Saint Oyen in the Valle d’Aosta along the French-Swiss border and boasts some of the best winter conditions in the Alps. With fresh snowfall expected over the next few days and temperatures hovering around freezing, conditions will be perfect for racing.
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Sigrid Mutsheller of Germany will try to defend her world championship title.
Find more details about this event - 2007 Flassin ITU Winter Triathlon World Championships