World’s best duathletes descend on Adelaide

World’s best duathletes descend on Adelaide

By ITU on 12/10/15 at 10:42 am

The world’s best multi-sport athletes are set to descend on the streets of Adelaide next week with the South Australian capital hosting the 2015 ITU Duathlon World Championships from the 15-18 October. 

At the elite level duathlon is high heart rate, high pressure, redline racing that actively involves the spectators in the drama unfolding on a multi-loop course.

The stunning views of the CBD and the Adelaide hills, historic Adelaide Oval, the River Torrens and Elder Park, make it the ideal location to showcase the run/ride/run format at its very best. Adelaide 2015 will be the biggest ever duathlon in the southern hemisphere, and topping the bill are a galaxy of stars that includes six duathlon world champions.

The feature race will be the Elite ITU Duathlon World Championships on Saturday 17th October.  Defending men’s and women’s World Duathlon champions Benoit Nicolas and Sandra Levenez (FRA) continued their dominance into 2015 with both athletes capturing the European Duathlon Championships held in Alcobendas, Spain.

The dynamic French “duo” have committed to the long trip Down Under and are looking to build on their recent success on the continent, with back to back duathlon world titles.
But the pre-race favourites won’t have it all their own way with former world champs, Rob Woestenborghs (BEL), Felicity Sheedy-Ryan (AUS) and the rising star in Gillian Backhouse (AUS) committed to making life as difficult as possible over the 10km run/40km cycle and 5km run.

Elite women’s silver medallist and Under 23 Duathlon World Champion in Pontevedra, Spain last year, Backhouse has been Australia’s shining light on the World Triathlon Series and she is primed for selection for the Olympics in Rio 2016.

Gillian heads to Adelaide determined to finish her sensational year on a high, by going one better, turning silver into gold.

“The Duathlon World Champs in Pontevedra were one of my favourite races last year. I really enjoyed the different format and dynamics of a run/bike/run and since finding out that this year’s championships were to be held in Australia, I’ve been set on returning.”

“With the majority of the race season spent overseas we don’t often get to race at home so it will be exciting to race with the support of an Australian crowd. I was second last year to Sandra Levenez, so it would be nice to go one better this year and win the world championship, especially on home soil,” Backhouse said.

In the men’s race, in addition to Woestenborghs and Nicolas, look out for the young Mark Buckingham (GBR), who clocked a fourth-place finish at World Triathlon Yokohama this year. While Spain’s Emilio Martin hasn’t won a Duathlon World Championship since 2012, he hasn’t been off the podium in any duathlon race in three years.

Click here for start lists

Elite Women’s Race – 11:30am Saturday 17th October, Elder Park
Elite Men’s Race – 2.45pm Saturday 17th October, Elder Park

All files by Noel McMahon

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