Ahead of the 2016 Cross Triathlon World Championships some of the sports top athletes gathered at the press on Thursday afternoon. Here are some of the highlights of what Jacqui Slack, Ruben Ruzafa, Flora Duffy, Ben Allen, Renata Bucher and Sam Osborne had to share on the course and what will be required to win on Saturday.
Flora Duffy (BER)
On the course
“I think this course is fantastic, it’s like a breathe of fresh air coming here and ride a really challenging, technical Xterra bike course. A lot of the course on this circuit you can get away with being somewhat skilled on the mountain bike and having a lot of fitness whereas here you need to know what you’re doing on a bike to really ride this course well and execute a good race.
“Being at the front of the race is being crucial to executing a good swim. The run here is so technical that again that’s going to cause a few people some issues, so need to be aware.”
On being the favourite
“It’s a different position to be in – the hunted. I try to view it in a positive way I think having the pressure on you is kind of a privilege.
“Being the favourite is not a bad thing, I’m going to execute the same race plan whether I’m favourite or not.
Jacqui Slack (GBR)
On know the course so well
“This one is more of a local course for me, I’ve raced here four or five times now. This course has more single track than any race I’ve ever come across all over the world. It’s so well maintained but what I really love is spectators and supporters see the athletes so many times during the race.”
On her race preparation
“I’m well prepared for this race, it’s my home course I’ve ridden this course more than most of these athletes and knowing every twist and corner is a massive advantage.
“I’ll just see what I’ve got on the day and do my best.”
Ruben Ruzafa (ESP)
On the course
“It’s a flat course but fairly technical too, I think it’s well balanced, the run course is the same it’s flat but it’s slow.
On where he’ll be placed after the swim
“I am one of the one’s going to have to pass people!”
“I want to do things well and try my best not to make mistakes.”
Ben Allen (AUS)
Thoughts on the course
“This is a like hometown race for me, I know the course pretty well. It just goes to show the people behind the race the passion that they’ve put into making sure it’s well maintained and safe and enjoyable for all athletes with different abilities pro and age groupers – it’s a credit to them.”
On what you need to produce to win
“You have to be at the pointy end of the race with any chance in order to win this race. The uber bikes will struggle in this race because the passing opportunities are limited.”
“The stronger swimmers will prevail in this race. From racing here previously that’s the experience I can mention. If you suck at swimming – good luck!”
On how many guys can win this weekend?
“I think there are five guys that are worthy of winning this race, it’s going to take a lot to put together a really good performance on a course like this. A really solid swim, ride above your ability on the bike course. Riding within yourself and staying calm and stick to your game plan.”
Sam Osborne (NZL)
On the course
“The nature of the course with all the single trail it’s not the easiest place to get past people so obviously the front is the place to be.”
“So you’re going to have to really nail that swim. And even more so as there’s only 60m to the first buoy. You don’t have to be a genius to know 55 men going around a buoy is going to be interesting”
“The swim is going to be crucial to set up your bike ride.”
On the pitfalls
“One big thing is about doing a mistake, it can happen to all of us and can cost you so much time.”