Lorient World Cup Preview
The 2008 BG Triathlon World Cup series resumes this Saturday with round 11 in Lorient, France. This marks the first time Lorient will host a world cup and the first time in France since 2003 in Nice. In all, 25 Olympians from the Beiijng Games return to the world cup circuit. With just two world cups to go, the race for the $250,000 USD bonus pool is heating up.
In the women’s field, world number one Felicity Abram looks to continue her stellar season. Already with four world cup podiums this year, more than any other woman, Abram will be keen to maintain her hold on number one. She’ll be in tough with world number three Sam Warriner of New Zealand taking aim for the top spot. Despite a disappointing 16th place finish at the Olympic Games, Warriner has had an impressive year that includes a world cup win in South Korea and bronze medals at the world championships and the Kitzbühel BG Triathlon World Cup.
A few major European names will also be vying for the podium including Swiss Olympians Nicola Spirig, this year’s Kitzbühel world cup winner, and Magali Di marco, Sydney bronze medallist. Swede Lisa Norden looks to resume a break-out season in which she made the podium at the first two world cups this year.
Highlighting the men’s field is a host of solid contenders including the home team. France enters a line-up of ten men that includes all three Beijing Olympians; Frederic Belaubre, Tony Moulai and Laurent Vidal. They’ll hope to duplicate the team’s success at the European Championships earlier this year in which France took gold and silver. Also on the start line will be Aurélien Raphael, the highly touted youngster who will make his world cup debut this Saturday. Raphael was crowned junior world champion in 2007 and junior European champion in 2006. French teenager Vincent Luis, the reigning junior world champion, will also make his world cup debut in Lorient. Earlier this year in Athlone, Ireland, he out-sprinted teammate Raphael for his first ITU elite title.
Great Britain is expected to start a strong team that includes triple Olympian Tim Don. Don is the highest ranked Brit at number four thanks to a bronze in Australia and victory in South Korea. Ranked eighth in the world cup rankings, Oliver Freeman is also expected to race in Lorient.
Also expected in Lorient will be Spanish triple Olympian Ivan Rana and Kris Gemmell of New Zealand. Rana finished in fifth place in Beijing and won in Kitzbühel, Austria in July, the final world cup before the Olympic Games. Gemmell is looking to rebound from a disappointing Olympic Games in which he struggled with a foot injury.
The race will be standard Olympic distance starting with a 1.5-kilometer swim, followed by a 40-kilometer bike and finishes with a 10-kilometer run. The elite women start at 11:30am (all times CEST - UTC/GMT +2) while the elite men follow at 3pm. Log onto triathlon.org for live video coverage and live timing and text from the Lorient BG Triathlon World Cup.
Related Event: 2008 Lorient BG Triathlon World Cup
|Results: Elite Women|