Miguel Hidalgo aiming for a three-peat at Vina del Mar
The tourist capital of Chile, Vina del Mar, is ready for a second round of triathlon action and is ready to welcome some of the best triathletes of the world for the last World Cup of this season. 56 men are ready for a tough battle on a Sprint course that will see an impressive roster of athletes, from Olympic medallists like Henri Schoeman to the new Pan American golden boy Miguel Hidalgo, and local hero Diego Moya.
Many of the athletes lining up this Sunday at the El Sol beach have been in Chile for over a week, and already know the course after competing at the Pan American Games. It is the case of Seth Rider and Chase McQueen (USA), both of them continuing the chase of points, trying to secure to have three American men in the top 30 of the Olympic Qualification rankings, which will give Team USA three spots at the Olympic Games in Paris.
A fantastic swimmer, McQueen will be looking to break the race before hitting the first transition, as likely would be the local star, Diego Moya (CHI), who delivered a magnificent swim at the Pan American Games last week and managed to hold on to the lead positions to just fade at the last kilometers of the run and cross the line in 9th place. But Moya already knows what it is to podium at home, as he delivered a masterclass of racing last year in Vina del Mar to claim the 2nd place, and is really looking forward to round up the season on the podium again.
Another great swimmer might join the efforts of making an impact on the race from the beginning: Henri Schoeman (RSA). The bronze medallist at the Rio 2016 Games is racing in Vina del mar just a week after an impressive third place at the Noosa triathlon in Australia, and is always a name to keep in mind when it comes to hard and technical races as the one in Vina del Mar would be.
But with a hard and technical bike course planned, the battle for the victory will not be an easy one for the great swimmers. Miguel Hidalgo (BRA) proved at the Pan American Games that he is currently the man to beat. With two gold medals in one week hanging on his neck, Hidalgo knows the course front and back, after mastering it in the Standard distance of the individual race and the Super Sprint of the Mixed Relay. With the course for the World Cup exactly the same as the PanAms (just half the laps), it will not be easy to take him out of the leading positions.
His teammate, Manoel Messias, will likely be looking out for redemption, after the disappointment of finishing the PanAm Games in 10th place. If he can improve his swim -his wetsuit was broken half way through the swim last week- and makes it to the run with the lead group, he will be hard to beat.
With a wetsuit swim almost guaranteed -last week the water temperature was around 15ºC-, it will be a great opportunity for the likes of Brock Hoel (CAN), Martin Sobey (CAN) or Tyler Smith (BER) to try to get in the lead pack out of the first transition, but also expect the strong bikers like Seth Rider (USA), Panagiotis Bitados (GRE) or Paul Georgenthum (FRA) to make an impact on the race during the bike, especially on the technical downhill of each lap.
If it all comes to a run race, there’s some other names that will put themselves on the mix to fight for the podium positions, like David Castro Fajardo (ESP), who won at the Vina del Mar World Cup last year; Crisanto Grajales (MEX), bronze at the Pan American Games last week; Rotislav Pevtsov (AZE) or Gianlucca Pozzatti (ITA) are known for their speed and can never be discharged on these type of races.
02:21 - 10 Nov, 2023