World Cup racing returns to Cagliari this weekend
The 2018 triathlon season makes its now-customary stop on the Italian island of Sardinia this weekend for the sixth race of the year: the ITU Cagliari World Cup. The sprint-distance course once again includes a highly technical bike section around the marina and through the city streets, with the five laps likely to dictate who will be in contention by the time the run reaches its conclusion back at the waterside.
The Cagliari course could play to American Taylor Spivey’s strengths as one of the strongest cyclists in the field, but Alice Betto is going to be one of the strongest ones to beat, after her disappointing race in WTS Yokohama. She will be racing on home soil and will be eager to give the Italian crowd plenty to cheer.
Australia’s Emma Jeffcoat arrives hoping to continue her excellent run of form in 2018 following wins in Mooloolaba and Chengdu. Teammate Felicity Sheedy-Ryan is no stranger to the World Cup podium either, and returns to the circuit for the first time since her 4th place in Weihai at the end of 2017, while Japan’s Fuka Sega, who joined Jeffcoat on that Chengdu podium, could also feature strongly.
ASICS World Triathlon Team’s Kaidi Kivioja (EST) looked in excellent form on the bike in Astana and she will look to be well-positioned out of the water once again, alongside fellow team member, Iceland’s Edda Hannesdottir.
Vendula Frintova returns to the World Cup circuit after three solid WTS races. The Czech athlete put in a rapid bike section on route to gold in the Huelva World Cup last year, a race in which Chelsea Burns finished third, and the American starts again in Cagliari in search of a first World Cup win.
Another strong French squad takes to the pontoon in Cagliari following a brilliant collective performance in Astana. Sandra Dodet earned her first World Cup gold two weeks ago and was joined on the podium by Emilie Morier, while Justine Guerard also secured a top-five finish in the Kazakh capital.
Britain’s Lucy Hall continues her journey back to full fitness after a solid outing in Astana and will work hard with teammate India Lee – winner here two years ago – in a bid to conjure up some Italian magic and a return to winning ways.
See the full women’s line-up here
Spain’s Uxio Abuin makes a welcome return to the World Cup starting line to assume the no.1 slot this weekend. The Spaniard didn’t enjoy the best of races here last year after a poor bike section, and will be looking to rediscover the kind of form he showed at the tail end of 2017 in Weihai, Huelva and Miyazaki. In contrast, Dmitry Polyanskiy looked in great shape as he ran the perfect race in Astana to win gold two weeks ago, and the Russian will surely be eyeing another podium spot here.
Lukas Pertl’s brilliant third-place finish in Cape Town provided him the ideal launchpad for the year, and after a solid performance in Chengdu in May, the Austrian will be feeling that the time is right for further glory in Cagliari. USA’s rising talent Tony Smoragiewicz continues to improve and could make a serious challenge for his first World Cup podium.
Luke Willian earned a career-best third place in Chengdu last year and will be part of a four-strong Australian men’s team alongside the New Plymouth winner three months ago, Declan Wilson. Chile’s Felipe Barraza represents the men’s ASICS World Triathlon team, which will also see a debut appearance for Mauritian newcomer Gregory Ernest.
With top-10 finishes this year in Cape Town and Chengdu, Germany’s Valentin Wernz could be another man to make Cagliari his first World Cup podium, while South Africa’s Wian Sullwald will be hoping for a big performance after recent outings at the Commonwealth Games and WTS Yokohama. There is also a very welcome return back to the World Cup circuit for Britain’s Alex Yee. Injured on this course last year, he has worked his way back to race fitness and is ready to use the Cagliari course as a launchpad to a bright future.
See the full men’s line-up here
Related Event: 2018 Cagliari ITU Triathlon World Cup
|Results: Elite Men|