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ITU announces new format of racing at 2016 Kitzbühel World Cup

Credit: International Triathlon Union
Credit: International Triathlon Union

From press release.

The ITU has announced an exciting new format of racing to debut at the 2016 Kitzbühel World Cup. The “time trial qualification format” will see triathletes competing twice in one day at super spring distances.

“Kitzbühel is known to our triathletes for its innovating formats,” said ITU President Marisol Casado. “In 2013, athletes endured one of the toughest races we’ve ever presented as they climbed and ran up Kitzbühel Horn Mountain as a part of the World Triathlon Series. As we continue exploring ways in which we can evolve the sport of triathlon with exciting formats, it’s my pleasure to see this new format tested out in such a forward-thinking place like Kitzbühel.”

The first time trial of the day will be held in the morning. Triathletes will start 30 seconds apart in a race that is shorter than the typical sprint distance. Those with the top 30 times will advance to the finals, an even shorter race that will decide the overall podium and have athletes race from a mass start.

The ITU explains that this style of racing gives more athletes a chance to compete in the elite field. It’s also a great way for Junior athletes to get used to the fast pace of elite racing.

While Kitzbühel World Cup takes place on June 19th after Olympic qualification closes, it’s a great opportunity for those headed to Rio to test their speed before the Games.