A strong Canadian team at home, and some London-bound athletes looking to find form highlight the sprint distance ITU Triathlon World Cup in Edmonton this week. In the elite men’s race, the Olympic-bound Kyle Jones (CAN), Manuel Huerta (USA), and Flora Duffy (BER) will all be chasing form just a month out from London but they face strong podium competition from Tim Don (GBR), Jarrod Shoemaker (USA), Sarah-Anne Brault (CAN) and Lauren Campbell (CAN).
Edmonton set a new standard for triathlon world championships in 2001 and this year marks the 10th anniversary of the first ITU World Cup race, in 2002. The races this year are the eighth event in this Canadian city over those 10 years, but this year this is also a twist, it will be a sprint distance race. Edmonton also holds a special place in ITU World Cup history, in over 20 years of World Cup races – only one race has ever had to be cancelled: Edmonton in 2004. After Loretta Harrop (AUS) won the women’s race, a wintery blast hit the city and the men’s race was called off. The event is the fifth World Cup event of 2011, and the only stop in Canada.
Elite Women – Sunday 8 July – 14:00 (UTC/GMT -6) Click here for time in your area
Elite Men – Sunday 8 July – 15:30 (UTC/GMT -6)
Live timing and text coverage from Edmonton will be available on race day at triathlon.org/live or at @triathlonlive on Twitter.
TOTAL PRIZE MONEY:
$50,000 USD (equal for men & women)
Swim – 750 m (1 lap) – Athletes will complete one 750m lap of Hawrelak Park Lake. The calm water is well marked and patrolled to ensure easy course navigation. Athletes will exit the lake and will proceed 200 meters to the elite transition area located directly in front of the grandstands.
Bike – 21.3 km (4 laps) – After mounting their bikes, athletes will follow the Hawrelak Park Road to the park exit where they make a gentle right hand turn onto Groat Road. Athletes will climb approximately 800m to the traffic circle at 87th Ave (30m elevation gain). The athletes will immediately make two 90 degree turns to begin their descent along Groat Road. Athletes exit onto Emily Murphy Park Road and will climb a pack splitting 400 meters up the steep Emily Murphy Hill (30m elevation gain). After a left-hand hairpin turn, they return to Hawrelak park, crossing over Groat Road. Once in the park, athletes will ride approximately 800 meters and enter a parking bay on the right side from which they will make a wide 180° turn back onto Hawrelak Road.
Run – 5 km (2 laps) – Athletes exit Hawrelak Park and proceed to ascend Groat Road, following the same road used for the bike course. Athletes will climb 600 meters (25m elevation gain) to the turnaround point. Athletes will then head back to Hawrelak Park along the same route and pass in front of the grandstands before heading out on their second lap of the course.
STORIES TO WATCH FOR:
Elite Women There is a strong Canadian contingent at home, but Bermuda’s Flora Duffy who will wear the No.1 in Edmonton. Duffy notched her first World Cup win in Huatulco this year, and has also posted two top 10 finishes in the ITU World Triathlon Series in the past seventh months (San Diego and the Beijing Grand Final). The home team will be led by rising star Sarah-Anne Brault and the experienced Lauren Campbell. Brault claimed her first World Cup podium in Ishigaki earlier this year, as well as claiming the 2012 PATCO Pan American Championships title, while Campbell is a regular top 10 WTS series finisher. They will be joined by a host of up and coming Canadians looking for their first World Cup podiums, including like Allison Hooper, Manon LeTourneau, Alexandra Coates, Ellen Pennock and local favourite Chantell Widney.
The race offers a final chance for fans to see one of the members of its Canadian Olympic team in action – Kyle Jones. While he will be one of the favourites, there are also some other athletes who will be aiming for form with less than a month to go until the Games, including the USA’s Manuel Huerta. The USA men’s team is also strong, alongside Huerta there is WTS series winner Jarrod Shoemaker, Barrett Brandon and Kevin McDowell who will make his World Cup debut. McDowell won silver at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games and then bronze in the 2010 Junior Men’s World Championship race, before being diagnosed with cancer. Three-time Olympian and 2006 World Champion Tim Don of Great Britain will wear the No.1 in Edmonton.
– Edmonton also features the 2012 PATCO Pan American Junior Championships and the PATCO Pan American Paratriathlon Championships in a week-long triathlon festival.
– Simon Whitfield is a multiple Edmonton winner, in 2002 and 2003, and another World Cup win could see him move to outright second on the list of overall ITU World Cup wins. Whitfield is currently equal second with Javier Gomez, as both have 12 World Cup titles.
– Tim Don could move to equal 6th on the overall World Cup wins list, he is currently equal 10th with six wins
– It will be the first time in the last five races that an Australian women will not win Edmonton, after Loretta Harrop won in 2004, Emma Snowsill took the title in 2005 and 2006, Emma Moffatt won in 2007 and Ashleigh Gentle in 2011. This year no Australian women are on the start list.
– A Canadian woman has yet to win a World Cup title in Edmonton
Past Edmonton ITU World Cup winners
2011 Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) Bevan Docherty (NZL)
2007 Emma Moffatt (AUS) Bevan Docherty (NZL)
2006 Emma Snowsill (AUS) Hamish Carter (NZL)
2005 Emma Snowsill (AUS) Andy Potts (USA)
2004 Loretta Harrop (AUS) Race cancelled due to weather
2003 Barbara Lindquist (USA) Simon Whitfield (CAN)
2002 Siri Lindley (USA) Simon Whitfield (CAN)
ITU Triathlon World Championships
2001 Siri Lindley (USA) Peter Robertson (AUS)