On Saturday, the triathlon world’s focus will be on the Abu Dhabi Triathlon.
Thanks to the lucrative $250 000 US prize purse, many of world’s top triathletes will be in attendance to grab their share of the purse.
Ironman world champions Australia’s Chris McCormack and Craig Alexander headline the field along with 2005 Ironman World Champion Faris Al Sultan – he is also the founder and leader of the Abu Dhabi Triathlon Team so you know he is looking for a win on home turf.
However, the list of impressive names continues with Ironman race winners Cameron Brown, Raynard Tissink, Marino Vanhoenacker, Jordan Rapp, Bryan Rhodes, and Joe Gambles to name a few. Check out the professional start list below for more details.
“The opportunity to race the world’s best athletes, over a very unique triathlon distance is exciting and it will be a wonderful race and I look forward to the challenge. It takes the foresight and courage of destinations like Abu Dhabi to create these different styles of races and challenges, and I am anticipating a very tough day,” said McCormack, the only athlete to win Triathlon World Championships and the ITU World Cup Series in the same year (1997).
“I’m excited to make my competitive Middle East race debut in Abu Dhabi. I had ties with the UAE a few years back and I’ve also had a blast training with local triathletes in the Emirates several times. The race venue in Abu Dhabi looks fantastic and I look forward to my first race of 2011 at this world-class event,” said Alexander, a previous Ironman 70.3 World Championship (2006) winner.
Leading the women’s field are Caroline Steffen and Julie Dibens – the second and third place finishers from the Ironman World Championships. They will be joined a collection of Ironman and Ironman 70.3 stars – Leanda Cave, Heather Gollnick, Belinda Granger, Catriona Morrison, Amy Marsh, Canadian Angela Naeth, and XTERRA legend Melanie McQuaid.
“There is still no pressure on me for this race. I am excited to see what I can do there but really, the reward for this work will come later in the year,” said McQuaid. “I am happier with my time trial position now so I should ride better in my 70.3 events and really, all that aerobic fitness is good for everything. I am pretty stoked to see what I can do on the road this year. The challenge and the unknown have been super positive motivators for me for sure!”
The Professionals will swim 3 km, bike 200 km, and run 20 km. Their race will start at 6:20 am local time (Gulf Standard Time – 9 hrs ahead of EST). We have Chris Lepik (Photo Editor) on the scene in Abu Dhabi so keep an eye out here and on our Facebook page for pictures and video.
Visit www.abudhabitriathlon.com for more race details.
Professional Start Lists
Edo van der Meer
Frederik Van Lierde
Prize Money for Professionals
1st – $50000
2nd – $20000
3rd – $15000
4th – $10000
5th – $7500
6th – $5000
7th – $3000
8th – $2000
9th – $1500
10th – $1000
Total $115000 x 2 (both men and women)
Prize Money For Age Group Athletes: $20,000