The 2012 ITU World Triathlon Kitzbühel promises a nail biting weekend of racing. The women begin with Andrea Hewitt (NZL) up against the likes of Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig, Aileen Morrison (IRL) and Barbara Riveros Diaz (CHI). The men’s race certainly sees the strongest line up of the year with both Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee (GBR), Javier Gomez (ESP) and Alexander Bryukhankov (RUS) going head to head for the first time in 2012 and likely the last time before the London Olympic Games.
About the race:
The magnificent Alpine landscape provides the location for the fourth round of the 2012 World Triathlon Series where athletes will begin with a dive into Schwarzsee lake for a two lap swim. The challenging bike course bends and climbs up to the Lebenberg and through the centre of Kitzbühel before a fast virtually flat run.
Elite Women – Saturday June 23 – 15:06 (UTC/GMT + 2) Discover the time in your area
Elite Men – Sunday May 24 – 15:06 (UTC/GMT + 2)
TOTAL PRIZE MONEY: $170,000 USD (equal for men & women)
Swim (1.5km) – Athletes start with a dive from the landing stage of the Schwarzsee lake with a 20m run along the bank between the two laps. Water temperature in June is approx. 20°C.
Bike (40km) – Six laps around sharp bends with fast and narrow descents that lead through the centre of Kitzbuehel.
Run (10km) – The race takes place on asphalt and is virtually flat throughout. Each lap incorporates three 180° turns.
STORIES TO WATCH FOR:
Showdown of Olympic favourites in loaded men’s field – Alistair Brownlee (GBR) enters his first ITU race this season after sustaining an Achilles tendon injury in February. Last year’s incredible four WTS golds led to his 2011 World Champion crown. Now, attention will focus on whether he is back to full race fitness to reclaim his Kitzbühel titles from 2009 & 2011 and ascertain his position on the road to London 2012. Jonathan Brownlee joins his brother in Austria following consecutive WTS success in San Diego and Madrid. The Brownlees will aim to keep up their joint podium run, first standing together in Madrid 2011, they have shared the podium in every single ITU race they have both competed in since. Andrew Yorke is the lone Canadian racing this weekend in Kitzbühel.
The brothers will go head-to-head with a host of other Olympic medal favourites including Spain’s Javier Gomez, 2008 Olympic champion Jan Frodeno, Switzerland’s Sven Riederer and a fierce Russian duo of Alexander Bryukhankov and Dmitry Polyanskiy. This will likely be the final time all these contenders will face each other before London 2012.
The Women’s Race – Hewitt enters her third ITU World Triathlon Series of the year straight off the back of Banyoles World Cup where she finished fourth. After her bronze in Sydney in April, a medal this weekend will be Hewitt’s fifth in Kitzbühel. Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig has won her past two races, taking the most recent World Triathlon Series in Madrid for the second year running and regaining her European Championship title in Israel in April. Spirig has also finished on the podium in Kitzbühel before, claiming silver in 2009 and winning in 2008. Chile’s Barbara Riveros Diaz proved that her Olympic preparation is heading in the right direction with bronze in Madrid last month.
Gwen Jorgensen, representing USA at London 2012 will appear in Kitzbühel. Jorgensen enters the race just days after winning the Banyoles World Cup and also came fourth in Sydney this year. She gained Olympic selection last year with an impressive display in London last year on the 2012 Olympic course finishing second.
Verzbicas’ WTS debut – Rising American star Lukas Verzbicas will make his debut in the ITU World Triathlon Series. And if his ITU World Cup debut this past weekend was any indication, Verzbicas will make quite an impression in his first World Series race. The reigning Junior World Champion won his first ITU World Cup title in Banyoles, Spain and steps up to the big stage this weekend and will test himself against the very best in the world.
PREVIOUS KITZBUEHEL WINNERS
Elite Women Elite Men
2011 Paula Findlay (CAN) Alistair Brownlee (GBR)
2010 Paula Findlay (CAN) Stuart Hayes (GBR)
2009 Emma Moffatt (AUS) Alistair Brownlee (GBR)
2008 Nicola Spirig (SUI) Ivan Rana (ESP)
2007 Andrea Hewitt (NZL) Simon Whitfield (CAN)