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Tough Course Will Test Triathletes In World Cup Opener

Canadian champ prepping for “brutal” race course in Mooloolaba on Australia’s Sunshine Coast.

As the first ITU World Cup triathlon of the 2011 season draws near, Paula Findlay admits she’s a tad nervous.

It has to do with the race course in Mooloolaba a city situated on Australia’s Sunshine Coast, an hour’s drive north of Brisbane in Queensland.

There’s the heavy surf in the Pacific Ocean to wrestle with on the 1.5K swim, and thigh- and lung-burning hill work the fiendish course designer used as the centerpiece for the 40K bike portion and the 10K run.

All this intensity will unfold on Sunday in late-summer Aussie heat.

“It’s a very difficult course, I never raced on one this hard before,” said Findlay, the 21-year-old Edmonton native who won back-to-back ITU World Championship Series races in Kitzbuhel, Austria and London in 2010.

“There’s a huge hill, (the course) kind of just goes up and over a hill and then turns around and comes up and over to get back and you do that for seven loops (on the bike), so it’s like 14 big hills.”

Read more: Edmonton Journal