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This Saturday, The Hague-Kijkduin will welcome the third ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships with over 650 athletes slated to compete in the 1km swim, 26km mountain bike and 9km cross-country trail run.
Read the race preview from Triathlon.org below:
The World Championships field includes athletes from a record breaking thirty different nations, including representatives from Brasil, Japan and Peru.
This year, with more than 50 men starting in the Elite and U23 race, the quality of the field has taken another step forward. Seaside resort Kijkduin, located in the southwestern part of The Hague, combines the superb facilities of an international city with a beautiful environment embodied by the ocean and dunes. Athletes will face unique challenges on the course, with the ocean start known for it’s choppy surf, followed by bike and run trails on soft sand.
US-based Lesley Paterson (GBR) took out the ITU Cross Triathlon world title in the USA last year and is the woman to beat. She will face the fierce competition of the 2012 European Cross Triathlon Champion Helena Erbenova (CZE), who has the advantage of already knowing the course. Erbenova is also the reigning ITU Winter Triathlon World Champion and has won Xterra races in Greece, Switzerland and France this year. Then there are Jacqueline Slack (GBR) and the experienced Renata Bucher (SUI) who divided the majority of titles in Xterra World Tour races amongst each other this year.
The two-time reigning Cross Triathlon World Champion Conrad Stoltz (RSA) is back to defend his crown as the king of cross triathlon. However, Stoltz might not have it all his way in The Hague, with a very tough field lined up including Spain’s, Victor Manuel Del Corral Morales who knows the course and is a very strong runner that can strike in the last kilometer of the race. Belgium’s Kris Coddens is tipped as one of the favorites by the Dutch organization. Ben Allen of Australia is also a strong threat, as he has already won five World Tour events this year and showed he can beat everyone. Others to watch include the USA’s Branden Rakita, Great Britain’s Asa Shaw, France’s Brice Daubord, Slovakia’s Tomas Kubek and Argentina’s representative at the London Olympics Gonzalo Raul Tellechea. Dutch hopes lie with Tim Dullaart, Diederik Scheltinga and the experienced Edo van der Meer.
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