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The ITU World Championship series continues in Europe, with Emma Moffatt, Vanessa Fernandes, Alistair Brownlee and Jan Frodeno all toeing the line on Sunday.
As the Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship moves to Europe for the summer, the triathlon circuit returns to the picturesque town of Kitzbühel nestled away in the Alps. Famed for its winter sports and legendary Hahnenkamm ski run the locals have enjoyed summer triathlon action for the past three years.
The women’s race brings together an interesting match up between world number one Emma Moffatt and Portugal’s Vanessa Fernandes. Moffatt enters Kitzbühel on the back of wins at both the Washington leg of the series and the Hy-Vee World Cup whilst Fernandes has just one major competition under her belt, last week’s European Championships, where she finished third.
Home support lies with 2004 Olympic champion Kate Allen and Eva Dollinger, who made the podium in Kitzbühel in 2007, although neighbouring Switzerland have last year’s Kitzbühel winner Nicola Spirig returning to form following victory at the European Championships, alongside Washington bronze medallist Daniela Ryf and the consistent Magali Di Marco Messmer.
In form Canadian Lauren Groves makes the trip across the Atlantic, with Andrea Hewitt and Debbie Tanner from New Zealand the other notable distance travellers. 2008 world champion Helen Jenkins is back towards her best, and she will be joined by young aspiring team mate 19 year old Hollie Avil.
Strong cyclist Jessica Harrison from France could be suited to the hilly bike course whilst Christiane Pilz from Germany will be hoping to get back into the thick of the action with a strong result in Madrid. European Championship silver medallist, Elizabeth May from Luxembourg, could also be in the mix.
Last week’s European championships saw another strong performance from Britain’s Alistair Brownlee who added a silver medal at his first senior major championships to his two Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship wins from Madrid and Washington.
Brownlee was beaten at the European Championships by reigning world champion Javier Gomez who has been improving with every race since coming back from an ankle injury. Kitzbühel marks the Spaniard’s fourth race in as many weeks following outings in Washington, Des Moines and Holten.
Brad Kahlefeldt from Australia has two second place finishes to his name this year and will be hoping to take that small step up onto the top of the podium in Austria. His compatriot Courtney Atkinson has also enjoyed a good start to his year and will be one of the men to watch.
Germany’s Olympic champion Jan Frodeno is still awaiting his first world series win and will be highly motivated following strong performances in both Washington and Des Moines. Other regional favourites include the Swiss pairing of veterans Sven Riederer and 2008 world championship bronze medallist Reto Hug.
A strong performance at last week’s European championships put France’s Frederic Belaubre back into the limelight alongside the consistent Laurent Vidal, with the Russian duo of Dmitry Polyansky and Alexander Brukhankov also looking good.
Athletes flying in from further afield include Olympic bronze medallist Bevan Docherty from New Zealand and super-runner Jarrod Shoemaker from the USA. Canada’s Brent McMahon has put together some strong races in recent weeks and has an outside chance of making the podium.
Provided by: Triathlon.org