Australia sets the scene for the next stop of the ITU World Cup tour

Friday 15 March 2019
For the 17th consecutive year, Queensland, Australia, will play host to the second stop of the ITU World Cup tour in Mooloolaba. With athletes vying for valuable Olympic points, the start list for the 2019 ITU Mooloolaba World Cup is stacked, with the best triathletes on the circuit motivated to produce podium performances.

The sprint distance race format, staged in Mooloolaba, is renowned for being tough, scenic and a spectacle for the crowds, which line the coastal course.

Athletes will tackle a challenging course starting with a 750m ocean swim off Mooloolaba Main Beach. The bike course consists of four laps on a technical and hilly 5km loop, taking in Mooloolaba Esplanade and Alexandra Parade. Athletes will then go for a 5km run over an undulating 3 lap course, striding across the coastline.

Women’s preview
In the elite women’s field and wearing number one, in a green and gold race suit on home turf, will be Ashleigh Gentle from Australia. After an early and established start to the season, the Australian will be looking to put on a show in front of her home crowd.

“I will take any chance to race at home in Queensland, the older I get, the more I appreciate this opportunity. We rarely get to race in the ocean and I love that about Mooloolaba. The bike leg is really simple but the hill and the heat makes it a challenging course with plenty of locals around to support us on the run.

“Mooloolaba will be the last race I do before getting back to a consistent training block. It’s still really early on in the year but it’s a good chance to get race at home before the travels begin. My main goal of the year is the Tokyo test event in August (2019 Tokyo ITU World Olympic Qualification Event),” said Gentle.

Although the field is stacked with worldly experience, the Australian triathlon squad have dominated the top of the elite women’s start list.

Natalie Van Coevorden, 2018 ITU Mooloolaba World Cup champion Emma Jeffcoat and Charlotte McShane will be on the hunt for podium positions and valuable Olympic points to be earned.

Last year’s winner Jeffcoat is renowned for her striking swim combat and will be lining up to defend her title on Saturday, on Mooloolaba Main Beach.

“This will be my 4th year back to Mooloolaba World Cup, it’s an event on home soul with a surf swim and tough course that I really love! Last year was special earning my first World Cup podium and win, surrounded by family and friends. I’ll be looking to have a strong hit out again on Saturday,” said Jeffcoat.

The Australians will have to watch out for Italy’s Annamaria Mazzetti, Estonia’s Kaidi Kivioja from the ASICS World Triathlon Development Team, Spain’s Mirian Casillas García as well as Tamara Gorman and Renee Tomlin from America, all motivated to be awarded with World Cup success this early in the season.

2018 bronze medallist Angelica Olmo from Italy produced an impressive performance in Abu Dhabi last week and is looking to back up with another strong race this weekend.

Barbara Riveros, from Chile, who has recently been based on the Sunshine Coast to train and condition the body in preparation for this Saturday’s World Cup, brings a depth of race experience into the field.

Men’s Preview
The men’s roster is stacked with World Cup podium experience and sprint distance specialists, also featuring rising stars at this level, searching for their first break on the world circuit.

Canada’s Tyler Mislawchuk is the top seeded male leading into the World Cup in Mooloolaba.

An unfortunate tumble, in last weekend’s World Triathlon Series race in Abu Dhabi, just missed Mislawchuk the opportunity of a top 10 finish.

The Canadian has landed on the shores of Mooloolaba, Queensland, with fixed intentions to lay down a strong race combination.

Mislawchuk will surely be putting a battle against the strong field in Mooloolaba, as he launches into what’s expected to be the biggest year for his triathlon career.

“After a missed opportunity last weekend with a tumble in Abu Dhabi, I’ve come to Australia super motivated.”

“Ideally this race course suits an athlete who can handle the chop, heat and hills. Thankfully I enjoy all those things. I find the best way to acquire or refine racing skills is to race. Training can only take you so far; I’m thankful I was able to make the trek over,” said Mislawchuk.

USA’s Eli Hemming showcased a fierce and notable display, in last weekend’s mixed relay format as he charged up against Australia’s Jacob Birtwhistle, to come away with the silver medal. Hemming will be out there on Saturday battling for a podium position.

New Zealand’s Sam Ward, Canada’s Matthew Sharpe, Australian Olympian Ryan Bailie and swim spcialist Richard Varga, from Slovakia’s, will be trying to grab points in Mooloolaba, in a course that fits all of them extremely well, with quite a technical bike course and hilly run course.

Racing for ITU, Felix Duchampt, renowned for his speed across a tactical sprint format, will also be hunting for a front spot.

Spaniard Vicente Hernandez, America’s Matthew McElroy and Australia’s rising star Brandon Copeland are both well placed, in the men’s mix, for contention in Saturdays’ race.
by Courtney Akrigg ITU Triathlon


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