NZers feature strongly at Lorient World Cup
22nd September 2008
For immediate release from Triathlon NZ, for more information visit www.triathlon.org.nz
New Zealanders feature strongly at Lorient World Cup this weekend – preview courtesy of www.triathlon.org
Lorient World Cup
The 2008 BG Triathlon World Cup series resumes this Saturday with round 11 in Lorient, France. This marks the first time Lorient will host a world cup and the first time in France since 2003 in Nice. In all, 35 Olympians from the Beiijng Games return to the world cup circuit. With just two world cups to go, the race for the $250,000 USD bonus pool is heating up.
In the women’s field, world number one Felicity Abram looks to continue her stellar season. Already with four world cup podiums this year, more than any other woman, Abram will be keen to maintain her hold on number one. She’ll be in tough with world number three Sam Warriner of New Zealand taking aim for the top spot. Despite a disappointing 16th place finish at the Olympic Games, Warriner has had an impressive year that includes a world cup win in South Korea and bronze medals at the world championships and the Kitzbühel BG Triathlon World Cup.
Joining her on the Lorient start list are Kiwi Olympic teammates Debbie Tanner and Andrea Hewitt. Along with Nicky Samuels, New Zealand will field a star studded roster in Lorient.
A few major European names will also be vying for the podium including Swiss Olympians Nicola Spirig, this year’s Kitzbühel world cup winner, and Magali Di marco, Sydney bronze medallist. Swede Lisa Norden looks to resume a break-out season in which she made the podium at the first two world cups this year.
Also in the field is Athens Olympic gold medallist Kate Allen. A formidable runner, Allen posted the third fastest run at the Beijing Olympic Games behind only gold medallist Emma Snowsill and silver medallist Vanessa Fernandes. She will be seeking her first world cup podium since taking bronze in Salford last year.
Highlighting the men’s field is a host of solid contenders including the home team. France enters a line-up of ten men that includes all three Beijing Olympians; Frederic Belaubre, Tony Moulai and Laurent Vidal. They’ll hope to duplicate the team’s success at the European Championships earlier this year in which France took gold and silver. Also on the start line will be Aurélien Raphael, the highly touted youngster who will make his world cup debut this Saturday. Raphael was crowned junior world champion in 2007 and junior European champion in 2006. French teenager Vincent Luis, the reigning junior world champion, will also make his world cup debut in Lorient. Earlier this year in Athlone, Ireland, he out-sprinted teammate Raphael for his first ITU elite title.
Great Britain is expected to start a strong team that includes Olympians Will Clarke and Alistair Brownlee. Earlier this year Brownlee won the under23 world championships. Ranked eighth in the world cup rankings, Oliver Freeman is also expected to race in Lorient.
Also expected in Lorient will be Spanish triple Olympian Ivan Rana and Kris Gemmell of New Zealand. Rana finished in fifth place in Beijing and won in Kitzbühel, Austria in July, the final world cup before the Olympic Games. Gemmell is looking to rebound from a disappointing Olympic Games in which he struggled with a foot injury.
The race will be standard Olympic distance starting with a 1.5-kilometer swim, followed by a 40-kilometer bike and finishes with a 10-kilometer run. The elite women start at 11:30am (all times CEST - UTC/GMT +2) while the elite men follow at 3pm. Log onto triathlon.org for live video coverage and live timing and text from the Lorient BG Triathlon World Cup.