Star-Studded Cast for Auckland Triathlon
7 March 2014
For immediate release from Barfoot & Thompson ITU World Triathlon Auckland, for further information visit www.triauckland.co.nz
Star-Studded Cast for Auckland Triathlon – Best Field Assembles Since London 2012 Olympics
The opening round of the ITU World Triathlon Series in early April has attracted a stunning field of the best triathletes in the world with an incredible 18 of the world’s top 20 women and 17 of the world’s top men signing up for the Barfoot & Thompson ITU World Triathlon Auckland Series event, including for the first time in Auckland the prospect of both Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee taking to the downtown streets.
The Olympic Games quality field is an endorsement of not only the race and venue, but the growing calendar of top level events and training options available in the New Zealand summer as many teams and athletes choose to base themselves in New Zealand to prepare for their 2014 seasons with the Auckland event preceded by the Port Taranaki ITU New Plymouth World Cup on March 23.
Triathlon New Zealand CEO Craig Waugh is delighted at the continued recognition of New Zealand as a major player in the triathlon world and is truly amazed at the quality set to line up in Auckland.
“World class events such as the Barfoot & Thompson ITU World Triathlon and the Port Taranaki ITU World Cup play a key role in our strategic planning. They meet objectives in regards profile, creating heroes in the sport, providing aspirational pathways for our young athletes, providing race opportunities for age groupers and beginner triathletes with participation focused events.
“What shouldn’t be lost in this also is the large number of international visitors to our shores in the form of the athletes, supporters and fans of the sport, all of whom contribute to the local and national economies whether here for a few days or in the case of some, a few weeks and even months.
“I can’t think of any other sporting event on the New Zealand calendar that attracts this level of the world’s best talent to our shores with 35 of the top 40 on the start list, this will be stunning, by opening our doors to the best triathletes on the planet we will showcase Auckland to the world.”
The start list is simply one that resembles a World Championship Grand Final or Olympic Games, with the likes of Javier Gomez (Spain, world number 1), Jonathan Brownlee (GBR 2), Mario Mola (ESP 3), Laurent Vidal (FRA 7), Alistair Brownlee (GBR 8) – in fact 9 of the top 10 in the world rankings are currently on the start list.
The women’s race is no less impressive, headed by current number 1 Anne Haug (Germany) with Jodie Stimpson (GBR 2), Gwen Jorgensen (USA 3), Non Stanford (GBR 4) and Andrea Hewitt (NZL 5) leading 9 of the top 10 women in the world to commit their names to Auckland.
As well as hosting the leading names in the sport the Barfoot & Thompson World Triathlon Auckland will play host to the Tri NZ National Standard Distance Championships, attracting the best age group triathletes in the country chasing spots on the Edmonton World Championships team.
There are also events for beginners and social participants, with the Queen Street Golden Mile also on the programme for the first time, offering yet more ways for everyday New Zealanders from beginner to age grouper, young and old to be involved across the weekend.
Dave Beeche, CEO of event delivery partner Lagardere Unlimited, expects many hundreds of New Zealanders to take part in one of the events on offer and rub shoulders with the best in the world.
“’Come Play in the City’ is our catch phrase and wow, what an opportunity to take part in one of our many participation or age group based events and then sit back and see world class triathlon like you have never seen before.
“These fields promise to be better even than 2012 when we hosted the World Triathlon Series Grand Final. The thought of Gomez and Mola battling the Brownlees and the leading Kiwis on the Auckland waterfront on a testing and spectator friendly course is mouth watering. So too the battle between the Brits Stanford and Stimpson against Gwen Jorgensen, Anne Haug and of course our own Andrea Hewitt in the women’s.”
Entries are open for all participation based events at www.triauckland.co.nz with options including taking part in the Queen Street Golden Mile (kids and allcomers options), super sprint (very short) triathlon, standard triathlon, team and corporate events, youth events and a swim/run on the Saturday evening.
Entries are also open for the Port Taranaki ITU New Plymouth World Cup supporting events on March 23 with a variety of short and easily achieved race options for all participants. Details at www.itunewplymouthtriathlon.co.nz
& Thompson ITU World Triathlon
ITU Elite start list as of March 7th
Auckland Men start list as of March 7th