World Cup Racing Returns to the Spanish Capital
24 May 2017
After an eight-year hiatus, world cup racing returns to the Spanish capital to host the 2017 Madrid ITU Triathlon World Cup. First appearing on the calendar in 2003, Madrid hosted a world cup event every year until 2008, until it became a regular stop on the World Triathlon Series from 2009 to 2013. As one of the headquartering cities to ITU, the city of Madrid is a special place for triathlon, sure to produce an exciting event.
Athletes are in for a challenging race day as Madrid is serving up one of the toughest courses of the 2017 world cup season. The elites will dive in the water of the Casa de Campo lake for two laps of 750 metres each to then grab their bikes for five kilometres in the same park before heading for the city center to do six laps of a highly demanding, technical and tough circuit, including the terrific Cuesta de la Vega, a demanding slope with 8% gradient.
The second transition area and finish line is situated on the beautiful Plaza de Oriente, right in front of the Royal Palace. During the run, athletes will face four laps of 2.5 kilometres each on a flat road that will allow them to enjoy the amazing sights of the city from the Debod Temple.
Leading off the women’s start list is Vendula Frintova (CZE). As the top-ranked women racing this weekend, she has finished in the top-15 in three World Triathlon Series events this season. The veteran athlete has the experience that many women racing do not have and therefore will play a huge advantage during Sunday’s competition. Her last world cup podium was in 2015, so she is also due for another medal.
A great number of young talent are expected to line up this Sunday, almost guaranteeing that the Madrid podium will see some new faces.
USA women continue to prove their strength, showcasing rising stars in many events. This weekend the Americans will set their fates on Taylor Spivey, Erin Dolan and Kaitlin Donner. Spivey just missed the podium in New Plymouth earlier this season by finishing fourth, so could get within the grasp again this weekend. Dolan also has had some close world cup podiums in her career and will be looking to officially step onto her first. While Donner is the only U.S. women racing to have made it onto a world cup podium, that was in 2015 and Madrid will be her first standard-distance race of season.
Hoping to keep the gold within the nation, Spain’s own Carolina Routier will be racing for the hometown glory. Routier continues to dominate in the water as one of the leading women in the swim, but has yet to earn world cup hardware, so racing in Madrid is the perfect opportunity to change that.
Other women to watch this Sunday is Great Britain’s India Lee and France’s Audrey Merle. Lee carved her name as one of the Britain’s budding talents after winning the Cagliari World Cup last year and then following her performance up by winning the ETU European Championships. She has not raced a world cup this season, so Madrid will be her debut event. Merle was the 2015 U23 World Champion. However, after debuting in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, she has not raced in a triathlon since. So, she will be beginning her year this weekend.
The men’s field will see a roster full of up and coming stars that have had a taste of podium celebrations in the past and will be eager for more.
Waring the number one is Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR). He had one of the biggest breakthrough seasons of the year last year when he won his first two-career world cup events and also made it onto his first WTS podium. He also just had an amazing come-from-behind performance in WTS Yokohama, where he earned the bronze. He is a fierce and intense competitor, so will be one of the biggest threats on the day.
Kiwi Ryan Sissons earned the bronze in New Plymouth this season and after his unfortunate DNF in WTS Yokohama, he will want some race redemption.
A list of other men that have made it into the world cup podium club in past events include: Wian Sullwald (RSA), Kevin McDowell (USA), Drew Box (AUS) and Rodrigo Gonzalez (MEX). All of whom have a shot of making it onto the Madrid champagne toast.
But there are other names that are looking to join in on the celebration and could be ones to watch this Sunday. Jorik Van Egdom (NED) is the U23 World Champion, while the U23 runner up was Manoel Messias (BRA), who was also the 2015 Junior World Champ. Both men are rising talent that are looking for the one race to put them in the headlines.
The women will get the 2017 Madrid ITU Triathlon World Cup underway with the first race starting at 10:55 on Sunday, May 28, while the men will follow at 13:15 local time. Follow all of the action with live timing at triathlon.org/live and on twitter @triathlonlive using hashtag #MadridWC.
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2017 Madrid ITU Triathlon World Cup
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