On Sunday, the Spanish coastal city of Alicante will host its first ITU Triathlon World Cup. Spain is one of two countries this year to host two World Cups, with Alicante serving as the seventh stop on the circuit. Ahead of the races this weekend, ITU talked with several of the elite athletes about Alicante’s debut on the calendar.
Great Britain’s Jodie Stimpson, who was the runner up in the World Triathlon Series this year, will try to maintain her good shape in Spain: “I have been very consistent this year. It has been amazing getting the silver medal, it was fantastic. It’s great to compete in a World Cup in a beautiful city like this at the end of the season. I will try to do my best and then it is time to recover after London.”
Also having competed at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in London two weeks ago, Ainhoa Murua (ESP) returns to compete at home: “It is always important to stay in Spain. I would like to do my best and have a good race. It is the first time I will compete in Alicante. It is very hot, so I expect a hard race,” said Murua, who was seventh at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Murua thinks the course is very technical and not very hilly, “I think Jodie Stimpson is the main favourite. We also have to keep an eye on Alice Betto, who is very strong, and Rachel Klamer, the European champion.”
Betto, who finished 10th in the 2013 World Triathlon Series rankings, feels very happy: “I have had a great season this year. Last year I was injured so I couldn’t go to the Olympics and that was terrible for me. This year I changed my coach and my training and I changed a lot of things. I’ve had good results.”
Betto, who was a swimmer for 11 years, would like to finish this season well in Alicante. “I recognize that I should improve in running, but I have a lot of energy and feel confident”.
In the men’s race, Sven Riederer (SWE) is going to try to win his first World Cup this Sunday in Spain: “This season has not been my best one, but I finished the World Triathlon Series in the Top 10 and that was very important. The level is high and I am happy with this position.”
The Swiss athlete, who won bronze medal in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, is very motivated for this weekend: “I really like to compete after the main goal of the season. It is different because all the pressure is off and I can just enjoy it. The swim is not going to be too fast, which is good for me, and I am prepared for a fast run.”
Steffen Justus (GER) is one of the main favourites on the start list. “My season was not the best. I was injured, I couldn’t run for six weeks,” he explained.“I will try to compete. I had a good start to the season with good races in Auckland and San Diego but then things changed.”
“At the end of the season, I will try to have some fun and get some good results. It is not a difficult course, it is really technical. It is warm and windy, it can be a hard bike and running with 28-30ºC is hard for everyone,” concluded Justus.