This weekend sees one of the most iconic triathlon festivals on the Australian and global calendar, with the 25th annual Mooloolaba Triathlon set to take place.
Text By Laura Siddall | Images By Witsup
Having taken centre stage for the World 70.3 Championships in 2016, the Sunshine Coast beach town of Mooloolaba returns to host the Olympic distance race for age-groupers, as well as of course hosting the ITU World Cup race for the elites.
A relatively small field of 18 elite women will appear on the start line, with a good representation from home nation athletes wanting to make their mark in 2017.
Ashleigh Gentle was third in 2015, and sixth in 2016. She finished the back end of last year strongly, winning the Noosa and Nepean Triathlons and will be keen to continue the winning form into 2017. Gentle has also recently started training with the Wollongong Wizards group under the tutelage of Jamie Turner which is sure to see her at her very best.
She’ll be working hard to stave off challenges for the title from fellow Australians, including London Olympian Emma Jackson and the young up-and-comer Jaz Hedgeland.
Also right in the mix will be Emma Jeffcoat, Holly Grice and Tamsyn Moana-Veale. Add to those Natalie Van Coevorden, who has been mixing it up on the half ironman circuit with a good degree of success and also finished on the podium behind Gentle at both the Nepean and Noosa triathlons.
The international raiders include the super-swimmer Carolina Routier from Spain, along with South African Anel Radford and Hungarian Zsofia Kovacs, with the latter pair also training under Jamie Turner.
Mooloolaba is a great event to watch, with the surf ocean swim into an eight-lap bike course which runs right through the centre of the cafes and bars. Then it is onto a four-lap run, again that runs at touching distance from spectators sipping their coffees! It’s a great atmosphere and can always produce some fast racing and a good springboard for many athletes for their season ahead.
Mooloolaba ITU World Cup 2017 Start List
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