Caroline Steffen at the European Ironman Champs – photo courtesy of Randy Sadler

Last year’s ITU World Long Course Champion and our ‘Not so foreign correspondent’, Rachel Joyce, weighs in on the professional women’s line up at the ITU World Long Course Championships in Spain this weekend. The two names that jump off the start list at her are 2009 Champion and in form, Jodie Swallow, and the 2010 Champion and also in form, Caroline Steffen. 


This year’s ITU World Long Course Triathlon Championships will take place this Sunday in Vitoria- Gasteiz, Spain.  The 3 x Olympic Distance format (4km swim, 120km bike, 30km run) makes it a little different to the other distances on the circuit, and the shorter bike and run means there’s room to attack the race in a way which is a little more risky than in an Ironman.

Looking at the women’s field there are two stand out names, both previous champions: Jodie Swallow (2009) and Caroline Steffen (2010). My prediction is that the race for this year’s title will be between these two. Expect to see Jodie come out of the water with a good lead and then expect Caroline to chase her hard on the bike. There’s no doubt Jodie can more than hold her own on the bike so it will be interesting to see when, or if Caroline catches her. If she does, I’d expect Jodie to stick with her. Then it will come down to a foot race. Caroline has had a stellar year so far and is running very well. Jodie has been back running for a while now and has shown she’s getting stronger with each race. Steffen, who recently won the European Ironman Championships in Frankfurt for the second year in a row said that she was “looking forward to racing/fighting for my second World Cup title. I’ve recovered well after Ironman Frankfurt and have done some training to keep the form. Brett (Sutton, her coach) is the champion in getting his athletes ready in back to back races. After this race, I’ll recover before I start my Kona preparation. There is heaps of time left – Brett would say, hurry slowly.” This is going to be close!

Other names that will be looking to podium are the Danish women:  Michelle Vesterby and Camilla Pederson. Michelle has already won Ironman Lanzarote this year and put in a strong top 10 performance at Ironman Melbourne in March.  She’s on the up and will be shooting for the podium.

Virginia Berasategi is a bit of an unknown quantity having not raced too much this year, but you can never discount someone who has podiumed in Kona. Plus, the Spanish will be out gunning for a home winner!  Also keep an eye out for Australia’s Sarah Crowley who recently beat Jo Lawn and Michelle Wu to take the win at Cairns 70.3.



41 Camilla Pedersen DEN
42 Sarah Crowley AUS
43 Natasha Gorrie-Nuttal RSA
44 Jodie Swallow GBR
45 Merja Kiviranta FIN
46 Jeanne Collonge FRA
47 Caroline Koll RSA
48 Virginia Berasategi ESP
49 Estefaia Gomez Villanueva ESP
50 Gillian Clayton CAN
51 Jennifer Tetrick USA
52 Olesya Prystayko UKR
54 Gurutze Frades Larralde ESO
55 Maider Gaztañaga Dorronsoro ESP
56 Natasha Yaremczuk CAN
57 Ewa Bugdol POL
58 Caroline Steffen SUI
59 Yasuko Miyazaki JPN
60 Vanessa Pereira POR
61 Heidi Jasberger GER

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