London warm-up in Hamburg
20 July 2012
TRIATHLON: Australia’s Olympic triathletes will have their final hit out before London 2012 when they hit the streets of Hamburg this weekend for the next round of the ITU Triathlon World Championship Series.
Unlike the previous years the 2012 round –the 10th successive year for Hamburg - will be a sprint format (750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run) - an ideal hit out before the Olympics which will hit the streets of London on August 4 (women) and August 7 (men).
It was here last year that saw the Australians triumph with the three Emmas – Moffatt, Jackson and Snowsill producing their famous 1-2-3 finish with Brad Kahlefeldt outstanding to win the men’s race on his favourite course.
While Beijing bronze medallist Moffatt elected to spend most of the Games lead-up at home on the Gold Coast with coach Craig Walton while her teammates have been in France and Spain putting the finishing touches to their Games preparations.
Moffatt arrived into the Australian team camp at Aix Les Bains in France this week all smiles and ready to attack her second Olympic Games.
Her fellow women’s team members, in-form Beijing teammate Erin Densham has been between Font Romeu and Spain while debutant Jackson has been in Majorca and Aix Les Bains.
Beijing Olympians Kahlefeldt and Courtney Atkinson have been together in Aix Les Bains after Kahlefeldt’s recovery from pneumonia and Atkinson’s stint in California.
While men’s debutant Brendan Sexton has flitted between Spain and the high altitude of Font Romeu with training partner Aaron Royle.
Australian head coach Shaun Stephens has stressed to his team that while there will be points allocated for the ITU World Championships it’s all about London.
“This weekend's racing is more about focussing on the process of racing, blowing out the cobwebs, than it is about winning the race,” said Stephens.
“We are stressing to the athletes that the important race is two weeks later and hence they need to use the race as part of their build up to London and assessing their final preparation requirements.”
Stephens reported that Kahlefeldt, following his hospitalisation after the San Diego round was very much back on track.
“Brad is very strong at the moment and his performance in Paris (where he was fourth in a Grand Prix event) has given him the confidence he needed after the set-back he experienced earlier in the year,” said Stephens.
The women’s race will also include Australia’s Ashleigh Gentle, who won the ITU Round in Hungary last weekend, Felicity Sheedy-Ryan and Natalie Van Coevorden while in the men Canary Wharf winner Royle and Peter Kerr will bolster the men’s fields.