By David Peddie on 29/08/13 at 2:57 pm
The final ETU Junior European Cup of the season takes place this Saturday at the iconic Eton Dorney course in Great Britain.
It has been another thrilling Junior season, one which has produced 15 different winners from 10 National Federations across both the Junior men and Junior women categories.
This Junior Cup takes place as part of a wider British Triathlon U20s festival and it is the first ETU Junior Cup held in Great Britain since 2006, when a certain Jonny Brownlee finished second in the Junior Men’s race.
With ranking points on offer which could have an impact on the final ETU Junior standings, as well as selection places for the World Championships in London, it promises to be a fitting finale at the 2012 London Olympic Games venue.
Junior Women Preview
As expected, a host of British athletes line up in a bumper start list but with double European Junior Champion Georgia Taylor-Brown missing, the chance is there for the new wave of talented British youngsters to make a podium breakthrough.
Georgina Schwiening is the recent World Junior Duathlon Champion after her victory in Ottawa and she makes her debut in International triathlon racing. If she can add a successful swim to her other two disciplines she could be in line for a happy debut.
Sophie Coldwell finished second in Tiszaujvaros a fortnight ago and was a Junior Cup winner at the same place in 2011. Her experience at this level will stand her in good stead and she will begin as one of the pre-race favourites. The likes of Sian Rainsley, Florie Mcleish and Leah Peploe will all be battling for their maiden podiums.
The biggest threat to British success could come from Australian trio Jaz Hedgeland, Jodie Duff and Holly Grice. Both Grice and Duff finished 3rd and 4th respectively just behind Coldwell at the recent Tiszaujvaros European Cup.
Italy’s Angelica Olmo finished 3rd in the ETU Junior European Championships and Emma Sharkey (IRL) has enjoyed a successful 2013, claiming her first career podium in Athlone earlier this year.
Junior Men Review
British duo Gordon Benson and Grant Sheldon will start as pre-race favourites. Benson has had a strong 2013, finishing 4th at the Junior European Championships in Alanya and being part of the victorious Junior relay team at the same competition. He also finished a magnificent second in his first Elite race in Geneva in July.
For Sheldon, he lost out on a gold medal in heartbreaking circumstances last time out in Tiszaujvaros after being pipped on the line by Adrien Briffod (SUI). Nevertheless, his results have been on an upward curve all year with a 10th, 6th, 6th, 2nd finishes in four races and it would be the perfect time for him to peak and take a maiden European Cup victory on home soil.
A strong Israeli team line up for this one, amongst them Shacar Sagiv (a previous Junior European Cup winner) and Ron Lewinsohn, who has impressed this year with two top ten finishes.
Bence Biszak (HUN) and Jorgen Gundersen (NOR) have competed well in Elite races this year, an experience which will stand them in good stead for this Junior sprint distance race.
Find more details about this event - 2013 Eton Dorney ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup