By David Peddie on 03/09/13 at 8:48 pm
One of the biggest and most challenging Triathlon competitions takes place this weekend in Strobl am Wolfgangsee for the ETU European Cross Triathlon Championships.
The diversity of triathlon is once again on display as over 150 athletes will compete for the European Cross title across Elite, U23, Junior, Paratriathlon and Age Group categories.
The first ETU Cross Triathlon European Championships took place in Ibiza in 2007 with Eneko Llanos (ESP) and Carina Wasle (AUT) the inaugural winners.
Since then, the popularity of the sport and the competition has continued to grow. Cornelia Schierl, of the LOC behind the European Cross Triathlon Championships, said: "There is a triathlon-boom going on in Austria, regarding the classic disciplines as well as the cross-triathlon. The community is growing constantly. Our region is literally a haven for mountain bikers, which offers the perfect circumstances for cross-triathletes.
Following the stunning course at Kitzbühel in the World Triathlon Series, the Cross triathletes can look forward to a spectacular and demanding course which covers 1km swim, 22km mountain bike and 6km run.
Schierl said: “We wanted to represent the various landscape of Austria and the Salzkammergut-Region in particular. The international athletes should get an idea of the huge potential and the unique facilities our region provides for training and races. We want to inspire them to come back for training and for the annual Wolfgangsee X-Challenge.
“It was a challenge for us to create a 11 km course which heads from the lakeside into the nature and shows the variety of the landscape for mountainbikers. In the end we made it and we're proud to say that the course is very diversified. The Cross triathletes will go on a great course that will demand all their skills, especially on the difficult downhill part with spectacular panoramic views during the race.
In the Elite Women’s race, Helena Erbenova (CZE), the 2013 ITU World Cross Triathlon Champion and 2013 World Winter Triathlon Champion, will look to add another title to her collection by defending the title she won in Den Haag last year.
Two time European Cross Champion Carina Wasle (AUT) also returns, looking to avenge last year’s defeat to Erbenova when she finished second in den Haag.
Germany’s Kathrin Muller, a previous European Cup winner, make her debut in International Cross Triathlon competition.
In the Elite Men’s race, two time winner and defending Champion Victor Manuel Del Corral Morales will not compete, opening up the field for a new Champion.
Among the contenders, Tomas Jurkovic (SVK) finished 6th in the ITU World Cross Triathlon Championships but both Peter Mosny (SVK) and Rory Downie (GBR) are U23 European Cross Triathlon Champions – Downie’s victory coming last year in Den Haag.
In the Paratriathlon competition, the great Martin Falch (AUT), the reigning European Cross and World Cross Champion will get a hero’s reception in his native Austria as he defends his title in the tri-5 category.
For a full list of start lists and lineups across Elite, U23, Junior, Paratriathlon and Age Groups – please visit the ETU website here.
For more information on the ETU European Cross Triathlon Championships visit http://www.wolfgangseechallenge.at/
The LOC will post live commentary updates and pictures on their Facebook page here.
Find more details about this event - 2013 Strobl am Wolfgangsee ETU Cross Triathlon European Championships