All eyes will be on the Arena Stade Couvert Liévin this weekend as Elite and Junior athletes from all over Europe make their way to the North-Eastern town and a true triathlon spectacular.
We posted last night a short video showing the inside of the stadium and well, we were blown away. Looking back to those two events hosted by the French Triathlon Federation in the 1990’s and when Eurosport, who were so supportive of our sport, provided the TV coverage, it was exciting then but now, with triathlon so much more part of our lives, knowing who will be there but also shaking our heads at the number of athletes who are not on the start list and who will miss this golden opportunity, we can see that the sport has advanced so much.
€10,000 prize-money will be available along with important early-season points and on an indoor circuit, at an arena that is connected to the hotel next door by a covered walkway. A wonderfully self-contained venue.
Who will be racing then?
For the elite women, 13 nations will be on the start line and naturally, the French hosts have presented a talented field.
Sandra Dodet FRA. Consistently strong, part of the victorious U23 Grand Final mixed relay team and powerful over super-sprint distances, the home crowd will be supporting her along with Margot Garabedian and Justine Guérard.
These two athletes met in Valencia last year, with Garabedian having the stronger finish.
However, making the short trip over the border are the German athletes, Nina Eim, with an early season win in Troutbeck, showing powerful running and Lina Völker, who will be hoping to collect some points.
Not far to travel is the case for the northern neighbours, is the Belgian national junior champion Lara Swannet, whose junior gold medal in Ibiza in the Duathlon was a domination of the field from the very start. Powerful running and biking delivered her to the line way ahead of the challengers. The short swim will suit her here.
Probably leading them out of the water will be Rani Škrabanja. So strong in the water and with power on the bike, she could, over these distances, make the final podium. Her teammate, Quinty Schoens can be there to support her over the first two legs and if tactics come into play, the Dutch duo cold be a real threat to the host nation.
Great Britain’s Zoe Thomas can also be expected to push herself to the limit and with her strong swim and biking could also feature on the final podium. Don’t forget Romania’s Antoanela Manac, with a strong silver in the U23 Cross Triathlon and with the ETU U23 Aquathlon title, we know that she will be at the front of the pack.
With a line-up as powerful as this and with the short, explosive distances to race over, this has to be the A Team.
As reigning European Champion, Le Corre comes to the race with proven ability but will have to work very hard to stay ahead of his teammates. Depending how the heats are shared, he could be on his own, or could face a real challenge.
Pujades raced well at the end of the 2018 season, with a closing bronze in Funchal. Montoya, U23 champion in Rotterdam will be wanting to show his power after a break from the start lines and Shaw, so strong in the water is powerful on two wheels and will no doubt push hard all the way to the line in this adrenaline-packed race.
With the swim being critical in this short event, Poland’s Michał Oliwa, who last year put in many hours’ training on the bike and run, may well hold his position all the way to the line, making it uncomfortable for all those who try to stay with him.
Marco van der Stel has raced so often on the world circuit that it is always a delight to watch him race a European Cup. Last year’s victory in Melilla was a convincing one and a reminder that he has that final kick needed to win.
Lars Pfeifer will keep the German spectators focussed. As reigning World University Champion, he started this season with a spectacular closing run of 15:04 in Troutbeck to finish in 4th. The fatsest run by one minute, his pace is there.
But … isn’t there always a “but”, the Belgian team has sent Tim van Hemel the reigning double European Champion with victories at both the Cross Duathlon and Cross Triathlon in Ibiza.
Against all of them will be the Spanish athlete, Roberto Sánchez Mantecón. His U23 bronze in Eilat in intense heat, followed a silver in Alanya a couple of weeks earlier. Trying to be a top athlete in Spain is never easy but this young man has the talent that could deliver him to the top.
For full start lists, please click here.
Alongside the Elite race, will be a Junior European Cup; a fantastic chance for development and without doubt the coaches will be analysing every move of their athletes. For many, this will be their first outing onto the international circuit and for them a great chance to collect individual and team points.
For the full start lists, please click here.
We are hoping to get an update about the live-feed and as soon as we have that link, it will be published on the ETU Facebook and Twitter pages.
Related Event: 2019 Lievin ETU Indoor Triathlon European Cup
|Results: Rankings Only Male|
|3.||Pierre Le Corre||FRA||00:10:13|
|5.||Tim Van Hemel||BEL||00:10:18|
|8.||Antonio Benito Lopez||ESP||00:10:22|
|9.||Marco Van Der Stel||NED||00:10:24|
|Results: Rankings Only Female|
|Results: Qualifier 1 Elite Men|
|1.||Tim Van Hemel||BEL||00:10:39|
|2.||Pierre Le Corre||FRA||00:10:39|
|8.||Sam Vanderjeugt Rojas||CRC||00:11:48|
|10.||Enric Joan Tejedor||ESP||00:16:23|
|Results: Qualifier 2 Elite Men|
|3.||Roberto Sanchez Mantecon||ESP||00:10:46|
|7.||Lars Van Der Knaap||NED||00:11:01|
|Results: Qualifier 3 Elite Men|
|1.||Marco Van Der Stel||NED||00:10:34|
|2.||Igor Bellido Mikhailova||ESP||00:10:34|
|Results: Qualifier 4 Elite Men|
|8.||Jesús Jimenez Gimeno||ESP||00:11:05|