Short-course triathlons: the 11 toughest in the world?

Ironman racing may grab most of the ‘toughest triathlon’ headlines but short-course racing still throws up plenty of challenges to triathletes across the globe. Here are what we think are the toughest short-course triathlons (under 60km bike leg) in the world - do you agree?


Alpe d’Huez, France

While its bigger brother, the Long Distance, hogs most of the headlines, the Short Distance Alpe d’Huez Triathlon still features plenty of skyward ascent over its 28km bike leg.

The race begins with a swim in the clear if biting waters of the Lac du Verney, located at an altitude of 700m and closed to swimmers 364 days a year. The 28km bike cuts almost instantly to the tough stuff, with the climbing starting after Bourg d’Oisans to the summit of Alpe d’Huez, one of road cycling’s most iconic climbs. The hills are very steep, with gradients ranging between 10 and 12% , and elevation gain is nearly 1,500m (more than many Ironman bike legs manage in their 180km duration).

The run course is a mixture of trail paths and roads, and athletes are tasked with battling the high altitude conditions.

Continue reading our guide to the world's toughest short-course triathlons (4/11)


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