A late entrant into triathlon at the age of 31 after careers in rowing and cycling, the Australian Wurf has since made a notable mark on the Ironman scene, in particular with his speed and prowess on two wheels.
He still splits his season between being a rider for Team Ineos and a fearsome Ironman competitor. Here’s what he has achieved in his career so far…
Who is Cameron Wurf?
Most people are content with being better than most at one sport in particular. Not so Cameron Wurf. In his younger days, the Tasmanian represented Australia at the 2004 Athens Olympics as a rower in the lightweight double scull event, having won an U23 world championship title in the lightweight coxless fours.
From there, Wurf switched to professional bike racing, riding for a variety of teams. Although he has never made the start line of the Tour de France, he has ridden in both of the other two Grand Tours – the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana – on two occasions. His most recent appearance in the Vuelta was as recently as 2020, as part of Team Ineos.
Employed throughout his bike career as a colleague-serving domestique, Wurf took a break from the peloton in 2015, partly to find a sport that he could try to win for himself and not merely be cast in a supporting role. And he found this in triathlon, since when he’s performed at an extremely high level in Ironman races across the globe.
Understandably one of the best of the Ironman brigade on two wheels, Wurf has twice smashed the course record for the bike leg at Kona (and again at the 2021 Ironman Worlds in Utah).
But with a best finish in Hawaii of fifth, he admitted to being shocked at how much the sport had moved on at the 2022 Ironman World Championship, where an 8hr flat time only resulted in an 11th-place finish.
How old is Cameron Wurf?
Cameron Wurf was born on 3 August 1983, making him 39 years of age.
Cameron Wurf’s career highlights
July 2015: A dream debut directs him towards the pro ranks
Having taken a year out from the pro cycling circus, a curious Wurf enters the Ironman Canada-Whistler, where he wins the 30-34 age group on his debut. More significantly, he comes ninth overall, beaten only by eight professionals. Wurf joins triathlon’s pro ranks the following season.
September 2017: Maiden IM victory comes in west Wales
In only his second season as a pro, Wurf finds himself on multiple Ironman podiums. In August, he takes silver in Sweden, but the following month, it’s a gold medal around his neck as he tames the wild Pembrokeshire countryside to win Ironman Wales in Tenby.
October 2017: The pro cyclist speeds off into the sunset
After a disappointing swim, Wurf makes amends on the bike leg in Kona, not only reeling in the leaders and leaving them in his dust, but setting a new course record on the bike with a time of 4:12:54, more than five minutes inside the previous best. He only finishes 17th though, having lost his nutrition bag and having to complete the marathon with little sustenance.
October 2018: A record-breaking ride for the second year running
This time in Kona, Wurf breaks into the top 10, but that’s not the main achievement of the weekend. Once again he is outstanding on the bike, taking nearly four minutes off the course record he set 12 months earlier. It now stands at 4:09:06 (as of April 2022).
December 2018: Silver in Busselton caps a fine season
After an impressive season that sees three podium finishes in the Challenge series and bronzes at both Ironman France and Ironman Switzerland, Wurf takes silver on home turf at Ironman Western Australia.
May 2019: Back home for his biggest Ironman triumph yet
Wurf delights the New South Wales crowd when he takes the win at Ironman Australia. A further win comes at Ironman Italy in September. The following month, he registers his first top-five finish in Kona.
August 2021: Wurf in razor-sharp shape but Kona gets cancelled
After the cancellation of the world championships in 2020, Wurf shows fine form ahead of the 2021 event with a gold at Ironman Copenhagen. However, the pandemic causes the worlds to be postponed for seven months.
May 2022: Blazes a trail at the 2021 Ironman World Champs
Posts the day’s fastest bike split in 4:15:44 and finishes 18th overall. Eventual winner Kristian Blummenfelt namechecks him in his post-race speech: “Luckily I was able to jump on the train of Cameron Wurf and he was surging hard up the hills – it was a brutal effort.”
October 2022: Best Kona performance to date
Unfortunately for Wurf, he has his best performance to date on the Big Island in a year when everyone else does as well. His Kona-best time of 8hrs is only good enough for 11th on a day that sees the world record broken by an astonishing 11 minutes.
Cameron Wurf in quotes
On having a sojourn from the pro cycling peloton in 2015, during which he took up triathlon: “I simply did a couple of triathlons just to keep fit in that one year while I was having a bit of self-discovery. And I found that it was a sport that I really wanted to win at. That was something I’d missed for many years, since my rowing days.”
On the challenge of Kona: “From what I’ve heard from anyone who’s ever competed in the big dance in Kona, nobody ever gets it right. It’s just who gets it most right is most successful.”
On first setting the fastest-ever bike split at Kona in 2017, a record he would break the following year: “A gap opened quickly and I was all of a sudden alone at the head of the Ironman world championship. I watched this race a million times on TV and YouTube since I was seven years old and I couldn’t believe the situation I was in.”
On the 2022 Kona performance of Sam Laidlow, who breaks Wurf’s bike record by 5mins on debut: “I love it that you can come to this race and make a name for yourself and he did it at another level. The sport has moved on.”
What’s next for Cameron Wurf?
Post-Kona 2022, admits on an Instagram post that he’ll “need to step things up big time if I want to be competitive up front, I’m excited to face that challenge.” Don ‘t doubt it, we haven’t seen the last of Wurf on an Ironman bike course… and thank the tri gods for that.
Top image credit: KELD NAVNTOFT/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images