British triathletes head for Sunshine Coast

Stuart Hayes, Adam Bowden, Jodie Stimpson and more to race in OZ this weekend

The first ITU Triathlon World Cup event of the 2011 season takes place in Mooloolaba along the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia this weekend. Stuart Hayes, who finished in second place last year, is amongst the small team of Britons taking part.
Whilst ITU Triathlon World Cup events have less of a focus than the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series, the event in Mooloolaba marks a high profile opportunity for athletes to measure how their winter preparations have gone.
World Champion, Javier Gomez, will line up against a men’s field that includes five of the world’s current top ten athletes, including number three, Brad Kahlefeldt, who won this event last year.
Hayes is currently ranked 11th in the world and won the Kitzbuhel stage of the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series last August. Britain’s former world under 23 champion, Will Clarke, who has been training with Hayes and Jodie Stimpson in Australia over the winter, will also be amongst the favourites.
Hayes said: “I’m looking forward to getting the season going and testing myself over the Mooloolaba course this weekend. Australia has been my base over the winter, so this feels like a home event on a familiar course.
“This event is always really well supported and there’s plenty of excitement around Javier Gomez battling with Australian stars Brad Kahlefeldt and Courtney Atkinson – it’s going to be a great race I think.”
Adam Bowden, who graduated from the trigold scheme to the World Class Programme last October, completes the British men’s line up for the event taking place on Saturday.
Sunday’s women’s event features Australian women’s world champion, Emma Moffatt. Liz Blatchford, Kerry Lang and Jodie Stimpson will start their 2011 campaigns, which sees the major focus being on Olympic qualification at either the Hyde Park or Beijing rounds of the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series.
Other members of the GE Great Britain Team, including former world champions Helen Jenkins and Alistair Brownlee, are currently training in Australia ahead of the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series event in Sydney on 9/10 April.