There’s less than a week before the ETU European Half Distance Championship – Challenge Barcelona, which is taking place on May 19 in the Catalan town of Calella.
No fewer than 2,000 people have confirmed their attendance in what is already set to be a landmark event in triathlon history by bringing together, for the first time ever, two of the greatest champions in the world, Chris McCormack and Javier Gómez Noya, this event marking the Middle Distance debut for the Spaniard, who starts as one of the big favourites to win one of the places on the podium.
But these are not the only triathlon greats that will be competing. The women’s entry list also includes some big names, including Denmark’s Michelle Vesterby, winner of the latest edition of Lanzarote Ironman and 12th in Kona, Camila Pedersen, the runner-up in the World Long Distance Championship of 2012 and the defending champion of the Half Challenge Barcelona, Italy’s Martina Dogana, and Germany duo Kristien Lie and Olympian Ricarda Lisk, the latter making her middle distance debut.
In the men’s event, all eyes will naturally be on Javier Gómez Noya and Chris McCormack, but despite the obvious attraction of seeing that pair go head-to-head, there are several other top triathletes involved as well, including, among many others, Danish Olympian Jens Toft, winner of the Half Challenge Fuerteventura, Italy’s Cigana and D´Aquino, the superb Belgian duathlete Joerie Vansteelant and the Russia’s Pavel Andreev, who is practically invincible in winter triathlons.
Representing host country Spain at HALF CHALLENGE Barcelona are both of the current national Middle Distance Champions Raúl Amatriain and Marta Jiménez.
For the 2013 edition, the triathletes will be enjoying a brand new cycling segment, a spectacular circuit that takes in two natural parks and is perfectly adapted to Middle Distance racing.
Other new features for this European Championship include the new transition area located next to the Sport Area Calella sports and medical centre, and the Hotel Sant Jordi which will be the epicentre for the organisation of the event.
These are just a few of the new additions, which also include the Challenge Party that will take place after the trophy presentation, all helping to make this the biggest Middle Distance triathlon event to be held in Spain in the last decade.
For further information: www.challenge-barcelona.es
Image: Delly Carr/ITU