Australia’s top triathletes will be racing across the globe this weekend in an action-packed schedule with IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast, 2021 World Triathlon Long Distance Championships Almere-Amsterdam and Super League Championship MUNICH’21 all taking place this Sunday.
The Sunshine Coast will play host to the return of IRONMAN 70.3 racing, with 30 of Australia’s elite and over 1,500 athletes in total participating over the 1.9km swim, 90km bike, 21km run in the heart of Mooloolaba.
In the men’s field, we’ll see a mix of triathlon’s experienced professionals and next generation go head-to-head including the likes of Rio 2016 Olympian Ryan Fisher, Josh Amberger and Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Australia representative Luke Willian. In the women’s, Australian 2018 Commonwealth Games representative Gillian Backhouse returns for her second IRONMAN 70.3 after making her debut at the Sunshine Coast event in 2020.
Backhouse finished eighth in last year’s event amongst a competitive elite women’s contingent which included fellow Aussies Sarah Crowley (2nd) and Renee Kiley (5th) who’ll be switching Mooloolaba for Almere-Amsterdam this weekend for the 2021 World Triathlon Long Distance World Championships.
While Sarah Crowley returns to World Triathlon racing for the first time since being crowned World Champion at the 2017 Penticton ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships, this weekend’s race in Netherlands marks Renee Kiley’s first World Triathlon World Championships race start.
Crowley will race for the third weekend in a row after a back-to-back schedule of Challenge Roth (5 Sep) and the inaugural Collins Cup (28 Aug), and Kiley after a recent personal best IRONMAN performance earning Silver in Hamburg (29 Aug) and a Kona qualification spot for the 2021 IRONMAN World Championship.
Joining our Aussie women in Almere is new-on-the-scene Adam Hansen, better known for his cycling career, who also makes his World Triathlon Long Distance Championship debut after making the move from UCI WorldTour racing at the end of 2020 to focus on triathlon and IRONMAN racing full-time in 2021.
Not far away, Super League Championship Series 2021 racing kicks on in Germany where Australia's Tokyo 2020 Olympians Jake Birtwhistle, Aaron Royle and Matt Hauser will continue competition for Race 2 MUNICH’21 over the Equalizer Format.
The innovative format will see athletes race over an intense two stages – the first an Individual Time Trial (ITT), and the second stage a continuous swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run with a pursuit start determined by the finish times of Stage 1.
Stage 1 will see all three Aussie athletes put in their best effort on the bike before setting up for stage 2, pursuit. Matt Hauser will be the hunted after posting the fastest swim time in Race 1 LONDON’21, as well as Jake Birtwhistle who has a strong run leg – posting the fastest run at Tokyo in the Mixed Relay and in Montreal (Men's final) over the Super Sprint distance, while Aaron Royle’s versatility will be on show – who this time last year took line honours at IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast.