Australia’s first Olympic qualifier for Rio Aaron Royle knows that every time he races he just can’t escape the distinctive blue red and yellow race suit of Spain.
It will be no different when he lines up in Edmonton this Monday morning (AEST) for the pentultimate round of this year’s ITU World Triathlon Series in Edmonton.
Although there is some slight respite, with third ranked Fernando Alarza electing to sit out the Canadian round, waiting in the wings for the Grand Final in Chicago in two weeks.
But he and the other Australians Ryan Fisher and Declan Wilson will still have to contend with Spain’s number one and two in the world, four-time world champion Javier Gomez and his ever-present little mate Mario Mola as well as another emerging Spaniard in Vicentre Fernandez.
But Royle has quickly come to terms that Team Spain will remain the bench mark (along with the Brownlee boys) as they prepare for Chicago and set their sights on next year’s Olympics in Rio.
Gomez, the Olympic silver medallist from London, has chalked up two wins, two seconds and a third from his last five starts and was third in the 70.3 World Championships last weekend in Austria.
Mola, despite having one of, if not the best run leg in the business, finished 12th in Stockholm after his seventh place Olympic qualifier in Rio.
Royle was sixth in the Olympic qualifier to book his place on his first Olympic team and backed up for only his second WTS podium, finishing third in Stockholm.
“I was extremely happy with my third place and second ever WTS podium, but what was more pleasing was the way I raced and the feelings I had during – its been a long time since I’ve felt like that,” said Royle who has left his summer training base in Vitoria, Spain bound for Canada.
“I am hoping to roll with the momentum gained since the Rio Test Event and put another good performance together.
“Because of a slow start to the year with injury and illness any points I gain now increases my ranking.
“I actually didn't have a good race here last year (in the Grand final) so that's another motivating reason to have a good one this year.
“My preparation for Chicago is going well and with all the racing it's been important to get the recovery in first and then look to add the training in after that.”
Royle will head for St Paul in Minnesota to put together his final preparations for his assault on the Chicago grand final.
Moffatt’s Colarado calling for Chicago
There is a strong women’s line up from Australia in Edmonton with five of the elite team chosen for the Chicago World Championships – Emma Moffatt, Erin Densham, Ashleigh Gentle, Emma Jackson and Gillian Backhouse all lining up.
The Gold Coast’s dual Olympian Moffatt has been in Boulder Colorado since Rio.
“Training has been going really well, so I’m hoping for a good result this weekend,” Moffat said.
“I haven't raced a sprint distance since March in Abu Dhabi so it's going to feel extremely fast.
“I'm hoping to blow a few cob webs out prior to Chicago.”
And as the Spanish are to the men’s field so are is the dominance of the USA in the women’s field.
Unbeaten Gwen Jorgensen makes her return to racing after missing Stockholm and she will again be joined by her fellow stars and stripes duo of Katie Zaferes and Sarah True.
But the Australian girls are on the move with Densham and Jackson both racing into the top ten in Stockholm.
Gentle and Backhouse have also recorded some good results throughout an up-and-down season but certainly could surprise.
2015 ITU WORLD TRIATHLON SERIES EDMONTON, CANADA
After a successful 2014 Grand Final, the ITU's World Triathlon Series Tour returns to Edmonton in 2015 as the penultimate stop before the 2015 Grand Final in Chicago.
From Sept. 5-6, the world returns to Edmonton to race in scenic Hawrelak Park and through Edmonton’s expansive river valley. As a proven host of many major international sports events, Edmonton continues to build its reputation as Canada's "triathlon city."
In addition to the elite races, the Edmonton race will showcase standard and sprint distance age group races over the weekend.
Aussies to watch:
Saturday 6th September, 1:36pm
Follow the Race Live:
PARATRIATHLON QUALIFYING RACE ROUND 1, MORETON BAY, QLD
The Queensland Sprint Distance Championships will be held at the Moreton Bay Triathlon at Pelican Park, Redcliffe. The event will act as a National Paratriathlon Qualifying race for the 2016 World in Mexico!
For all information refer to this link: