By Paul Groves on 19/04/17 at 10:43 am
For many athletes who represent their nation, the first chance of their racing season to test their fitness on an international stage is when they arrive at the Championships.
That is changing though.
It is no secret now that when there is an ETU Sprint or Standard Cup, bringing the best Elite and Junior athletes in Europe to a city to race, there is also usually an Open Race. The Open Race is a chance for the home athletes to race on pretty much the same course as the Elite and Junior athletes. A chance to finish on the blue carpet. A chance to enjoy top quality race organisation and a chance for their families, friends and sponsors to see them swim, bike and run with the best. Age group athletes - you are indeed important to our sport.
This year Weert, in the Netherlands, is the last event before Kitzbühel. Make a note of the weekend. It is 10th and 11th June and located just South of Eindhoven and close to the Belgian and German borders, is perfectly placed to enable athletes to travel there by car. A drive South from Weert, will see you travel through Germany to Kitzbühel, only 820km.
The action in Weert starts on the Friday, with children’s run/bike/run events over a variety of distances. In the late afternoon it will be a chance for the Elite athletes to test the swim, bike and run courses and in the evening will be the corporate race.
Saturday will focus on the swim / bike / run format over standard and sprint distances for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th division athletes and an evening Children’s Triathlon.
Sunday is the day for the ETU Cups but the morning will a Youth Super Sprint and Junior Sprint for the Home Nation, followed by the Open Races, over Standard (non-drafting) and Sprint (Draft-legal) Distances. The Sprint AG Race will start at 10:30 (750m swim, 18,9km bike 4,95km run) and the AG Standard Race starts at 11:30 (1.500m swim, 43km bike, 9,75km run).
This will be the chance for you to race; the same day as the ETU Cup, which will start with the women starting at 14:15 and the men at 17:00. As you can see, a lot of work and a lot of athletes with a chance to race.
If you want just one more event to ensure that you are really race fit, to ensure that the bike is properly set up, to ensure that your transition skills are really up to scratch and to see just how well you can race outside the comfort zone of you own country, what better event could you possibly find?
Oh, one more thing. Entry fee is €30 for the Sprint and €35 for the Standard, so you will not have to dig deep in your pocket.
Find more details about this event - 2017 Weert ETU Triathlon European Cup