By Paul Groves on 20/09/16 at 12:06 pm
Last year we had a stunning finale to the ETU racing season, with athletes heading to Sochi to ensure that their hard work during the season could be rewarded with a final paycheque. In 2014, the final counting event of the season was in Madrid. The ETU Rankings Series has attracted some of our best athletes onto the circuit and, during the “Olympic Year” this has shown their dedication to supporting triathlon and the development of triathlon in Europe. For those who did not go to Rio it was recognised by the ETU Executive Board that they too deserve reward and recognition and the prize-fund, usually €30,000 would be increased to €40,000. This would give the ETU Ranking Series winner a massive €5,000 payday.
The distribution, for men and women, is as follows:
- 1st 5,000 €
- 2nd 4,000 €
- 3rd 3,000 €
- 4th 2,000 €
- 5th 1,600 €
- 6th 1,400 €
- 7th 1,200 €
- 8th 800 €
- 9th 600 €
- 10th 400 €
Of course, there is no such thing as a free dinner and in order to collect the bumper prize-money pay-out this year, the athletes, as in previous years, were expected to race the final event. Don’t forget to check the ranking criteria. Athletes can rely upon the points they win in a maximum of 4 events, with the Final offering double points. All added together they will give a chance to win some serious money at the ETU Rankings Series Final. Also, to earn points, athletes must finish within the cut-off time, which will be determined by adding 5% to the winner’s time in the men’s event and 8% in the women’s event. Criteria can be checked here.
During the year, Turkey has seen some quite astonishing things happen politically but alongside the political life there exists also another world. The day to day life of the “you and me” and of course, there is triathlon. Turkey had to cancel just one international triathlon and that was due to the local police being re-deployed and being unable to ensure the road closures would be maintained. Aside from that athletes have raced and won at a series of events around the country.
Alanya has long been a favourite destination for tourists and of course for the past 26 years has seen athletes from all over the world race in the beautiful clean and clear waters of the bay. Alanya, host city for the ETU European Championships in 2013. Ever the welcoming hosts, the closing party was easily one of the most elegant we had ever seen. The sun setting over the seas, the castle illuminated above us, the endless food and relaxed atmosphere. Such great memories.
This year Alanya is set to welcome athletes one more time. 26 years old this year and hosting the ETU Rankings Final. The race itself has Prize Money of 12,500 € with distribution as follows:
Elite men and women:
- 1st 1,565 €
- 2nd 1,250 €
- 3rd 940 €
- 4th 625 €
- 5th 500 €
- 6th 435 €
- 7th 375 €
- 8th 250 €
- 9th 185 €
- 10th 125 €
So, theoretically a winner could go away with a pocketful of €6,565; a nice end of season reward.
She has raced consistently over the season and even competed in Tønsberg, a week before Rio. Sadly for her, that race saw the swim cancelled and, even though she won the race, her points were reduced to “duathlon points” in accordance with the published ranking criteria. Still, she is comfortably ahead in the rankings but with double points being available in Alanya and the determination of other athletes not only to try and beat her but also to make a last-minute bid for the points and prize-money, this is going to be a critical race for her. Four events raced. She meets the criteria.
When they are together you better watch out. Their domination in the swim, an area where Yelistratova has been working hard to improve, and then an ability to deliver a masterclass in chain-gang riding on the bike, could well see these two disrupt the rankings and walk away with the cash. Hall lies in second place currently and Learmonth in 4th. Both Brits have raced enough events to meet the criteria and without doubt they will be seeking to create distance in the swim and then to hammer it on the bike course. Bring your video cameras; this will be an impressive ride.
Both are on the start lists but the third placed, Valentina Zapatrina, has not yet signed up. Her absence could lose her lots of points and the prize-money as she has met the criteria. Heather Sellars GBR has now signed up along with the GB U23 athlete, Sophie Coldwell . Her silver medal in the ETU U23 Championships in Burgas and an impressive bronze in Madrid last year suggest means that wh, with Sellars now present on the start line will make the race even more exciting.
It has been delightful to see some of the younger athletes race alongside the Elite. We saw an impressive performance in Cozumel last week from the young French athlete Léonie Périault. She had to settle for a silver again behind Laura Lindemann GER but still post a powerful statement to all the other athletes in her U23 category. Along with Justine Guerard who is currently ranked 9th, the French Federation has good strength in the younger ranks. Both have raced four events and so by turning up in Alanya and finishing in a good time, they would have a chance for the jackpot.
Italy’s athletes are currently missing from the start lists. Giorgia Priarone and Verena Steinhauser are lying in 7th and 8th position in the rankings. It would be Steinhauser who would get the greater benefit, having met the criteria.
Russia’s Ekaterina Matiukh has been steadily improving over the season and, racing in Alanya, can expect to go home with additional points and perhaps a top-five place in the rankings table. 4 races done already; improving all the while; Alanya could be the icing on the cake.
For the men, the situation is far more fluid. With only the 3rd, 4th, 6th and 8th ranked athlete signed up the game is on.
László Tarnai HUN stands a good chance, with a good race, to go home with a pocketful of Euro.
For the women, in the top section of rankings, only Yelistratova, Hall, Learmonth and Matiukh are shown to have entered. So many other athletes could have the chance to share the ETU Ranking Series final prize-money.
Amongst the men, there are many big names missing. Wouldn’t it be nice to see more race with the chance to go home significantly richer?
The event will also see the Junior European Cup. There will be a final chance for junior athletes, racing for their nation, to collect points. The top three federations will then receive prize-money as a reward for their juniors. With strong performances recently from Austrian athletes, they have moved up to third place behind Hungary and Great Britain. France will need to really work hard if they want to get back to the top three.
Don’t forget, there is still time to enter.
Find more details about this event - 2016 Alanya ETU Final Triathlon European Cup