By Paul Groves on 22/09/17 at 10:42 am
Boa sorte Funchal !
Back in 1999 Madeira hosted the ETU European Championships. The title went to Anja Dittmer, Germany, in the women’s race and to Reto Hug, SUI for the men. For the junior women, the title went to another Swiss athlete, Nicola Spirig, with Ivan Raña, ESP, taking the Junior Men’s title.
A World Championships followed in 2004, after a successful ETU European Cup in 2001. Winners in 2004 were Sheila Taormina, USA and Bevan Docherty, NZL. Portugal’s Vanessa Fernandes came home in 5th. In the U23 event, Vendula Frintová, CZE won silver and is still racing strong.
Since then visits to this beautiful island have been rare for the international triathlon community so it is great news that this weekend there will once again be a race there after a 13 year break.
After the cold wind and rain of Rotterdam last weekend, athletes will be able to look forwards to sunshine and a chance to win some of the €10,000 prize-money.
Prize money distribution. Elite men and women:
- 1st. 1,250 EUR
- 2nd. 1,000 EUR
- 3rd. 750 EUR
- 4th. 500 EUR
- 5th. 400 EUR
- 6th. 350 EUR
- 7th. 300 EUR
- 8th. 200 EUR
- 9th. 150 EUR
- 10th. 100 EUR
It will also be a chance for some to improve their rankings before the ETU Cup Final in Melilla.
For the Elite and for the open wave athletes (expected to be between 400 - 500), the swim is in the sheltered waters of a harbour.
The bike course takes the athletes around town.
The final run is an out an back.
Heading the line-up for the women is Azerbaijan’s Kseniia Levkovska. The weather was unkind t her in Rotterdam and she will be hoping to add some good results at this end of the long 2017 season. Coming over from Ecuador, we see Diana Vizcarra Montes who will be racing in Europe for the first time since the London Grand Final. Austria’s Therese Feuersinger has had a great year of racing, which culminated in a strong finish and a 4th place in Rotterdam last weekend. Powerful in the water, we can expect to see her playing a role at the front end of the swim. Look out for GB’s Hannah Kitchen, reigning European Aquathlon Champion. She will be there at the front too.
With Velence and Rotterdam behind her, Portugal’s Helena Carvalho is the strongest of the host nation athletes at the moment but working with teammate, Andreia Ferrum the pairing could bring points and possibly medals to Portugal. Portuguese fans will be delighted to see Vanessa Fernandes on the start list. She has raced a few events this year and shown that her marathon racing career has not taken away all her swim/bike/run skills.
33 female athletes are set to race, representing 15 nations.
The Men’s race will see Belgium’s Erwin Vanderplancke lead them out onto the blue carpet of the pontoon. Hopefully recovered from the illness that resulted in a DNF for Rotterdam, Luxembourg’s Bob Haller will be putting his WTS experience to work and hoping for a good finish. We can expect to see the swim pace pushed hard and with Bence Lehman HUN and Michał Oliwa POL in the mix. Oliwa took silver in the ETU Aquathlon Championships and has shown immense power in the water in his races. If a breakaway can be established on the swim, then some of the younger athletes will certainly challenge the older and more experienced men.
Aussie Callum McClusky, recent winner in Zagreb will have a chance to challenge the established order. Portugal’s Alexandre Nobre will race once more against Italy’s Delian Stateff. The Italian’s 10th place against Nobre’s 19th in the U23 Worlds will be something to chase and with a home crowd cheering, Portugal should hope to see a top five finish. From Team GB comes Liam Lloyd. His spirited and powerful performance on the bike in Düsseldorf, in the Elite race, gave him 14th place.
64 men will race, representing 21 nations.
We have heard that the event will be shown live on national TV. We are hoping to get a link to share with you and will update using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Find more details about this event - 2017 Funchal ETU Sprint Triathlon European Cup