By David Peddie on 22/07/11 at 2:21 pm
This weekend sees a return to the popular venue of Geneva for a European Cup race. Next month, Switzerland will host several ITU World Championship events and Geneva will be the perfect prelude to these competitions.
The Junior European Cup series continues in Varna, Bulgaria.This is the second year in succession that Varna has hosted a Junior Cup, and the third straight year of International Triathlon competition here.
Geneva European Cup - 24 July 2011
97 athletes are registered to start in Geneva for this European Cup. This is an Olympic Distance race and points will be awarded towards qualification for the 2012 London Olympics.
This venue has a great history of Triathlon and really cemented its place on the ITU and ETU calendar in the 2000s. In 2007, the Geneva International Triathlon celebrated 20 successful years but its run was halted in 2009 when no event took place.
However, in 2010 after a rebirth, Geneva International Triathlon returned with vigour and a stellar athletic field saw Vincent Luis (FRA) and Jodie Swallow (GBR) claim last year's titles.
Neither Luis or Swallow are taking part this year but both Elite fields remain open contest. Aside from the threat from the Australian and New Zealand athletes, Simon de Cuyper (BEL) will look to build on his impressive second place finish in Holten.
Etienne Diemunsch (FRA) is another athlete hoping to have a good race here. The Frenchman has been training at altitude at Font Romeu, although this race may come to soon for the benefits. He said: "I'm a good runner so I will try to be with the lead pack throughout and waiting for the run. I am aiming for the podium and if conditions are good I think I can do it."
In the Women's race, Australian Charlotte McShane was runner up last year and will look to go one better this time around. Two local girls to watch are Swiss pair Ruth Nivon Machoud and Celine Schaerer.
Last year Schaerer posted a disappointing DNF but with a new coach she is hoping to improve. She said: "I changed a lot of things this year, I have been a pro triathlete since January with my new coach Brett Sutton. My first priority is to increase my training but my form is good."
"My run isn't really strong at the moment so I need a good swim and I if I get a little lead group on the bike I hope I can make the top five."
"I really like to race in Switzerland. It is always special to race in front of the family and friends it sure gives me a boost."
Raceday: 24 July 2011, Elite Women 1000 start, Elite Men 1200 start.
Distance: Swim 1500m (2 laps) / Bike 40km (6 laps) / Run 10km (4 laps)
Links: Triathlon International de Geneve
Varna Junior European Cup - 24 July 2011
50 athletes are registered on the start list for this Junior Cup race.
As always a lot of attention will be paid to local athletes and Hrista Stoyneva has already posted a podium finish in Vienna this year. She was also second in the corresponding race last year and should enter this race with confidence.
Emil Stoynev has consistently finished races this year, including 26th place at the European Championships in Pontevedra. A partisan home support will offer great encouragement.
Aneta Grabmüller (CZE) is one of the better known names on the start list. She had a great start to 2011 with victory in the Winter Triathlon World Championships in Jamijarvi. She has continued this form with consistent top six finishes in previous Junior Cups throughout the year.
She said: "My preparations are not going very well. I missed one week of training after the race in Penza. But I have begun to feel better in training again and I hope I can have a good race in Varna.
"As usual, I will do my best on the European circuit and I want to enjoy this race."
Raceday: 24 July 2011, Junior Women 0900 start, Junior Men 1030 start.
Distance: Swim 750m (1 laps) / Bike 20km (4 laps) / Run 5km (2 laps)
Links: ETU Event details and Start Lists
Find more details about this event - 2011 Geneva ITU Triathlon European Cup