By Paul Groves on 06/07/17 at 6:15 pm
We were fortunate to get to meet the Local Organising Committee for Tartu at the ETU Triathlon Champion ships in Kitzbühel recently. They were there to promote their 2018 event, which will see athletes from all over Europe get a truly good deal in Estonia when they race the Standard Distance in July next year.
With costs being held down and travel there really simple, the organisers were much in demand by Age group athletes who wanted to find out the best deals for the 2018 Championships. Team Managers, coaches and athletes too were keen to find out everything they could about Tartu, a famous university city where in the past we have seen Winter Triathlon and Summer events.
The volunteer team is ready.
This weekend will be a final chance for the LOC to test their event, as it hosts the 2017 Tartu ETU Sprint Triathlon European Cup. In its fifth year now, this event has grown and grown. In 2013, gold went to Ukraine’s Yuliya Yelistratova and Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt. 2014 saw Russia’s Arina Shulgina and Vladimir Turbaevskiy take the honours. 2015 was the turn of Zsanett Bragmeyer from Hungary and Australia’s Declan Wilson to wear gold and last year is was a tremendous victory for home favourite, Kaidi Kivioja and Italy’s Matthias Steinwandter.
With the athletes using this year’s event to check out the course for 2018, we can look forwards to a good line-up for the women, with 17 nations represented. Of course, we are getting used to non-Europeans racing and we should feel rightly proud that they come from Australia, Canada, South America and the USA. After all, we have the very best and it is only fair that we share.
Topping the rankings will be Estonia’s Kaidi Kivioja. 5th in the U23 in Cozumel and a top ten place in Düsseldorf very recently will give her great confidence going into this race. She will be up against the young Russian, Ekaterina Matiukh who placed 5th last weekend in Holten and an on form Angelica Olmo ITA, who won in Weert over the longer distance. Going to be fast!
Tartu; easy to get to. Fly to Tallinn and then the train takes you in great comfort, with free WiFi, to the centre of Tartu. The great thing about Estonia, apart from the natural beauty of the country, is the super-fast and mostly free WiFi. Bear that in mind for next year when you plan your races.
The Men’s race will be seeing 26 nations go for the points, prize-money and medals. Amongst them are some very experienced athletes and some pretty new faces on the block. Leading the rankings and Dad for just a matter of days, is the 2014 winner, Russia’s Vladimir Turbaevskiy. He raced well in Kitzbühel in the individual event and helped Russia to the podium in the Mixed Team Relays. He will face both Alexander and Andrey Bryukhankov so we can expect to see some determined racing at the front end of the pack.
Currently on good form and on the back of his victory in Weert, is Great Britain’s Callum Johnson. If he can stay with the leaders in the swim, then watch out. Aussie Liam Spoule is likely to be amongst the leaders on the swim. Tucked in the peloton n the bike, he needs to produce greater running power to stay with the leaders but expect to see him shoulder to shoulder with our best athletes in the early stages of the race. A top ten in Altafulla last week will give Sylvain Fridelance SUI some encouragement and Henry Räppo can certainly expect loads of encouragement from the home crowds.
Find more details about this event - 2017 Tartu ETU Sprint Triathlon European Cup