X-tri world champs six months away from making history
Just six months until Australia hosts the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in a series of firsts for off-road tri’s to debut Down Under in 2016…
BRISBANE – A lot has happened since the International Triathlon Union (ITU) announced last year it had awarded Australian off-road sports event company In2Adventure the hosting rights for the 2016 Cross Triathlon (X-Tri) World Championships to be held at scenic Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa in the heart of the iconic Snowy Mountains of New South Wales (18-20 November).
It was an historic announcement as the successful bid marked the race’s first foray in the Southern Hemisphere, as all six previous editions have been held above the equator.
In what is anticipated to be a capacity event, individual athletes are gearing up to “Get Dirty Down Under” with a 1.5km lake swim, 30km mountain bike and 10km trail run starting at an altitude of 1200m above sea level. The course will present a unique challenge to competitors with its combination of the stream fed, fresh alpine waters of Lake Crackenback, the fast flowing single track of the mountain bike course and a challenging trail run with Australia’s highest peak, Mt Kosciuszko as the backdrop.
“We’re very proud and excited to be hosting another major international championship race here in Australia, after the enormously successful ITU World Cup and World Triathlon Series races in Queensland earlier this year,” said newly appointed Triathlon Australia CEO and world champion triathlete Miles Stewart.
“In six months, we will host the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships, and I can’t imagine a Win better place for cross triathlon to be tested than the rugged mountain ranges of the Snowy Mountains.
“We have big ambitions for our sport as part of our soon-to-be released ‘Strategic Plan’ to grow and strengthen triathlon at all levels, which includes creating a culture of success across all platforms.”
Triathlon Australia President Ben Houston concurred with Stewart.
“It’s an exciting time to be leading Triathlon Australia into the next development phase, and supporting major events forms part of that strategy,” said Houston. “As we hit the six-month marker, Triathlon Australia has just announced a full team of age group athletes that will wear the green and gold along with our elite athletes.”
Houston also went on to praise the efforts of the event organisers, In2Adventure, who has successfully overseen the sport of off-road triathlon in Australia over the past decade – including the highly popular, internationally acclaimed TreX series.
“We’re thrilled to be working with the team at In2Adventure to deliver a world class multisport weekend and new format of our sport that has captured a new market while also providing another option for triathletes.”
However, the list of historic firsts does not stop there. Australia will field its biggest off-road/cross triathlon team to date – with names for the Elite, U23, U19 and Paratriathlon to be announced by Triathlon Australia (TA) soon.
Also, for the first time ever in the history of Cross Triathlon the Snowy Mountains will also feature the excitement of an action packed Mixed Team Relay event open to both elite and age group athletes.
Teams of two men and two women representing their country, will race a 200m swim, 5km mountain bike and 1.5km trail run relay.
“We are so excited to be hosting the first ever ITU X-Tri World Champs Mixed Team Relay in Australia,” said Robyn Lazenby, event director of race organisers In2Adventure. “It’s such an exciting format for both competitors and spectators alike and there will be a lot of national pride on the line come 20th November.
“With the relative infancy of our sport, it’s also fantastic that the ITU has supported us in a bid to make it easier for all countries to be involved with the relaxing of the rule that the team must be made up of two elite males and two elite females, but instead allowing elites and/or age-group athletes to make up the places,” she continued.
“This means that all countries can be involved and it is also an exciting opportunity for the age group athletes who may be selected for the team.”
The ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships and MultiSport Festival is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW and sanctioned by the International Triathlon Union the sole worldwide governing body of the sport of triathlon. For more information and full event details go totrextriathlon.com.au