After the thrills of last weekend over in Ibiza, attention turns to short course racing. The World Triathlon Championship Series heads to Yokohama over two months after the opening race of 2023 in Abu Dhabi. Some athletes have opted to sit out this round of the World Championship Series to best prepare themselves for later in the year, but a strong lineup still awaits. Also, this weekend is the Caorle European Cup, which has attracted some of the World’s best despite being a third-tier race.
Back in Abu Dhabi, HUUB’s Beth Potter (GBR) claimed her maiden WTCS victory, but this weekend she is one of the athletes opting not to make the long journey over to Japan. With enough points on offer in the European legs and the presence of the Paris test event in the summer, she has decided to stay back home in Leeds to get in a decent training block leading into an important summer in her career.
My favourite going into this weekend will undoubtedly be Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR), the double Olympic medallist from 2020 and past World Champion rarely finds herself off the podium in WTCS events. Also in the hunt for a podium will Sophie Coldwell (GBR) and Taylor Spivey (USA), who joined Potter on the podium in Abi Dhabi. The HUUB duo and German compatriots Laura Lindemann and Lisa Tertsch will also look to cement themselves in the top 10. Taylor Knibb (USA) has the capabilities to turn the race upside down, and her complete dominance at the Ironman 70.3 World Champs in 2022 is a testament to her abilities on the bike. She will be looking to add another WTCS victory to her Palmarès.
The absence of HUUB’s Alex Yee (GBR) leaves his World number 1 ranking for the taking. There are also several other absences from Abu Dhabi, including Vincent Luis (FRA), who is out injured. However, this is not to say that the field isn’t without stars. Making a significant return to the WTCS, is PTO ranked number 1 and 2 Gustav Iden (NOR) and Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR). After successfully turning their attentions to long course since the 2020 Olympics, both are back on the hunt for success in Paris.
Short course racing has not remained static, as the standard has risen year after year. Last year’s World Champion Leo Bergere, will not want to relinquish his title, but he will also be joined by Hayden Wilde (NZL) and Jelle Geens (BEL) in the hunt for the top step on the podium. HUUB ‘s Henri Schoeman (RSA) will also want to remind everyone he will be one to look out for going into Paris, as the 2016 Olympic Bronze medallist and 2018 Commonwealth Games Champion will undoubtedly be leading the way from the start. The race is certainly wide open and for the taking.
2023 Europe Triathlon Cup Caorle
HUUB are well represented in Caorle, Italy. Ben Dijkstra (GBR) will be looking to build on his 12th place finish at New Plymouth World Cup. Joined by U23 World Champion Connor Bentley (GBR), the training partner of Alex Yee has been labelled by many as one to watch. In the women’s race, HUUB’s Sian Rainsley (GBR) starts with number 1 as she starts her 2023 season. Fellow Brits Sophie Alden and Sophia Green join her on the start line.