The top two eligible male and female ranked British triathletes will automatically secure their place in the GE Great Britain Triathlon Team that will compete in Israel on 20, 21 and 22 April.
In total there are 24 British junior triathletes racing in Portugal with a number of young triathletes from the British Triathlon Olympic Talent Squad including 2011 British Triathlon Youth Super Series champion, Sophie Coldwell
and 2011 British Triathlon Junior Super Series champion, Grant Sheldon
British Triathlon Olympic Foundation Squad triathletes, Maddy Winzer
and Gordon Benson
are also on the start line and will be keen to deliver impressive early season performances. Gordon finished on the podium in two ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup events in 2011, and is looking forward to putting his pre-season training into practise commenting: “I have just been trying to prepare for this first triathlon really, it’s is a qualifier for the Europeans, and they are a big target for me. If you can get top five at Europeans then that’s world selection done already in April.”
Maddy was part of the gold medal-winning GE Great Britain Team in the junior triathlon mixed relay event at last year’s ETU Triathlon European Championships, with two of her teammates from that race, Marc Austin
and Cameron Milne
also starting in Portugal.
, British Triathlon Talent Coach is looking forward to the event adding: “I am expecting a hard, good quality international race. It will be many athletes’ first competitive triathlon race of the year and having worked with some of the other nations’ coaches, I expect a competitive race at a level which will help athletes get set for the European Championships. There are decent numbers and depth of quality on both male and female start lines, so I hope the experience will help all the athletes learn about this standard of competition. Early season races are always interesting coming off the back of winter and cross-country, but everyone is healthy and motivated and I am sure they will compete hard.”
In addition to the junior race, the weekend also hosts a senior 2012 Quarteira ITU Triathlon European Cup with six British triathletes in action.
Last year’s British Elite Triathlon Champion, Lois Rosindale
will begin her season in Portugal, aiming to get her season off to a strong start, following her selection to the senior GE Great Britain triathlon Team at the ETU European Championships earlier this month. Lois commented: “Pre-season has been good, it’s been a pretty consistent six months of training, so I should be in good form and I am looking forward to it. I am not putting too much pressure on this first race; I am just going there and getting it done.”
Lois is based in Leeds and a member of British Triathlon’s Olympic Academy Squad. Fellow Leeds based triathlete Non Stanford
will join her on the start line. Holly Lawrence
who finished sixth in the 2011 British Triathlon Super Series completes the women’s line-up.
World U23 Champion, Matt Sharp
competes following his successful selection to the senior GE Great Britain Triathlon Team for Eilat. Matt has already been racing this year finishing eighth in the 2012 Lima ITU Triathlon Premium Pan American Cup in February. Fellow world champion, Richard Stannard
, who won the ITU Aquathlon World Championships in Beijing, will join Matt on the start line. Former GE Great Britain Age-Group Team athlete, Ben Howard
who won gold in the 20-24 category at the 2011 Limerick ETU Duathlon European Championships completes the senior athletes in Portugal.
Further afield, British triathlete Abbie Thorrington will also continue her early season racing as she competes in the 2012 Joao Pessoa ITU Triathlon Pan American Cup on Saturday 31 March.
Full list of British juniors racing at the 2012 Quarteira ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup: Ellie Walton
, Sophie Coldwell
, Zoe Thomas
, Nicole Raymond
, Sky Draper
, Maddy Winzer
and Georgia Taylor-Brown
, Gordon Benson
, Cameron Milne
, Kieran John
, Marc Austin
, Liam Lloyd
, Andrew Christy
, Alex Matchett, Duncan MacArthur
, James Davis
, James Nutt, Beau Smith
, Grant Sheldon
, Morgan Davies
, Jack Hall
, Iestyn Harrett
, Alex Hill
and Jago Leckie