The 2020 ITU Triathlon World Cup kicks off this weekend, with British athletes travelling to Australia in search of their first medals of the decade.
Most of these athletes will be welcomed to Mooloolaba Beach for the first time, with a sprint distance race that will take them through the scenic beaches and coastal roads of Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast.
The women’s race boasts a start list of some of the biggest athletes in the sport. Georgia Taylor-Brown is listed as the first name on the start list. Currently second in the ITU World Ranking, Taylor-Brown raced consistently last year, reaching the podium five times and taking gold on home soil at the AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds.
Her last race came at the end of August last year at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Lausanne, which resulted in a 3rd place on the podium alongside Katie Zaferes (USA) and British teammate Jessica Learmonth.
Naturally, Learmonth is the next name on the Mooloolaba start list. She occupies the fourth spot in the ITU World Ranking after a number of strong performances last year saw her occupy the podium six times. Learmonth ended the year with two silvers, one at the Grand Final and another at the ITU World Triathlon Mixed Relay Series Tokyo.
Olympic bronze medallist Vicky Holland, who is currently sixth in the ITU World Rankings is also ready to take on her first race of the season.Holland’s last podium came at the Tokyo ITU World Triathlon Olympic Qualification Event in August last year, she beat out Vittoria Lopes (BRA) for the bronze medal.
Olivia Mathias is set for the start line after making her way from U23s to elite racing last year. Whilst Mathias achieved significant results at U23 races, including 2nd at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Lausanne, she also made gains in the elite women’s field, most notably taking the gold medal at the Olsztyn ETU Sprint Triathlon European Cup in May.
Sian Rainsley is the final British women travelling. Rainsley took the bronze medal at the Kecskemét ETU Sprint Triathlon European Cup last August and crossed the line in 00:58:07, just 13 seconds after winner Ilaria Zane (ITA).
Alex Yee had a breakout year in 2019 that opened with a victory at the Discovery Triathlon World Cup Cape Town. Yee continued to podium throughout the year, being part of the mixed relay team that finished 1st at the Accenture World Triathlon Mixed Relay Series Nottingham and he ended his year with a silver medal at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Lausanne’s mixed U23-junior relay.
Samuel Dickinson is also amongst the elite men racing. Dickinson finished 2019 on a high, leaving the Funchal ETU Sprint Triathlon European Cup Final with a well-earned silver medal. He secured a total of three gold medals last year, his first at the Tartu ETU Triathlon European Cup and Baltic Championships in July, followed by a win at the Karlovy Vary ITU Triathlon World Cup.
Thomas Bishop returns to Mooloolaba for the third time. His best finish came in 2014 when he crossed the line to take 6th place. Last year’s campaign began bright for Bishop, achieving a top-ten finish at the Daman World Triathlon Abu Dhabi. He was also part of the mixed relay team that placed 7th at the same event. Bishop’s last race was at the Tokyo ITU World Triathlon Olympic Qualification Event in which he was the second British athlete to cross the line, taking 15th place.
Ben Dijkstra rounds out the list of British athletes in Australia. He comes into this race following back-to-back gold medals from last September’s ETU Triathlon U23 European Championships in Valencia. Dijkstra achieved a number of podiums last year, including an impressive silver medal at the Quarteira ETU Triathlon European Cup in which he finished just one second behind victor, Alberto Gonzalez Garcia (ESP).