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Old 29-07-2005, 12:26   #1 (permalink)
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Olympic triathletes return to Salford

Olympic triathletes return to Salford


The world’s top triathletes will be joining the best of the British triathlon stars in their return to Salford this Sunday (31st July) to compete head to head at the 2005 Countryside Properties Salford Triathlon ITU World Cup in association with the NWDA (North West regional Development Agency.

Not only will the British athletes be racing for world cup points and glory but they will also be competing for the National Championship title.

It will be the third year Salford has hosted the ITU World Cup, which attracts up to 1000 age-group athletes together with 150 elite athletes. As one of the UK’s top international sporting events, thousands of spectators are expected to turn out to cheer on the local, national and international competitors.
Great Britain will be fielding one of their strongest ever teams, with many seasoned athletes returning to compete alongside World Cup debutants.

Elite athletes from across the globe will arrive in Salford to give GB athletes a run for their money with hopes of making it on to the podium.

Les McDonald, The President of the International Triathlon Union comments: “We are pleased that Salford is hosting the ITU World Cup for the third year, and the city should be proud of its history of success with this event. Salford Triathlon is quickly establishing a reputation as one of the best ITU races in the world.”

The course sees the athletes take a plunge into the historic Salford Docks, then cycle and run on a course round the quayside, taking in sights such as The Lowry, the Imperial War Museum North and Manchester United Football Club.

GB team’s Michelle Dillon will be returning to the city to defend her title as champion of the 2004 elite women’s race. Michelle comments: “It was great winning at Salford last year. The course is spectacular, and the reaction and encouragement from the crowd is incredible. It was an honour to win on home soil, and I can’t wait to compete again this year. The field is very strong so it will be a great event promising exciting action.”

The field wouldn’t be complete without the age-group athletes who kick the day off. Up to 1000 athletes of all ages and ability will complete the course, across Olympic or sprint distances, and relay teams will be completing the sprint distance. This year among the relay competitors will be the Lions, Cheetahs and Leopards, who are travelling from Kenya to contend in this year’s event.

Race Director John Lunt comments: “After the success of the previous ITU World Cup triathlons held in Salford, we are confident that this year’s race will be another triumph for world class sport in the Northwest. I am very pleased that so many athletes from all over the world are taking part, and this is testament to the prestige and reputation of this event.”

Viewing Areas

Triathlon is a real spectators’ sport. The three events centre round the transition area - next to The Lowry and Huron Basin. So, unlike a marathon, where you wait ages to see the athletes come past once - you get much more of the action as the competitors return after each lap of each leg of the race. If you want to see the major parts of the race, stick around the Plaza area.

Start times
Age group races start at 7.00am and the elite races at 11.00am. Elite prize giving: 3.05pm
Age group prize giving: 3.30pm

The races last approximately from 1.5 hours (sprint event) up to 3.5 hours (age group full distance), depending on the gender, age and ability level.

For the swim

Get a place along The Designer Outlet side of the Huron Basin, on Detroit Bridge (Big Red).

For the bike

The route runs from The Quays into Manchester city centre and turns at Albert Square. Watch anywhere along The Quays Road or Trafford Road and you’ll be able to walk back to The Quays to catch the run.

For the run

Competitors run across The Lowry Footbridge into Trafford, past the Imperial War Museum North and turn outside Manchester United’s ground. Anywhere along Trafford Wharf Road should give you a good view. The bridge will be open for the age group races but it will close at 12:30pm for the elite events.

Transition

The transition area for the elites is on the bund at the Lowry end of Dock 9 - see how quickly the pros get out of their wetsuits and out onto the bike route!

Finish

The Plaza is definitely the place to be for the finish line.

The event will run from 7.00am until 4.00pm. The Lowry (with toilets!) opens at 6.00am, the Tower Coffee Shop opens at 7.00am and the Terrace Cafe Bar at 8.00am.




I intend to be there early to avoid the crowds and see what is going on. Depending on the photo oppotunities I may stick around for the main events after finding the best spots.

Does anyone else fancy this event?
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Old 29-07-2005, 12:29   #2 (permalink)
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