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ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships set for this weekend in Nevada

Posted Nov 03 2011 10:35am


Henderson, Nevada, USA (November 3, 2011) - The ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships have never been for the faint of heart, at triple the Olympic distance, they are the survival of the fittest. But this year's ITU endurance world titles have an added challenge, they are smack in the middle of the Nevada desert in Henderson. Both reigning champions are back to defend their titles, Switzerland's Caroline Steffen and France's Sylvain Sudrie, but they both face a tough task with names like Leanda Cave, Mary Beth Ellis and Michael Raelert, Julien Loy and Jordan Rapp also on the start list.

About the race:  There have been 15 ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships, and Denmark are leading the overall medal tally with six titles, five men's and one women's. Great Britain have five titles, four women's and one men's. This year the race venue is just outside one of the world's entertainment capitals in Las Vegas, the battle for these elite world titles will be decided over a 4km swim, at the Lake Las Vegas resort, 120km bike ride through the Lake Mead National Recreational area and includes more than 7000 feet of climbs and a 30km run, that has an additional 2000 ft elevation gain.
Elite Men - Saturday 5 November - 7:00 (UTC/GMT -7) 
Elite Women - Saturday 5 November - 7:05 (UTC/GMT -7)

Swim - 4km swim in the Lake Las Vegas resort. The course consists of one loop that goes out and back in clockwise fashion with large orange buoys every 250 yards. The normal water temperature is between 17 and 20 degrees celsius. Click here for a map
Bike - 120km bike through ride through the Lake Mead National Recreational area, that includes more than 7000 feet of climbs. Click here for a map
Run - 30km run that consists of four laps with rolling hills and challenging climbs, a total of 2000 feet elevaton gain. Click here for a map
History in the making - Defending champion Sylvain Sudrie (FRA) is back and aiming to become the fourth man to win consecutive ITU long distance world titles. Belgium's Luc Van Lierde was the first to do it, in 1997-1998, before Denmark's Peter Sandvang won three consecutive titles from 1999 to 2001. Most recently, it was Sudrie's compatriot Julien Loy who won gold twice in a row, in 2007 and 2008. Loy is also in the field, and a great chance to become the second man to win three ITU long distance world championships.
Can the Great Britain girls get back on top? - No doubt Leanda Cave will be keen to get herself, and Great Britain's women back on top of the ITU podium. Before Caroline Steffen's (SUI) win last year, GBR had won the previous four ITU long distance titles thanks to Cave, Chrissie Wellington, Jodie Swallow and Bella Comerford. Cave - who was also crowned ITU Triathlon World Champion in Cancun in 2002 - is on the start list again this year.

The 2011 winner's list - A number of athletes in this field have already won at the 70.3 and Ironman distances this year. In particular in the men's, watch for Germany's Michael Raelert (who has been in record-breaking run form) and the USA's Jordan Rapp - who won Ironman Canada in his first major race after a serious accident in 2010. In the women's, it's Mary Beth Ellis (USA), who won an incredible three Ironman events in eight weeks in the middle of the year.

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