South Africa’s Kate Roberts heads the South African challenge at the penultimate leg of the ITU World Championship Triathlon Series in Kitzbuehl, Austria this weekend.
The final leg is the Grand Final in Budapest from 8-12 September. This weekend Roberts will line up alongside the likes of Nicola Spirig, Emma Moffatt, Andrea Hewitt, Lisa Norden, Paula Findley, Emma Snowsill and Helen Jenkins. With a tough bike leg, featuring a number of climbs, the stronger cyclists will have a distinct advantage.
Spirig in particular will like this route, as she is known to be a strong and powerful cyclist. Moffat won the race in 2009 and as such will know how to deal with the climbs. Norden is also no slouch on the bike so Roberts will have to make sure she does not let the women get away from her on the bike if she wants to repeat her last few performances that have seen her climb the world rankings to number seven this year.
Roberts has been in the top 10 in all her races bar Madrid where she had a problem with the bike and finished 12th.
Andrea Steyn will also be racing in the women’s field but her big focus is on the World Duathlon Championships from 3-5 September in Edinburgh. Steyn is part of a group of athletes currently based in Slovenia on a training camp organised by Triathlon South Africa. Steyn had missed a huge block of training due to injury.
On the men’s front, the battle for the podium is looks like being between Olympic champion Jan Frodeno, Javier Gomez who was all but┬á unbeatable in 2008 and the world champion Allistair Brownlee.
Brownlee won here in 2009 and is the current European Champion, but seemed to suffer from exhaustion in London and was just able to squeak into 10th place.
Our Claude Eksteen will be hoping to get in a good race this weekend as he has been battling with injury since the early part of the year and is not in the shape he would like to be. But he will have taken heart from his 17th place at the Tiszauivaros ITU Triathlon World Cup and hoping things are beginning to fall back into place for him.
Erhardt Wolfaardt finished a creditable ninth at the Monterrey World Cup but has since struggled to match that performance at either Hamburg or London. A good race in Kitzbuehl will be just the confidence boost he needs for the Grand Final.
The Men’s Elite race is on Saturday, with the women competing on Sunday.