The European Winter Triathlon series continues this weekend with the first European Cup race of 2013.
A quirk of the race calendar means we already know our European Champions for this year, but all athletes will visit Vimperk in competitive spirit for what will be an historic race.
This is the first time that the Czech town will host an International triathlon race, having held a National Championship for the last six years.
The Czech National Championship will run at the same time as this European Cup so there are many titles up for grabs.
Race Director, and 2012 World Champion in the 50-54 Age group category, Ivo Grabmuller, said: “Even though we are a small country we have earned many medals in winter triathlon over the last two years. The sport is pretty popular and people are interested in it.
“This is the sixth year of our traditional race and I ‘m glad it is now a European Cup and Czech Championship at the same time. ”
The course around Vimperk is mostly flat but does offer some technical challenges. The 6km run will be divided into three laps of mainly flat course, with the occasional hill. The 10km Mountain Bike course is divided into 5 laps on much of the same course as the run. The final ski leg of 8km is mainly flat.
Recently crowned European Champion, Pavel Andreev, is an obvious favourite heading into this race but if the Russian is not 100% focused then the door could open for the rest of the field and Kristian Monsen (NOR), Evgeny Kirillov (RUS), or the dynamic young Russian, Maxim Kuzmin, will be primed to take advantage.
In the Elite Women’s race, Helene Erbenova will have the backing of a passionate home crowd and has an excellent opportunity to claim top spot on the podium. Yulia Surikova (RUS) will offer a threat.