Reid and Keane hoping to impress in World Series
The international triathlon season starts with a bang this weekend as the world’s top triathletes commence their battle to be crowned ITU World Champion.
The eight leg ITU World Triathlon Series gets underway this weekend in Auckland and will finish with the grand final taking place on the London Olympic course in mid September.
Derry native Aileen Reid lines up 8th on the start pontoon while her training mate Anne Haug of Germany holds the number one spot. Reid had a promising start here last season exiting the water in 2nd place before suffering a DNF on the bike. She will be looking to put things right this season and is coming off the back of two solid season openers. Reid took 3rd in the Devonport Sprint Oceania Championships followed by a 6th place finish in the tough Mooloolaba World Cup.
Reid’s early season run form has been off the pace due to the effects of a knee injury but with 4 solid weeks run training she will be hoping to regain some of her renowned speed.
In the men’s race, Ireland will be represented by Cork man Bryan Keane. Keane’s ranking of 197th in the world could not be further from the truth as he has produced some world class performances in the early part of the season. Keane has an 8th, 5th and 4th place finish so far this season, the highlight of which was his 4th place finish in the Mooloolaba World Cup. Keane ran a 33 minute 10k to finish just 30 seconds of this weekend’s race favourite and Olympic Silver medallist Javier Gomez of Spain.
The Auckland course, with its technical 40km bike leg should suit the former professional cyclist who will be hoping for a top 20 finish in his first World Triathlon Series race since a serious crash in 2010. A good result will leap frog Keane up the world rankings and once again establish him in the top tier of racing.
On Sunday morning Mayo’s Con Doherty will get his season underway at the Quarteira Junior European Cup in Portugal. The race will be his first since he claimed bronze at the Junior World Championships in Auckland and is expected to be far from straight forward with 51 of the top European Juniors looking to get their seasons off to a flying start.
“Con is fresh from a block of intensive swim training in the University of Limerick so we will be looking for a solid swim leg to start with and generally to produce some good consistent results.” Commented Triathlon Ireland’s High Performance Director Chris Jones.
Closer to home the National Duathlon Championships takes place in Ashford, Co. Wicklow with 230 competitors due to line up on Sunday at 12 noon for a 10km run, 40km bike and 5km run. The event has attracted the most competitive field ever with elite duathlete David Vaughan going in as favourite in the men’s race. Vaughan competes in the arduous Powerman Duathlon Series across Europe which coves distances of double or more of a standard duathlon.
Vaughan will face stiff competition from 2012 National Duathlon Champion and runner up in the British Duathlon Championships, Paul Carroll. Cathal O’Donovan from Cork is another man to watch after a strong start to the season winning in Fingal last weekend.
The women’s field is equally competitive with current Irish Ironman record holder Joyce Wolfe back to competitive racing after the birth of her first child. Defending champion Judith Lowry and 2011 champion Anne Crooks will be pushing hard to regain their crown and hold off the inform Caroline Conway who has notched up a number of Duathlon victories so far this season.
You can catch Bryan Keane in the men’s ITU Auckland World Triathlon Series race at 12:06am and Aileen Reid in the women’s race at 3:06am on Saturday morning atwww.triathlonlive.tv