By Erin Greene on 24/02/16 at 4:00 pm
ITU is pleased to introduce an innovative new format of triathlon racing to its 2016 race calendar. This year, the 2016 Kitzbühel World Cup will debut a time trial qualification format that will see athletes compete twice in one day.
“Kitzbühel is known to our triathletes for its innovating formats,” said ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado. “In 2013, athletes endured one of the toughest races we’ve ever presented as they climbed and ran up Kitzbühel Horn Mountain as a part of the World Triathlon Series. As we continue exploring ways in which we can evolve the sport of triathlon with exciting formats, it’s my pleasure to see this new format tested out in such a forward-thinking place like Kitzbühel.”
The time trial, to be held in the morning, will be contested over 2/3 the distance of a sprint triathlon, with athletes going off at 30-second intervals. The athletes with the top 30 times in the time trial will then advance to the finals later in the day.
The final podium will be decided over a super sprint triathlon course, which will be 1/3 the distance of a regular sprint race. For the finals competition, athletes will begin with a mass start.
The time trial qualification format allows more athletes to compete on the playing field, as they are sent off one by one. The dynamic, quick tempo race style also provides a strong platform for Junior and U23 athletes to prepare for the leap to elite racing.
“I’d like to extend a warm thank you to the ITU team to permit us to work on a new format like this,” said Triathlon Austria President Walter Zettinig, “We are looking forward to organizing a great World Cup race in Kitzbühel again.”
While the Kitzbühel World Cup will be contested after the close of the Olympic qualification period, this fast and furious format will be an ideal race for athletes to hone their speed ahead of the Rio Olympics.
“We are sure this new format will highlight the ability for individuals to perform,” said LOC Director Herwig Grabner. “The shorter distance in the finals will be highly attractive to TV broadcasters, which will enable us to show spectators how fast and attractive our sport is.”
The competition rules for this format can be found here.