Javier Gomez will line up in Rio for the 2015 ITU World Olympic Qualification Event this weekend. Should he secure a win or a top-three finish at this test event, he will gain an Olympic quota spot for Spain and almost guarantee his spot on the Spanish team for Rio. However, he has to go through the world’s top triathletes such as Alistair Brownlee as well as his compatriots Mario Mola and Fernando Alarza, who sit just below Gomez in the ITU world rankings.
At the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon, James Cunnama will be seeking more than just the title he last won in 2010. The race’s bike course is famous for the 21-bend mountain climb used by the Tour de France; Cunnama seeks the fitness the French mountains can give him for his upcoming races. He and partner Jodie Swallow have been training in the area the past week.
“The Alpe D’Huez Triathlon is one of my favourite races and probably the best ‘destination race’ I have ever done,” he says. “Jodie and I both won this race in 2010, but I have also had a bad crash in this race, so lots of mixed memories.” He sees a win as just icing on the cake.
Caroline Steffen and Brent McMahon are set to defend their titles at the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines. Steffen is looking to make history by winning a record four out of the four times she has competed at this race. She says, “The slogan says: ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’. That’s why I can’t miss out on this event.”
Both Steffen and McMahon have been regulars at the best-attended half distance in Southeast Asia over the past few years, and will be using the race as part of their build-up to the Ironman World Championship. McMahon says, “I will be up against a great field including a couple of Ironman World Champions, so I’m looking forward to having a go on the course and then taking that experience to Kona in October.”