Winter Triathlon World Champs to be crowned in the Italian Alps
The heavy snowstorms that have crossed Europe in the last few weeks have turned the Italian Altipiano in the best possible scenario for the Winter Triathlon World Championships. With a weather forecast of low temperatures and bright skies, this weekend 60 athletes will compete in the 2019 Asiago ITU Winter Triathlon World Championships, with Elite, U23, Junior and Paratriathletes vying for the world crowns.
The races will be contested in the Centro di Fondo Campolongo, in Altopiano di Asiago, one of the most fascinating areas in the Venetian mountains. With an average altitude of 1500 meters, the snow arrives abundantly every winter, and is the perfect location for competitions and training of cross-country ski, mountain bike and trail running, all around magnificent forests.
In the Elite women’s race, Russia’s Yulia Surikova, also known as the WinterTri Queen, returns to Asiago as the current World and European champion, but also having the pressure of wearing bib number one and having lining up with her this Saturday other big names of Winter Triathlon and Cross Triathlon. One of them will be Kristina Lapinova, from Slovakia, European Champion of cross duathlon and 4th place in last year’s World in Cheile Gradistei, aiming for her first podium at the Winter World Championships.
Austrian Romana Slavinec who will be contending to win her first Winter Tri crown after collecting six National titles and the World title when she was U23 in 2012, while Sarka Grabmullerova (CZE) and Edith Vakaria(ROM) will be trying to get their first podiums after some great results last season.
On the men’s side, a 40-man roster is set to compete, with Russia sending the largest delegation, but with some Italian names trying to shine on home soil. Gunning for his seventh World Title, Pavel Andreev of Russia will be wearing number one and also the one to beat this Saturday. And lining up along him will be his teammate Pavel Yakimov, U23 World Champion back in 2014 and always contending for the podium ever since. But indeed the crowds will be also supporting the two locals that will be fighting to get their country on top of the podium in the World Championships: Guiseppe Lamastra and Daniel Antonioli.
Both of them have been training for weeks in Asiago, know the course and the snow conditions perfectly well. Antonioli, fourth in the last two editions of the World Championships, is ready to go back in the podium, as Lamastra, who stepped onto his first elite World Champ podium in 2016 when he claimed bronze but has not been back there after. Norway’s Kristian Monsen is a top cyclist, who also could have a chance at a medal, as could have as well Marek Rauchfuss (CZE).
Winter triathlon is one of the newest events on ITU’s calendar, and in Asiago the Elite athletes will be going for approximately 8 km run on the snow, 14 km of MTB also on the snow and 12 km of cross-country skiing. For the Junior, Age Group and Paratriathlon races, the distances will be 4km run on the snow, 6km of MTB and another 6km of cross-country ski, while de Mixed Relay will be contested with each athlete running 2km, biking 4km and skiing 3km.
The trails of the Altopiano di Asiago go through a magical and suggestive scenery that also allows the visitants also discover some historical sites where these mountains witnessed the tragic events of the Great War between 1915 and 1918, and wander around a spectacular scenery that opens along a carousel of paths of more than 100 kilometers, perfect for training all legs of winter triathlon.
All races will be streamed live on TriathlonLive