(Australia, Queensland, Gold Coast), 13 September 2018 – Before the world turns the attention onto the elite men’s and women’s Grand Final races, the Under 23 fields will contest for World Championship honours at the 2018 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Gold Coast.
On the men’s side, Leo Bergere from France is positioned at the top of the start list followed by Hungary’s Bence Bicsak and Spain’s Antonio Serrat Seonane. While on the women’s side it’s France again placed at the top of the start list, with Cassandre Beaugrand leading in as a firm pre-race favourite.
The medals are up for the taking with USA’s Taylor Knibb and New Zealand’s Nicole Van Der Kaay on the quest for World title status.
The U23 fields will contest over a two lap 1500-metre swim, 8 lap 40-kilometre bike and four lap 10-kilometre run Olympic distance race course. The women will be first to line-up on Friday, 14 September at 10.00am local time start time, followed by the men at 12.45pm local time.
Race coverage will be streamed via the various social media platform on triathlonlive.tv/goldcoast<https://triathlonlive.tv/goldcoast> and on the World Triathlon<https://www.facebook.com/worldtriathlon/?ref=bookmarks> Facebook page, along with race updates on Twitter @triathlonlive<https://twitter.com/triathlonlive>.
The men’s field is stacked with experience and emerging talent.
At the top of the start list is Frenchman Leo Bergere<https://www.triathlon.org/athletes/profile/63162/leo_bergere>. Bergere placed seventh in the recent Lausanne ITU World Cup<https://www.triathlon.org/results/result/2018_lausanne_itu_triathlon_world_cup/321931> and tenth place in the ITU World Triathlon Hamburg<https://www.triathlon.org/results/result/2018_itu_world_triathlon_hamburg/321770> in a world class field.
In 2017 Bergere lined up to contest in the World Triathlon Grand Final Under 23 race and crossed the line in sixth position so the young Frenchman will have his focus to make it on the podium in 2018.
Hungary’s Bence Bicsak<https://www.triathlon.org/athletes/profile/50700/bence_bicsak> is another top contender for the U23 title and will prove hot competition for Bergere. Bicsak has had a strong season, finishing top 10 in both ITU World Triathlon Montreal<https://wts.triathlon.org/results/result/2018_itu_world_triathlon_montreal/321777> and Lausanne ITU Triathlon World Cup<https://wts.triathlon.org/results/result/2018_lausanne_itu_triathlon_world_cup/321931>.
Spain’s Antonio Serrat Seonane<https://wts.triathlon.org/athletes/profile/63428/antonio_serrat_seoane> and Germany’s Lasse Luehrs<https://wts.triathlon.org/athletes/profile/70410/lasse_luehrs> will also be among the main contenders toeing the line for the U23 showdown on the Gold Coast.
Charles Paquet<https://www.triathlon.org/athletes/results/79706/charles_paquet> from Canada will line up for the honours and will no doubt be motivated to make a move and mix things up in the U23 men’s race. Paquet is a strong all-round triathlete.
Tayler Reid<https://wts.triathlon.org/athletes/profile/54985/tayler_reid> and Hayden Wilde<https://wts.triathlon.org/athletes/profile/104034/hayden_wilde>, both representing New Zealand, have had solid seasons on the ITU World Cup circuit and will be looking to lay down strong race combinations.
Australia’s Brandon Copeland<https://wts.triathlon.org/athletes/profile/92397/brandon_copeland> and Luke Burns<https://www.triathlon.org/athletes/profile/92492/luke_burns> will be looking to produce world class performances on home soil and will certainly be in the mix for podium contention. Copeland is emerging young talent and topped the podium at the 2018 Taizhou Triathlon Asian Cup<https://wts.triathlon.org/results/result/2018_taizhou_astc_triathlon_asian_cup/322572> earlier this year.
The field is stacked and the title could be any mans for the taking with the likes of emerging talent from France, Hungary, Spain, New Zealand, Canada, USA and Australia well placed in the battle line-up.
Review the full men’s start list<https://wts.triathlon.org/start_lists/2018_itu_world_triathlon_grand_final_gold_coast/321968>
Cassandre Beaugrand<https://www.triathlon.org/athletes/results/63163/cassandre_beaugrand> from France leads the elite U23 women’s field in as the pre-race favourite. Beaugrand has had a stellar season, claiming gold at ITU World Triathlon Hamburg<https://www.triathlon.org/results/result/2018_itu_world_triathlon_hamburg/321771> in a superb elite women’s field and triumph for Team France in the ITU World Triathlon Hamburg Mixed Relay World Championships<https://www.triathlon.org/results/result/2018_hamburg_itu_triathlon_mixed_relay_world_championships/321775>.
USA’s Taylor Knibb<https://www.triathlon.org/athletes/results/80643/taylor_knibb> and New Zealand’s Nicole Van Der Kaay<https://wts.triathlon.org/athletes/profile/64750/nicole_van_der_kaay> will be on the charge for the World title.
Knibb recently placed top 10 in ITU World Triathlon Montreal<https://www.triathlon.org/results/result/2018_itu_world_triathlon_montreal/321778> while Van Der Kaay has displayed consistent form all season, including a top 10 finish in ITU World Triathlon Leeds<https://wts.triathlon.org/results/result/2018_itu_world_triathlon_leeds/321351>.
Sandra Dodet<https://www.triathlon.org/athletes/results/85273/sandra_dodet> from France and Japan’s Minami Kubono<https://www.triathlon.org/athletes/results/70028/minami_kubono> are also strong contenders for the U23 women’s podium.
Australia’s Kira Hedgeland<https://www.triathlon.org/athletes/results/80309/kira_hedgeland> will be relying on the home crowd support to keep her well positioned with the race leaders.
Review the full women’s start list<https://wts.triathlon.org/start_lists/2018_itu_world_triathlon_grand_final_gold_coast/321969>
AG, Junior, U23, and Para races will be streamed for free to https://triathlonlive.tv/goldcoast and to the World Triathlon Facebook page<https://www.facebook.com/worldtriathlon>.
The Elite races will be streamed to members with a subscription to https://triathlonlive.tv/live
ITU World Triathlon Series Rankings 2018<https://wts.triathlon.org/rankings/2018>
ITU World Triathlon Grand Final, Gold Coast, Event Schedule<https://goldcoast.triathlon.org/events/event_schedule/>
ITU World Triathlon Grand Final, Gold Coast, Course Maps<https://goldcoast.triathlon.org/athletes/course_maps/>
The Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland, is proud to support the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final which features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar. Your perfect next event is in Queensland where live events combine with the most incredible destinations, and life is beautiful one day, perfect the next.
Credit: Noel McMahon, Media Manager (Oceania)