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Pre-race Cannes International Tri
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Saturday 18th April 2015


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It’s not often that the short walk to a triathlon Press Conference involves passing by shops (apologies, boutiques…) including Chanel, Bvlgari, Fendi, Hermes, Armani and Gucci among others – but then again, I’ve never done a triathlon in Cannes before.

The gathering for Sunday’s Cannes International Triathlon was at the appropriately named – five star, of course – Majestic Hotel, on the Promenade de la Croisette alongside the Mediterranean Ocean. The premier Boulevard in town, this will also provide the run course for tomorrows events, comprising the ‘Long’ (2km/80km/16km) and the ‘Medium’ (1km/40km/8km).

In only its second edition, the event has attracted around 1600 athletes, split approximately 50/50 across the two races, with the Long version also boasting some star quality too.

The headline names are the German pairing of Ironman World Champion Sebastian Kienle and 2008 Olympic Champion Jan Frodeno, joined by another German legend Faris Al Sultan. 2012 Ironman World Champion Leanda Cave is here too, and she’ll face defending champion Charlotte Morel (FRA).

The star of the show is arguably… the bike course however. A one loop, 80km epic, as Kienle said “The bike course ‪@CannesTriathlon causes lots of lactic acid in the legs and adrenalin in the head, just like I love it!” Having ridden the ‘M’ course myself on Friday (the first half of which shares the same roads), he is not joking – on one hill my Garmin auto-paused as my speed must have got that close the zero while struggling up it…

Somewhat overlooked in the pre-race hype, I’d keep an eye out for Uplace-BMC Pro Triathlon member Romain Guillaume. A fine biker, the light frame of the Frenchman should be well suited to this environment, and he’ll have the motivation and support of the locals on his side. After suffering a recent bike crash (ironically, on a city bike…), the first couple of miles of the run should give an indication whether or not Jan Frodeno has the health to back up his undoubted talents.

Here’s some of the sound-bites from today

Sebastian Kienle (2014 Iroman World and European Champion)

“It’s my first start since 2014 – and I’m thrilled because it’s the first race. You never know how you will be after a long break – especially with things outside of training keeping me very busy after Kona – the last few weeks have been good though… and then I saw the bike course! It’s great to be part of it and such a strong field.”

Jan Frodeno (2008 Olympic Champion)

“Thank you for having me! I’m so excited by this course. This really highlights the difference between racing on different continents. In the US this race would have a 25km/h speed limit the whole way, while in Australia it would be considered too hard and dangerous! That’s the beauty of cycling, we ride thousands of kilometres every year – so getting to show some technical skills as well as simply riding a big gear is a great opportunity. I’m hoping for some good weather to run along the Croisette in some sunshine and get some people out of the shops to cheers us on.”

Faris Al Sultan (2005 Ironman World Champion)

“This race fits into the schedule and that made it easy for me to come here. I haven’t raced much in France and I appreciate the effort the organisers have made to out this race on. I’m hoping for a solid race, and to use it as good preparation for my future races.”

Leanda Cave (2012 Ironman World Champion)

“I’m either going to love of hate it – it’s completely flat in Miami, so I’m in for a shock I think! Hills have been my strength in the past, and we don’t get a chance to race a course like this with so many technical aspects – it’s a special race and will be a successful race with a great future.”

Charlotte Morel (2014 winner)

“I feel very lucky to have such a great race with so many great athletes to race on ‘home’ soil. I live very close by, so I hope that this will be an asset for me.”


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