Snowies primed to host ITU Cross Triathlon World Champs
The Snowy Mountains shine after hosting back-to-back world-class off-road endurance events, and now prep to bring the ITU X-Tri Worlds to the Southern Hemisphere for first time ever…
SNOWY MOUNTAINS, NSW—Lake Crackenback left little wonder as to why the International Triathlon Union (ITU) selected the iconic Snowy Mountains to host the 2016 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships (18-20 November) for the first time in the event’s six-year history.
Already a proven off-road endurance racing venue after hosting the inaugural Snowies Mountain Bike Festival last year, as well as the Oceania Cross Triathlon Championships won by Australian Olympians Courtney Atkinson (QLD) and Erin Densham (NSW), the shores of Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa is fresh off serving as the start and finish of the second annual Snowies Mountain Bike Festival (12-14 Feb), which as grown into a three-day, five-stage bucket list race, as well as the Australian TreX National Championships two weeks ago.
“Hosting the Snowies MTB Festival in conjunction with the ITU World Champs in November 2016 is a fantastic opportunity to showcase this spectacular region to the world,” said In2Adventure event director Robyn Lazenby. “ Australians are now just waking up to this amazing off-road destination and now it’s time to invite the entire world to discover the joy, beauty and sheer exhilaration that this spectacular off-road destination has to offer.
“It is a paradise for mountain bikers, trail runners, triathletes, adventurers and anyone who wants to get off the beaten track in an iconic, historic and rugged destination.”
Aussie Kyle Ward and Kiwi Samara Sheppard claimed the 2016 Snowies titles after claiming a combined nine of 10 stage wins thanks in large part to Sheppard’s clean sweep. Only 2015 champion Andrew Blair (ACT) was able to keep Ward from doing the same in the elite men’s division.
Over the weekend, 17-time Xterra champion Ben Allen (NSW) and international endurance superstar Renata Bucher (SUI) took out the Australian TreX long course (1.5km swim / 30km mountain bike / 10km trail run) in convincing fashion. Top Aussie elite women’s finisher Penny Hosken (VIC), who finished fourth overall behind Bucher and second-place finisher Jacqui Slack (GBR) and Catherine Sterling (VIC), will join Allen in donning the ‘Green and Gold’ stripes back in the Snowies at the world championships in eight months time.
“The Resort was pleased to see so many athletes competing over the past few weekends, the atmosphere around the resort was fantastic and everyone had a great time,” said Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa general manager, Anthony Cleary. “We received many comments on how well organised the event was.
“We love seeing these events coming to the Snowies and look forward to the future success of mountain biking and endurance sports in the region.”
Thredbo Resort operations manager, Stuart Diver, agreed with Cleary.
“Thredbo is excited to once again be a part of the Snowies Mountain Bike Festival and to give riders the opportunity to ride on some of the best trails in Australia.”
With two of the three TreX qualifiers for worlds now complete, athletes still interested in vying for a spot on the worlds’ start line in November can register for one of the few remaining entries available in the upcoming Queensland TreX Championships on the Sunshine Coast (16-17 April).
Upcoming Events (2016):
- Mountain Designs Adventure Race Australia – NSW, 20 March 2016
- Queensland Cross Triathlon Championships (2016 Worlds Qualifier) – Sunshine Coast, QLD, 16-17 April 2016
- Mountain Designs Adventure Race Australia 18hr Dark Side & 12hr Dawn Attack – Sunshine Coast, QLD, 29-30 April, 2016
- ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships – Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa, Snowy Mountains, NSW, 18-20 November
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Photo Credit: Mandy Lamont