Image Credit Ben Lumley - ITU Media

The stage is set in Andorra to welcome the participants of the 2021 World Triathlon Winter Championships. Andorra’s Naturlandia adventure park, near the town of Sant Julià de Lòria, will be the perfect home for more than 200 athletes from all over the world. A breathtaking natural setting, nestled within the mighty Pyrenees, will be the arena where athletes will combine the disciplines of running, mountain biking and cross-country skiing across a sprawling winter landscape.

Winter triathlon is one of the newest events on World Triathlon’s calendar, consists of a run, mountain bike and cross-country skiing format with elite athletes going usually for approximately 8 km run on the snow, 14 km of MTB also on the snow and 12 km of cross-country skiing. The World Triathlon Winter Championships usually is a two-day event with hundreds of athletes for the elite, junior, u23, paratriathlon and age-group programs. There will also be a mixed relay event for both the elites and juniors.

Andorra will be the 23th edition of the World Triathlon Winter Championships, an event that was first held in Mals, Italy, in 1997, and has since gained attraction every, with thousands of athletes participating in the sport.

Women’s race preview
In the Elite women’s race, the battle will be fierce among the top neutral athletes from the Russian federation, Yulia Surikova, Daria Rogozina and Svetlana Sokolova, and the woman that claimed for the first non-Russian athlete standing on top of a winter triathlon podium in decades: Italian Sandra Meirhofer.

Daria Rogozina, the current holder of the World and European crowns, did not race in Asiago but is ready now to defend her title of the Queen of snow. In front of her, Mairhofer, gunning for her first ever World Championships title.

Lining up with them will be some great names of Winter and Cross Triathlon. Austrian Romana Slavinec, silver medal in Asiago and who will be looking forward to who will be looking to improve on her bronze medal in the World Championships 2019 after collecting eight National titles and the World title as an U23 in 2012.

Enara Oronoz Mateo and Marta Borbon Llorente (ESP) will benefit from competing considerably near home, and can show their strong bike skills.

Men’s race preview

On the men’s side, a 26-man roster is ready to compete in Andorra, including the man that can be considered the King of Winter Triathlon: Pavel Andreev. The neutral athlete representing the Russian Triathlon Federation will try to secure his 9th World crown this weekend, after another excellent performance only a few weeks ago in the Asiago World Cup that got him another gold medal for his tally.

Andreev’s teammate and 2019 silver medallist and 2020 bronze medallist, Dmitriy Bregeda will be trying to overcome the bittersweet fourth place he got in Asiago, but he will need to keep an eye on other members of the team from the Russian Federation, including Pavel Yakimov and Evgenii Uliashev, both strong skiers that can take advantage of the long and tough ski course in Andorra. Evgenii Evgrafov and Ivan Zalavtsev (RTF) will play their cards in the U23 category.

Facing the athletes representing the Russian Federation, the Italian squad, led by Guiseppe Lamastra, who will be accompanied by Daniel Antonioli and Franco Pesavento, will be once again trying to claim spots in the top positions.

Another one to watch will be newcomer Sebastian Neef (GER), who proved to be a really strong biker and skier in Asiago last month, claiming the silver medal ahead of some of the world stars of the winter sport. For Eneko Llanos Burguera (ESP), racing in Andorra will be almost like racing at home, and he has proved in the Spanish Championships that moving from long distance triathlon to winter tri events has been a successful move.

Viorel Palici (ROM), Marek Rauchfuss (CZE) and Oivind Bjerkseth (NOR), among some other names, will be among the ones vying for the top positions in the race, that will take place on Saturday morning and will be streamed live on TriathlonLIVE.tv.