More than 60 Americans Scheduled to Compete in Extremadura, Spain
April 27, 2011 (Colorado Springs, CO) – Ten top off-road elite triathletes, as well as more than 50 age-groupers, will represent the United States on Saturday at the first-ever ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in Extremadura, Spain.
All athletes will cover a course that features a 1-kilometer swim, 20-kilometer mountain bike and a 6-kilometer cross-country run.
The U.S. men will feature the largest elite squad with six athletes on the start list. Josiah Middaugh (Vail, Colo.) is currently tied for the top spot in the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series rankings and has ranked as the top American in the series for six of the last seven years. He captured the 2011 USA Triathlon Winter Triathlon National Championship in January.
Also scheduled to compete are four more athletes ranked in the top eight of the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series rankings: No. 3 Branden Rakita (Colorado Springs, Colo.), No. 5 Seth Wealing (Boulder, Colo.), No. 7 Craig Evans (Hendersonville, Tenn.) and No. 8 Cody Wait (Lakewood, Colo.). Fourteenth-ranked Brian Smith (Gunnison, Colo.) will make his second ITU World Championships appearance of the year after placing seventh at the 2011 ITU Winter Triathlon World Championships.
Headlining the women’s elite team will be reining XTERRA world champion and XTERRA U.S. Pro Series champion Shonny Vanlandingham (Durango, Colo.). Also competing will be Emma Garrard (Park City, Utah), who was seventh at the ITU Winter Triathlon World Championships earlier this year and is currently ranked fifth in the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series rankings. Suzie Snyder (Fredericksburg, Va.), who is currently fourth in the U.S. series rankings, and Sara Tarkington (Boulder, Colo.), who was eighth in the 2010 XTERRA U.S. Pro Series rankings, also will compete.
The Team USA squad of age-groupers is comprised of 53 athletes ranging in age from 23 to 68 and hailing from all across the United States. The athletes qualified for Team USA, which is comprised of amateur athletes who represent the U.S. at every ITU World Championships, at four different off-road triathlon events in 2010.