COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Katie Zaferes (Santa Cruz, Calif.) leads seven U.S. elite triathletes into the Arzachena Triathlon World Cup in Italy this Saturday, marking the penultimate event of the shortened 2020 World Triathlon season.
The sprint-distance race covers a 750-meter swim off the coast of the Italian island, followed by a three-lap, 20-kilometer bike and a two-lap, 5-kilometer run finishing at the Parco Riva Azzurra. The women race first at 4:30 a.m. ET (10:30 a.m. local time), and the men start at 9:30 a.m. ET (3:30 p.m. local time). Both races will be broadcast live online at triathlonlive.tv and will be available to U.S. audiences.
The vast majority of World Triathlon races in 2020 have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with only one World Cup in Mooloolaba, Australia, successfully taking place in early March before the pandemic upended the global sports landscape. Elite triathlon racing resumed in September with the Individual and Mixed Relay World Championships in Hamburg, Germany, and the Karlovy Vary World Cup in the Czech Republic. The Arzachena World Cup is the second-to-last World Triathlon elite race of 2020, with Valencia World Cup in Spain wrapping the season on Nov. 7-8.
The Arzachena race will take place under controlled COVID-19 conditions to maintain the safety of athletes, staff, volunteers and the local community — including COVID-19 testing before and after international travel; daily self-screening and temperature checks before entering the race venue; face coverings at all times except when actively racing; contact reduction for athletes, coaches, staff and volunteers; and increased cleaning and disinfecting practices onsite.
Leading the start list for the women is Zaferes, the 2019 ITU World Triathlon Series champion. She is on the hunt for her first individual podium of 2020, having placed fifth in Hamburg and 11th in Karlovy Vary. She also helped the U.S. team to silver at the Mixed Relay World Championships in Hamburg.
Erika Ackerlund (Missoula, Mont.) is also poised for a strong performance. The three-time U23 World Championships competitor grabbed a senior-level WTS career-best finish of 14th in Hamburg, followed by a 13th-place showing in Karlovy Vary. Click here for the complete women’s start list.
In the men’s race, Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.) leads the U.S. contingent at the No. 6 spot. McElroy made history in 2019 by earning the first WTS medal for a U.S. man in a decade, and the second in history, with a silver in Leeds, England. He followed that performance with a string of three World Cup victories to end the season. McElroy will be searching for his first 2020 podium in Arzachena.
Seven-time World Cup medalist Kevin McDowell (Phoenix, Ariz.) is No. 12 on the men’s start list. McDowell demonstrated his form in September, helping the U.S. to silver at the Mixed Relay World Championships while placing 18th as an individual in Hamburg and 14th in Karlovy Vary.
Also racing for the U.S. men are Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.), Tony Smoragiewicz (Rapid City, S.D.) and Collin Chartier (Fairfax, Va.). For the complete men’s start list, click here.
For complete event information, schedule and course maps, visit triathloncostasmeralda.org.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).