Miriam Casillas wears the number one as Brazil hosts first World Cup in 19 years
World Cup racing returns to Brazil this weekend for the first time since Rio 2004, and it is to the capital city Brasilia that the action heads on Sunday as a busy close to the World Cup season kicks in.
The full stretch of the famous 1.2km Juscelino Kubitschek bridge and the Paranoa Lake it traverses are the focal points of the racing. A water start and single-lap 1500m swim should make for an unusual swim segment, before the long straights of the six-lap, 40km bike course, crossing the bridge 12 times in total.
The action wraps up with a three-lap 10km run, each loop taking in just half the bridge length and ultimately deciding where the medals and Paris 2024 Olympic Qualification points will go. You can watch full coverage over on TriathlonLive.tv from 7am local time.
Casillas looks to convert
Wearing the number one is Miriam Casillas Garcia, the Spaniard who has seen some of her very best performances in the past 12 months on tough Olympic-distance courses and will no doubt relish going in as the top-ranked athlete.
Casillas may not have hit a World Cup podium since Weihai in 2019, but a brilliant run of Series results in the second half of 2022 included a trio of WTCS top 10s at the full distance, and she will want to prove a point and bank some precious points after a disappointing Paris Test Event.
Brazilian talent runs deep
The hosts can count on Vittoria Lopes to be spearheading the swim, particularly on a course where things could really string out if the Brazilian wants to roll the dice early on. It was an effective tactic at last year’s continental championships where she was solo until the final stages when Luisa Baptista caught her, and she will have more motivation than ever to make that run stick in front of her home fans.
For Baptista and another talented Brazilian, Djenyfer Arnold, this race represents a big opportunity to put a difficult period into the history books and launch into the off-season on a high. Dabbling with longer distances appeared to have derailed Baptista’s short course form and after cracking the WTCS top 10 in Montreal Arnold last year, Arnold has yet to kick on as she would have wanted.
Mexico’s Rosa Maria Tapia Vidal burst onto the biggest stage of them all with a career-best silver at WTCS Yokohama in the second Series race this year, running solo and free to her first major podium. A top 10 in Cagliari and 6th in Huatulco followed, and she will need to replicate that Yokohama swim and save the legs on the bike to set up a grandstand finish in Brasilia.
Olympic medalist Zaferes chasing top form
World Champion and double Olympic medal pedigree is brought to the start in the form of USA’s Katie Zaferes who continues her quest for the points that could take her to a Paris 2024 ticket. Two further graduates from the Tokyo 2020 top 10, Alice Betto (ITA) and Valerie Barthelemy (BEL) will also be looking to sign off on 2023 with a strong results.
The Team World Triathlon development squad, subsidising costs for those athletes from smaller nations but with Olympic potential, comes together for their final race of the year in Brasilia. Moira Miranda (ARG) joins for the first time, while Raquel Campos Solano (CRC), Erica Hawley (BER) and Zuzana Michalikova (SVK) return to continue the pursuit of their Paris 2024 and LA 2028 dreams.
Full start list can be found here.
Related Event: 2023 World Triathlon Cup Brasilia
|Results: Elite Men
|Antonio Serrat Seoane