New Cardiff Triathlon eager to become ITU event in future
The launch of a new triathlon in Cardiff in June 2015 could be the first step towards it becoming a top-rank International Triathlon Union event.
Wales is already home to races such as the Snowdonia Slateman Triathlon and the Anglesey Sandman Triathlon.
Organisers hope the Cardiff Triathlon will become Wales' flagship event.
"We want to see this triathlon get bigger and bigger, and ultimately to hold an ITU event here in Cardiff," said events manager Rob Samuel.
"That's our aspiration.... London's got a triathlon, Liverpool's got a triathlon, we've got all these city triathlons, but here in Wales and Cardiff we didn't have one.
"So we thought it was time for change to bring an amazing event to the capital of Wales."
The Cardiff Triathlon will take place on 28 June 2015, with entry numbers limited to 2,000 for the inaugural race, although a pre-registration release of 450 places has already been snapped up.
|Wales triathlete Holly Lawrence|
|"It's huge for growing the sport in Wales, it makes it more accessible, it definitely showcases triathlon and it's only going to be a positive."|
The intention then is to increase the number of places available in subsequent years and boost the event's standing in the triathlon calendar.
A blueprint for this is the Cardiff Half-Marathon, which in 2013 incorporated the British Half-Marathon Championships and in 2016 the city will host the International Association of Athletics Federations' World Half-Marathon Championships.
"Cardiff is becoming renowned for big sporting events: you've got the big rugby heritage; the half-marathon which has become huge as well; and obviously the Wales Velothon coming to Cardiff," Samuel said.
"We want to grow it year on year, working with Cardiff City Council, British Triathlon and Welsh Triathlon to grow this into one of the biggest triathlons in the UK."
The course will see athletes complete the swim in Cardiff Bay, cycle a circular route through the Gwent Levels, then finish with the run around the Cardiff Bay area across the barrage.
The transition point will be on Roald Dahl Plass in front of Wales Millennium Centre.
Competitors can choose to race the full Olympic course distance of a 1500m swim, 40km cycle and 10km run, or the shorter sprint course 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run.
Triathlete Holly Lawrence, who competed for Wales in the relay at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, welcomed the event and hopes it will provide a boost to the strength of the sport in Wales.
"It would be an amazing thing for it to become an ITU event and be one of the popular triathlons in the UK, because it's a really iconic place in the capital of Wales," Lawrence said.
"If my schedule will allow I'd love to compete in [the first one].
"It's huge for growing the sport in Wales, it makes it more accessible, it definitely showcases triathlon and it's only going to be a positive.
"Particularly Welsh Triathlon focus on the grassroots and getting younger kids into triathlon, and that's what they're really good at.
"There is currently a really good group of younger triathletes and it will only benefit triathletes in Wales by raising their profile."
Samuel says the Cardiff Triathlon has been fully supported by Welsh Triathlon, the national governing body for the sport.
"We've been working closely with Welsh Triathlon and it is all about the pyramid, we want to encourage people from the bottom of the pyramid and... hopefully we'll see some of the stars of the future," Samuel added.