Since making its debut on the World Triathlon stage back in 2008, Huatulco has become a staple in the race calendar, with a sprint distance course in dependably high humidity that always produces packed start lists and fireworks from the athletes. On Saturday, the elite women return to do battle at 6pm local time, with a start list full of rising talent from around the globe ready to put their marker down at the start of the Paris 2024 Qualification Period.
As ever, it will be a beach start for the one-lap, 750m Pacific Ocean swim, then a long transition to the largely flat, four-lap, 20km bike course before finishing with a two-lap run to the tape in Santa Cruz Plaza and, as ever, you can watch all the weekend’s action from Mexico unfold live and direct on TriathlonLive.tv.
Wearing the number one will be USA’s Erika Ackerlund, back to form with a top 10 in Karlovy Vary in September last year and someone who knows how to race in the heat after a fifth place here in 2018. Having bagged plenty of podium success in the Americas over the years, the 26-year-old will know that this could be the perfect opportunity to land that as-yet elusive first World Cup podium.
Brazil’s national champion Luisa Baptista will be full of confidence after running her way to third in Arzachena three weeks ago on a hot day in Sardinia. Germany’s Annika Koch finished 7th on that demanding course and has also been knocking at the door of a first podium for some time, her potential underlined in fine style with bronze at the U23 World Championships last year. A good bike and she will be a major podium threat this weekend.
Back on the start line will be a few familiar names notable by their absences recently, including Elizabeth Bravo (ECU), Claudia Rivas (MEX) and Sara Perez Sala (ESP). It will be interesting to see where Perez Sala’s short-race form is after she bounced back from crashing in Miami to win the Challenge 70.3 in Samorin last month.
Bravo was 4th here last year and 5th in 2019. The Ecuadorian loves to race in the heat, as does Lisa Perterer, coming down from the Austrian hills to scoop the bronze here two years in a row. Is a first World Cup gold since 2018 on the cards for the 30-year-old?
Bianca Seregni leads the line for Italy, an excellent swimmer and former Aquathlon World Champion who put together a stunning race in Karlovy Vary to land a first World Cup podium last year and undoubtedly has what it takes to be up there again on her debut in Mexico.