MARQUEE MAN: Alistair Brownlee pictured during the Championship Challenge Triathlon in Slovakia.
MARQUEE MAN: Alistair Brownlee pictured during the Championship Challenge Triathlon in Slovakia. Stephen Pond

Triathlon superstar set to headline Mooloolaba race

TRIATHLON: A red-hot field, including two-time reigning Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee, is set to contest the Mooloolaba ITU Triathlon World Cup men's race next month, in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games.

The entry list boasts some serious racers who will be warming up for the main event on the Gold Coast.

Queenslander Luke Willian says the event will provide him with a chance to size up the opposition before the big one in April.

"There are a fair few big names, who are ones to watch for Comm Games, who are going to be racing."

"So it's a good opportunity to race against them and see what they're doing.

"It's a solid field...with a lot of talent in it."

But England's Brownlee is the obvious drawcard.

The reigning two-time Olympic champion made his long course debut last year but is set to put his ambitions in that format on hold to try to defend his Commonwealth Games title over the sprint distance (750m swim, 20km ride, 5km run).

He's not the only big name in the sport bound for the Sunshine Coast race, which is also sprint distance.

South Africa's Richard Murray and New Zealand's Ryan Sissons, both in the world's top 10, will be in action, as will Australian Matt Hauser. But fellow Commonwealth Games competitor Jacob Birtwhistle hasn't entered.

The women's race is also packed with some of the globe's best triathletes.

America's Kirsten Kasper and Canada's Joanna Brown are expected to be genuine contenders.

Among the Australians Charlotte McShane will compete but fellow Commonwealth Games competitors Ashleigh Gentle and Gillian Backhouse haven't nominated.



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