The ITU Madrid World Cup Race referenced in last and Active Triathlete Newsletter happened on Sunday May 25th. Matt Reed had a solid race, placing 10th and Dmitri Polyansky placed 15th. Brendan Sexton dropped out due to the rain and hypothermia, as did 34 other racers. Some nice photos can be found here and video here.
The Quality of Field factor was 14 percent with seven men in the top 20 World Cup Ranking lining up at the start. This was three fewer than expected by the initial start sheets early last week.
The strong finish by Matt Reed means the USA men have three starting spots on the line at Beijing, as the betting gal predicted. That written, this country position is secure by a very, slim margin of 80 points over Brendan Sexton of Australia. We currently sit in the seventh country position with Dmitri Polyansky of Russia securing the eighth country position with a very, very slim margin of 57 points over Brendan Sexton.
Which countries will land three starting positions at Beijing will be determined at the Vancouver World Championships on June 8th. Keep in mind that World Championship events carry double points and have the opportunity for the Quality of Field factor of up to 20 percent more points. With a 20 percent Quality of Field factor, the podium winners would score as following: 1020, 944 and 873.
The points decrease from there, but I wanted you to know there are huge rewards for a good performance at World Champs.
The racers that will likely determine if their countries get a third slot or not are listed below. The racers with nine races will drop the lowest race score if their World Championship performance is better than the lowest score. Those with fewer than nine races count all World Championship points achieved in Vancouver. Here are the men to watch, beginning with the fourth country to have three starting positions:
4. Reto Hug (Switzerland) - 2991 points, all World Championship points count
5. Shane Reed (New Zealand) - 2809 points, all World Championship points count
6. Kyle Jones (Canada) - 2729 points, lowest race score is 27
7. Matt Reed (USA) - 2587 points, lowest race score is 18
8. Dmitri Polyansky (Russia) - 2564, lowest race score is 167
All racers above are the third ranked male for their respective countries. These countries all currently have three start line positions. Australia wants one of those slots and as mentioned previously, Brendan Sexton is the guy most likely to give the USA and Russia a run for the slot. However, the USA and Russia both have men close to Brendan Sexton in the rankings and could be considered backup possibilities. Watch these men that have a good possibility to move themselves into the mix above:
Brendan Sexton (Australia) - 2507 points, all World Championship points count
Hunter Kemper (USA) - 2359, all World Championship points count
Terenzo Bozzone (New Zealand) - 2355, all World Championship points count
Ivan Vasiliev (Russia) - 2343, all World Championship points count (was second in Madrid)
Will the USA keep three starting positions for the men?
Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets/opinions in the comment section.