The Barcelona Garmin Triathlon 2011, the fifth in the world in terms of participants and the most important in Spain, will start tomorrow with a luxury poster made up of several world and national stars, who will lead a record participation.
And it is that close to 6.000 registrants will meet in a test that combines swimming, cycling and athletics, and that in just two years the number of participants in the Catalan city has doubled, ranking only behind cities such as London, Hamburg, New York and San Francisco.
The participants of the three individual categories and the three relays will have to swim in the waters of the Nueva Mar Bella beach, pedal along the Diagonal and Avenida Litoral and run through the Arc de Triomf and Ciutadella Park, among other scenarios city luxury.
“People take triathlon as a challenge, and when you get through it, you usually want more and more. It's a little drug, it's something magical," triathlete Cesc Godoy, winner of the Barcelona event in 2009, explained in an interview with Efe.
"It is a sport that is becoming more and more popular," he added. At first you had to explain what it was, because nobody knew about it, but now it doesn't happen anymore. It's a lot of fun, because it avoids the monotony of other disciplines and allows you to do several things and work on three sports during the week. That's what attracts people the most."
Godoy will be one of the great male protagonists of the event, in which Jonas Djurbak and David Ples, national champions of Sweden and Slovakia, respectively, also stand out. Also the Portuguese Joao Silva, the German Nicolás Becker and the Danish Rasmus Petreas have confirmed their attendance.
The Spanish presence will be headed by Godoy, Mario Morla (2009 Junior World Champion and fourth in the 2011 European Absolute), Fernando Alarza (Junior 2010 world champion), Xavi Llobet (Olympic triathlete at the Athens Games) and Albert Parreño.
For its part, female participation, which has grown by 14% in this edition, presents the best possible cast of stars.
Among them, the English Jodie Stimpson (winner in 2009, 2010 and current team world champion), who will star in an exciting duel with Nicola Spirig (European champion 2009 and 2010, world runner-up and winner of three World Series) and Ricarda Lisk (winner of the 2008 World Cup and Olympic in Beijing).
Likewise, the Spanish Ainhoa Murua will close her brilliant season in Barcelona, after securing the Olympic place for the London 2012 Games.
And although they will not participate in the Barcelona event, the three best triathletes in the world will attend as spectators, the brothers Alistar and Jonathan Brownlee and the double world champion and Spanish star, Javier Gómez Noya.
All this in the best possible scenario, since, for Cesc Godoy, "Barcelona has everything for triathlon", although his dream would be that his city could host one of the World Series.
For now, his goal is to win tomorrow: "It is a challenge for me, to win at home, but I am satisfied with giving it my all", said this "iron man", as triathletes are popularly known, whose key It lies in "having a very focused head, but also being a bit sick of sports", Godoy concluded. EFE