A new chapter begins for triathlon athletes in 2023
Considered the ultimate test of physical, mental, and emotional resilience, the triathlon has rightfully earned its reputation as the iconic global sport event.
And it’s undergoing a historic change.
For decades, the triathlon world championship has been a two-day event for both men and women. However, this year it’ll take the form of a one-day event, co-hosted in two different countries on different dates.
The women’s triathlon will take place in Kona, Hawai’i on 14 October, and the men’s will be in Nice, France, slightly earlier on 10 September. And in 2024, the hosts will rotate: the women will race in Nice on 22 September and the men in Kona on 26 October. This rotation will continue through to 2026.
Albeit different from the norm, this move upholds the mission of hosting dedicated events for both women and men. It also puts Nice back in the spotlight as a historically important triathlon destination.
The focus on female
This year, for the first time ever, the Zwift Academy Tri-Team is all-female. Because now that the men’s and women’s races are held alternatively in Kona and Nice, Zwift decided to focus solely on the female athletes competing in Kona for 2023.
Zwift is one of our official partners, and all our age groupers in the Tri-Team receive a Speedmax CFR, as well as technical support, bike fittings and adjustments, aero validation tests, and technical briefings before the race begins.
We’re thrilled to be able to support our athletes and age groupers at these iconic events. And we’re excited to see that the spotlight is on women. Because whoever they are, whatever their personal goals, and wherever they come from, every athlete should be able to enter the triathlon feeling confident, supported, and race ready. Whether that’s in Nice or in Kona.
Similarly, we know that the ongoing efforts of female athletes both on and off the bike should be acknowledged and celebrated. And we know that the younger generation of female cyclists need to see that there’s a place for them in this world.
Our performance as female athletes often peaks when we’re in our mid-thirties, which means we often must choose between our careers and motherhood. So when we are seen and supported as human beings, we have the freedom to truly find out how good we can be.Chelsea Sodaro, triathlon world champion
Chelsea Sodaro will be competing as a Canyon athlete in this year’s triathlon alongside Sarah Crowley, Laura Philipp, Sarah True, Daniela Bleymehl, and Kat Matthews. Their 140.6-mile journey begins in the clear waters of Kailua Bay, along the windswept coast, and through barren lava fields, presenting them all with the ultimate test of grit, strength, and heart.
We’re in awe of what the human body is capable of, and we feel that in sponsoring female teams, athletes, ambassadors, and age groupers, and in hosting initiatives for women on the saddle, we’re showing our explicit long-term commitment to women’s cycling.
Because we want women to chase opportunities in the cycling world in the same way that men can. Like pursuing a work-life balance. In this case, that’s competing in a triathlon whilst being a parent – an incredible feat.
In the context of the ongoing evolution of the cycling world, every bit of progress is a win. But we also know we’ve got a fair bit yet to do.
Filling in the gap
Although we’re beginning to see a closing of the gap in opportunities for athletes, the question remains: what caused the split in the locations for this year’s triathlon?
Despite the success of the event, the increase in visitors and participants has both a positive and negative effect on its local community. To move forward, the County of Hawai’i and the organisers of the triathlon reached an agreement to co-host men and women at 2 different locations, instead of holding the 2-day event in Hawai’i.
Naturally, the triathlon world championships have a logistical and environmental impact. So local initiatives like 'Live Aloha' have been set in place, which encourages all athletes, families, and guests to respect and protect Hawai’ian culture, lands, and people by taking the ‘Pono Pledge’. The pledge includes statements like, “I will mindfully seek wonder, but not wander where I do not belong”.
It’s certainly true that if we want to continue being active participants in the triathlon, respecting the land we visit is paramount. Racing and tourism can only continue to take place as long as we all see ourselves as guardians of the places we play.
At Canyon, our widely-shared Rules for Responsible Content Production policy highlights the importance of how we shouldn’t just leave no trace, but leave things better than how we found them. We know that responsible tourism, racing, and any content production we make starts long before and after race day. When everyone plays their part, it can create a better experience. For the Earth as well as its people.
You’ll see us on the sidelines
The split in locations has been received by everyone differently, but one thing is for certain: whatever we do in our efforts to support our male riders in Nice, we do the same for our female riders in Kona. A triathlon is an incredible achievement: the race consists of a 3.8 km swim, followed by a 180 km bike ride, and is rounded off with a full marathon. You could call it one of the most hardcore tests of human endurance there is.
So it’s a no-brainer that we’re behind our riders in full force.
Our athletes ride Speedmax CFR triathlon bikes in individual colourways. They’re our fastest, most aerodynamically advanced triathlon bike, ever. On entry, they’re gifted a goodie bag filled with presents, essential gear, and clean nutrition to meet the demands of the race. And they can all take advantage of the free Canyon bike service available at the event: whether that’s bike tuning, consultations, a Perfect Positioning System (PPS) bike fitting, or just sound advice from the experts. Because we need every rider to feel confident and race-ready. After all, your body is the machine, your bike is the tool, and your mind is what gets you through. So no ounce of energy should be wasted on thinking about whether your tools are working or not.
Let’s get rolling
Completing a triathlon is an unforgettable achievement. And these are the kinds of experiences that define us and make us human (although, some may argue that taking part in a triathlon makes you the complete opposite). Either way, whether you’re competing in Kona or in Nice, you’ll always find us right behind you.
To find us at the Lava Java tent and get your bike fixed up, among other fun activities, tap the following address into whichever maps app you use. You’ll see our Canyon logo on the building along with a poster saying ‘House of Champions’.
The opening hours are:
Tuesday 10 October: 11:00-16:00
Wednesday 11 - Friday 13 October: 09:00-17:00
Saturday 14 October: 08:00 until the end of the race.
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