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.
This weekend, athletes including Bermuda’s Erica Hawley return to do battle with start lists 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.
Wearing the number one in the Women’s Field, 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.
Hawley will wear the number 32, she will be looking to equal or better her 7th place finish she had during the St. Anthony’s Triathlon in May.