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WATCH AGAIN: Beaugrand, Thorn strike gold at European Cup Quarteira

Jonny Brownlee and Cassandre Beaugrand are the standouts on the start list for the 2023 European Triathlon Cup Quarteira.

Staff Reporter
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This is a preview written ahead of the European Triathlon Cup Quarteira. Check out our post-race reports on the podium-topping performances of Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA) and Vetle Thorn (NOR).

Portugal hosts the second European Continental Cup of the year this weekend, as racing heads to the Algarve for what promises to be the most hotly contested competition on European soil so far this season.

The likes of Jonny Brownlee, Cassandre Beaugrand and Kate Waugh will race over the Olympic distance in Quarteira, which lies in the district of Faro, as some of the best athletes in Europe come face-to-face for the first time in 2023.

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Start time and how to watch live

The 2023 Quarteira European Cup will be held on Saturday, March 25. The women’s race will begin at 1345 local time (GMT+00:00), which is 1445 CET and 0645 on the West Coast. The men’s race will begin at 1630, which is 1730 CET and 1030 on the West Coast.

All the action will be available via triathlonlive.tv, YouTube (embedded below) and via the ETU’s Facebook page.

Course and previous winners

This event has been hosted in Quarteira since 2009 and is one of the oldest European Continental Cups on the circuit. Athletes will swim two laps of 750m from the Quarteira beach, before heading out for six laps of the 6.66km bike course which includes three dead turns (180 degree turn) per lap. Off the bike, the run consists of four 2.5km loops which follow the promenade and also include three dead turns.

Last year, Takumi Hojo (JPN) and Beth Potter (GBR) took the wins here in Quarteira, as both eventual victors successfully ran away from the rest of the field on the Algarve.

Previous Winners:

  • 2022 – Takumi Hojo (JPN) / Beth Potter (GBR)
  • 2021 – David Castro Fajardo (ESP) / Lotte Miller (NOR)
  • 2019 – Alberto Gonzalez Garcia (ESP) / Laura Lindemann (GER)
  • 2018 – Dorian Coninx (FRA) / Julie Ferron (SUI)
  • 2017 – Joao Pereira (POR) / Sophie Coldwell (GBR)
  • 2016 – Aurelien Raphael (FRA) / Jessica Learmonth (GBR)
  • 2015 – Dorian Coninx (FRA) / Gillian Sanders (RSA)
  • 2014 – Aurelien Raphael (FRA) / Agnieszka Jerzyk (POL)
  • 2013 – Fernando Alarm (ESP) / Non Stanford (GBR)
  • 2012 – Aurelien Raphael (FRA) / Ainhoa Murua Zubizarreta (ESP)
  • 2011 – Vincent Luis (FRA) / Anne Haug (GER)
  • 2010 – Mario Mola (ESP) / Vanessa Fernandes (POR)
  • 2009 – Dmitry Polyanskiy (RUS) / Radka Vodickova (CZE)

Elite Women

In the women’s race, French star Cassandre Beaugrand starts with #1 and will be the firm favourite for the win. Beaugrand, now based in Loughborough, most recently finished sixth at WTCS Abu Dhabi and looks to be in great run form at the moment.

Cassandre Beaugrand WTCS Leeds 2022
Cassandre Beaugrand of France wins the elite women’s race at WTCS Leeds on Saturday June 11, 2022 (World Triathlon).

The 25 year old, who has been widely tipped as the athlete who can deliver a home medal at the Paris Olympic Games, will race her first Olympic distance event of the season in Quarteira. Following a strong year in 2022, Beaugrand will be hoping to build on last season’s successes.

Next up, World U23 Champion Kate Waugh will feel as if she’s racing on home turf after being based in the Algarve over the winter. After 32nd at WTCS Abu Dhabi at the beginning of March, Waugh will likely relish the chance to race over the Olympic distance, which is the format she won her world title over in November.

Waugh, alongside training partners Yuko Takahashi, Jeanne Lehair and Kaidi Kivioja, will make up just four of the athletes that form part of a training squad based down the road in Monte Gordo, who train under the guidance of Paulo Sousa. On familiar territory, expect this quartet to feature at the front end of the race.

Kate Waugh u23 worlds 2 abu dhabi photo credit Janos M Schmidt World Triathlon
[Photo credit: Janos M Schmidt / World Triathlon]

Finally, Swedish athlete Tilda Månsson, who won the Junior World Championships in 2022, could be a dark horse for the win. Mansson, who rose to prominence following her sprint finish win at the 2022 Bergen World Cup, will hope to continue to build on a 2022 that also included her WTCS debut, this weekend.

The full women’s start list can be found here.

Elite Men

With over 70 names on the start list, it is safe to assume that the men’s race in Quarteira will deliver in both quantity and quality. Jonny Brownlee, who will be bringing a large proportion of the quality, will look to kick his 2023 season off with a win against a strong field in Quarteira after opting to skip WTCS Abu Dhabi at the start of the month.

[Photo credit Chris Sansom / SLT]
[Photo credit Chris Sansom / SLT]

The Yorkshireman, who proved many doubters wrong with a World Cup win, a WTCS podium and a Super League Championship Series third place finish in 2023, will be the man to beat on Saturday, providing all things have gone well in training this winter.

Looking to make his fourth Olympic team in Paris next year, Brownlee is currently in the driving seat for the second spot behind Alex Yee on the British men’s team. However, a result over the Olympic distance this weekend in Quarteira before he races the Super League Arena Games Finals in London will be a good confidence booster before the crux of Olympic qualification this summer.

Another name recently announced on the start list for the London Arena Games racing is Gustav Iden. The IRONMAN World Champion, who didn’t get his season off to the best start with a poor performance at WTCS Abu Dhabi, will hope to let his legs do the talking in Portugal after shoe controversy shrouded the start to his campaign.

The chance to move up the world rankings in Quarteira, whilst minor for some, could mean a great deal to Iden. The Norwegian, who is only on the cusp of WTCS start lists currently, is likely to benefit a great deal from a podium placing in Portugal.

Gustav Iden on the run at WTCS Abu Dhabi 2023
Photo Credit: Wagner Araujo / World Triathlon

It is a podium he will have to work hard for however, with the likes of recent Sursee Arena Games podium finisher Simon Westermann, WTCS medallist Paul Georgenthum and Portuguese veteran Joao Pereira all likely to be in contention.

Vetle Thorn, Iden’s fellow countryman, is another name to look out for, as the 23 year old continues to go from strength-to-strength after a breakthrough 2022 which saw him clinch third place in front of a home crowd at the Bergen World Cup.

Finally, aside from Brownlee, Hamish Reilly, who last year finished on the podium at the World U23 Championships, could be the next best British contender for the podium.

The Loughborough student’s best finish at a European Cup is sixth, from Alanya in 2022, but given the strength he showed over the Olympic distance in Abu Dhabi last November, may be able to eclipse that in Portugal on Saturday.

The full men’s start list can be found here.

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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