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Vicky Holland gets London 2012 vibes from Rome course as stars mass for World Triathlon Cup

There are a number of big names on the start list in Rome this weekend.

Staff Reporter
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The World Triathlon Cup Rome, which will be held for the first time this weekend in the Italian capital, has attracted a number of top-tier short-course professionals to the start line for what is expected to be an epic race.

On the men’s side, the likes of Portugal’s Vasco Vilaca will be looking to blow off some end of season steam after a high-stakes finish to the WTCS didn’t go his way, whilst on the women’s side, Britain’s Vicky Holland will race for the second time in as many weeks on her return to action.

Additionally, middle-distance star Jason West brings another level of excitement and intrigue to the start line, as the PTO World #3 races his first short course event in over three years and looks to transfer his success so far this season to the World Triathlon circuit.

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End-of-season fun for Vilaca

After a big season of racing on the WTCS, where Vilaca looked set to take a spot on the overall podium before finishing a disappointing 15th at the Finals in Pontevedra, the Portuguese star is excited to enjoy some great racing and great crowds to finish off his year.

Vasco Vilaca Dorian Coninx Paris Test Event 2023 [Photo credit: World Triathlon / Wagner Araujo]
[Photo credit: World Triathlon / Wagner Araujo]

“I haven’t done a World Cup since 2020 I think, in Karlovy Vary, where I have some good memories. Whilst the thought was that the season would finish at the normal time, I wanted to use the good shape I had put together for Pontevedra for a few more races.

“I wanted to enjoy some races and go without any pressure and do what I like to do, whilst enjoying the atmosphere and venue which is what was on my mind when I got on the start list here for Rome. We might not get the opportunity to race here again, so I wanted to make the most of this one.”

Back-to-back races for Holland

After finishing seventh with a fine display at the World Triathlon Cup in Tangier, Britain’s Holland is back on another start line this weekend, with the course in Rome reminding her of somewhere a little closer to home, where she has some great memories of racing.

“Two completely different course in two weekends for me, two different continents with a different vibe around the races and I think that’s really cool.

World Triathlon Cup Tangier 2023 - Elite Women - Vicky Holland
Photo Credit: World Triathlon / @by_wout

“I think it will be really well supported and after running around the course today, I was saying that it felt like Hyde Park and I have great memories of Hyde Park, the last time was with the 2012 Olympics and you couldn’t hear yourself breathe, so to have that again would be great!” 

Stars align for West

For West, a lot of things had to come together for him to race in Rome, but the American feels like he is in the best position to return to short-course racing after making a number of jumps in his performance.

“Overall, I feel like I’ve just jumped levels over the last couple of years, increased commitment and really just been in a really good place in my life where I feel like I’ve been able to get a lot better, I train a little bit of everything and I feel like I’ve spent a lot of time in recent years racing these top guys.

“I have been racing Kristian [Blummenfelt] and I’ve done some non-draft races with Vince [Luis] and Leo [Bergere] and so I’ve been mixing it up with those guys and they’re at the top of world triathlon, so I thought maybe there’s something here and maybe I can go down in distance and compete.

Jason West PTO Tour US Open 2023 Milwaukee
Jason West of the United States finishes second in triathlon’s PTO Tour US Open in Milwaukee on August 4, 2023 (Photo – PTO).

“I know it’s going to be totally different and it’s going to be fast, and I am probably going to get my butt kicked, but I’m looking forward to that.” 

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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