AUSTRALIA’S elite cross triathlon athletes will race around greater Bendigo’s Crusoe Reservoir later this year, in a bid to be crowned national champion.
Bendigo is set to host the Tre-X Australian Cross Triathlon Championships and MultiSport Festival on December 13 and 14.
It was announced on Tuesday that the national and state championships will be held in the city for the next four years.
About 450 athletes are expected to compete in Bendigo.
This year’s event will also act as a qualifying round for the 2015 ITU World Cross Triathlon Championships.
Event director Robyn Lazenby said Bendigo was the perfect place to host the event.
“Finding a venue which offers such great facilities and opportunities for our sport is pretty rare,” she said.
“There is a spectacular swim course in Crusoe Reservoir, there are some great mountain bike trials in the regional park and the natural terrain is great for the run.
“It is as if the venue is perfectly built for our sport.”
Race director Simon Lazenby said top athletes from across Australia would take part, with hope some international competitors would also try their luck in Bendigo.
“The event is on at a great time of the year because a lot of the northern hemisphere athletes will be here for the Australian summer to train, so the chance to do a fairly competitive race with other big names from Australia would be good for them,” he said.
Bendigo Triathlon Club committee member Todd Foster has competed in several cross triathlon events.
“It is a bit different to the traditional triathlon because you are using mountain bikes,” he said.
“It is a good challenge, anybody can have a go.”
Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Barry Lyons said the city looked forward to seeing the series develop over the next four years.
“Cross triathlon is rapidly growing in popularity and it is no secret Bendigo residents embrace sport of all kinds,” he said.
The weekend will also include sprint distance, junior events, dirt kids cross triathlon and trail runs.