Reid, Shaw and White to Race Cape Town

Aileen Reid Run Pack

Ireland's best ranked international athlete Aileen Reid makes a return to top-level racing this weekend when she lines out in Cape Town for the third stopover of the ITU World Triathlon Series.

With an exciting line up of top women on the start list, Cape Town promises to be a close run affair. Add to this the on-going scramble for points before the Olympic qualification period closes in the middle of next month and Sunday's race could be the most exciting yet this season.

For Reid, with her place at the Rio Olympics already secured, Cape Town is about putting in a performance she can build from in the coming months.

She finished 5th at ETU Quarteira in Portugal three weeks ago, a promising result coming at the end of a long winter. But with her focus firmly on peaking for Rio in August, she told us she is working on her processes rather then her results.

"Winter training was pretty good, then I had a series of infections that took a while to get to the bottom of but I'm back to full health now," Aileen said from Cape Town.
"Whilst maybe it held back my training a bit, August is where it matters, so I'm just focusing on doing a good job on the processes for now."
She added: "Cape Town is a sprint distance this year and so the course has changed a little from the last time I raced here. I'm hoping I can keep up with the speed of these girls!'
Two weeks ago, Aileen came off her bike, but unlike world number 3 Richard Murray, who will be watching his home race from the sidelines after breaking his collar bone, there was no lasting damage, something Aileen said she is "thankful for."
The women's race gets underway at 1pm on Sunday. You can watch the race live by signing up to Triathlon Live and here at Triathlon Ireland, we will live tweet all the action on the day.

Shaw and White line up in Men's Race

Straight after the finish of the women's race, Ben Shaw and Russel White will line out against the likes of Mario Mola and Johnny Brownlee in a 64-athlete strong men's field.

Shaw featured prominently in his last race at Gold Coast in Australia where he broke clear of the main pack towards the end of the bike leg and exited T2 as the leader of the race. Sunday's sprint distance race will make this a harder prospect but don't be surprised to see more brave attacking from Shaw once he gets on to the bike.

Sprint finish for the win yesterday at Grangemouth 10km

A photo posted by Russell White (@russellwhite6) on

Like Aileen Reid, Russel White opened his season in promising form with a 13th place finish earlier this month at ETU Quarteira. Just last week he was spotted sprinting for victory at a local 10km close to his training base in Scotland, practice that might help in what promises to be a close run affair on Sunday.

The men's race gets underway at 15:30 on Sunday, you can follow its progress via Triathlon Ireland's twitter feed.