Reid & White race Quarteria, Shaw and Doherty race NZ

TI Crew Quateria

Reid Begins Olympic Year in Portugal

Aileen Reid and Russel White will get their 2016 seasons underway this weekend at the ITU European Cup event in Quarteira, Portugal. Reid, who is currently ranked 9th in the world, last raced at the ITU Grand Final in Chicago in the autumn and with her place at the Rio Olympics already secured has been able to focus on training over the winter and early spring. She's ranked number 1 in the women's race which gets underway at 13:45 on Saturday.

In the men's race, Russel White will line out in a field which totals 76 athletes. He will be looking for a solid start to his season after training with Reid and fellow elite Bryan Keane at a number of TI training camps over the winter. The elite men's race begins at 16:00 on Saturday and as with the women's race, we will be carrying live updates on our twitter feed.

Also this weekend, two junior high performance athletes, James Edgar and Darren Dunne will line out at the Junior European Cup race at the same venue. Edgar is ranked 23rd on the start list while Dunne is 27th. Their race gets underway on Sunday at 10:00am.

Ben Shaw Bike

Shaw and Doherty Race in New Zealand

Meanwhile Ben Shaw and Con Doherty will line out ITU World Cup race New Plymouth, New Zealand on Sunday. The second World Cup race of 2016 will see the Irish pair compete against some of the world's top ranked athletes including Richard Murray of South Africa and Australian Aaron Royle.

Doherty got his first taste of World Cup racing in Mooloolaba last month, and although he was disappointed with his finishing place, the 20-year-old is bursting with ambition and is excited about his prospects as he told us in a first person piece.

As always, Ben Shaw will be one to watch from the very beginning as he looks to profit from his swimming ability by getting towards the front on what looks to be a fast and technical 20km bike course. The New Plymouth race starts at 10:00pm Irish time on Saturday night and you can get live timing at and on twitter @triathlonlive.