Vodafone DCT to host 2019 Elite National Triathlon Championships the 2019 Elite National Triathlon ChampionshipsThe country’s best triathletes will compete for the title of Elite National Champion for the first time next season at the Vodafone Dublin City Triathlon.The Elite Championships will replace the Super Series for 2019 as a competition review is carried in to the series. This review will focus on how best to support the needs of Triathlon Ireland’s High Performance Development programme, race organisers and the wider community of athletes.The Super Series was originally envisioned as a vehicle to provide draft legal opportunities for Ireland’s up and coming athletes and has been enormously successful to this end with a record number of Irish High Performance development athletes moving on to ETU racing in 2018.While numbers of competitors in the Super Series grew from the series’s inception in 2015 through to 2017, participation declined in 2018, while the number of events which were able to host a Super Series event in 2019 also dropped.Chris Kitchen, CEO of Triathlon Ireland said these were some of the factors which led to the decision to carry out a review of the series:“The Super Series enabled us to have draft legal, head to head racing for our top domestic athletes and provide a perfect platform to launch athletes onto the international scene. The needs and the aims remain the same but we are looking at providing events that are attractive to athletes and in a format that also works for event organisers.”Mr Kitchen added: “We will use 2019 to get the views of all stakeholders with a view to launching a new format in 2020 retaining a single high profile event in 2019 as a flagship draft legal head to head championships.”an important learning experiencePerformance Director with Triathlon Ireland, Stephen Delaney said racing over draft legal format has been an extremely important learning experience for his athletes;“The Super Series has given an opportunity to particularly young athletes to experience draft legal races and some of the intensity they must have in transition. We can see how athletes were able to go on to ETU level having the learning done.”The 2019 Elite National Championships will be raced over sprint distance in a draft legal format. Cat 1 and Cat 2 designations will no longer apply next season, meaning any athlete over the age of 16 will be able to race the Elite Championships if they wish. Likewise the BMW Triathlon National Series in 2019 will be open to all race licence holders regardless of their previous Cat 1 or Cat 2 status.The non-drafting BMW Triathlon National Series event at Vodafone Dublin City Triathlon will be unaffected by the elite designation to the draft legal race and athletes will continue to be eligible to win their Age Group National Championships medals in the non-drafting race.The Elite National Championships will not feature AG prizes and will be run to ITU standards, with an increased prize purse compared to the 2018 Super Series events.