[Originally posted in December 2017]
When I set myself the goal of qualifying in my age-group for the "worlds", I had no idea of how to go about it. I looked up on the BTU website for information, and it is very helpful, once you find your way around it.
For 2018 to qualify for the age group team for the "Worlds" in September , you need to take part in at least 1 of the 2 (for sprint)and 4 (for Olympic) qualifying events, earlier in 2018. The rules for qualification are a bit complicated, so here is the extract for the sprint distance (Olympic distance is slightly different):
"In order to qualify athletes are expected to meet a minimum requirement of completing their qualification race in a time within 115% of the winner in their age group. Places will be offered automatically to the 6 highest placed athletes that registered by 5pm on the Friday before their qualification race and finished within 115% of the winner of their age-group and that have not already qualified at a previous race.
Any athlete finishing within the 6 highest places as outlined above but outside 115% of the winner of their age-group will only be offered a place at the Team Manager’s discretion.
Any athlete finishing outside the automatic places but inside 115% of the winner of their age-group may still be able to qualify with a rolldown place.”
There are 20 places per age-group category. In the older age-groups they do not always get 20 people who are eligible and want to compete. Far distance venues for the "Worlds" are less popular. So getting a roll-down place in the younger age-groups is possible if you are half-way decent! For 2018 the venue is the Gold Coast, Australia, Fantastic but far away!
The qualifying events are of course very well organised and the cycling is on closed roads, so they are good events to enter. If you qualify and want to compete, you have to pay an entry fee (over £300 last year) and get the GB Tri Suit (again not cheap but good quality) Then there is travel and accommodation. The GB support team is resident on one of the larger hotels. You can use a company called Nirvana to book various bits of the trip , but there accommodation tends to be on the dearer side.
The "Worlds" event is a great occasion, There are thousand of competitors , I addition to the sprint and the Olympic distance , there is also a para event, under 18's etc. Lots of razzamatazz. Everyone is friendly and a real experience.
One last point: For 2019 (in Lausanne) you need to qualify in the year before, i.e in2018 (a change from previous years to bring these races in line with the ETU). So the 2018 qualifying events are doubly important. I'd strongly encourage anyone who is reasonably OK competitor and who could afford the time and money, to have a go at qualifying. Take a look at the results for last year to see how you would rank. It would be great to have an AVTC group there!