One of the pre-race favourites, and one of Australia’s best chances of a podium finish, Courtney Atkinson, has withdrawn from the ITU round 1 race in Sydney just days before the event.
Writing on his website Atkinson said: “My recovery from the Mooloolaba World Cup wasn’t as good as expected and I had some unexpected complications ongoing from the illness I was carrying. It is a long season with 10-15 races planned over the next 5 months so this is a small hickup in a big year.
I am so close to being 100% that it is such a hard decision not to race our home World Championship Race, but I think it is the right decision considering my aim is to Win the World Championship and 90% of that racing will be in Europe in 2-4months time. One race can’t win the whole series, but interrupted preparation can cause ongoing problems for the whole year.”
His decision follows on from the announcement of the withdrawl of another home country favourite Emma Snowsill.