Butterfield targets Games with tough schedule

Tyler Butterfield has bolstered his confidence as he bids to qualify for this summer’s London Olympics after posting the fastest bike time at the recent Mooloolaba ITU World Cup triathlon in Australia.

Butterfield, who finished the race in 20th position, hopes to build on his encouraging display in his next five races, which are critical in his quest to represent the Island at the Olympics.

The former professional cyclist has a formidable travel schedule over the next two months, which will see him compete in Sydney, Australia; Japan, Mexico, San Diego and finally Madrid, Spain.

Despite the gruelling programme, the 28-year-old is excited about testing himself against the world’s top short-course triathletes as he looks to fine-tune his race-day strength and fitness.

“I’m hopeful I’ll be booking a flight to London,” said Butterfield, who competed at the Athens Olympics in 2004. “It’s absolutely my dream. If I do miss the team, however, Plan B is to race a similar schedule to Nikki’s (Butterfield wife).

“Nikki and I would train together and travel with Savanna (the couple’s 16-month-old daughter) to possibly race Ironman Frankfurt, so there’s a pretty exciting back-up plan.

“But as long as I get starts in the Olympic qualifying races, my focus is one hundred percent on ITU and London.”

Butterfield has been preparing for his Olympic push Down Under, training with his former housemate and top Aussie triathlete, Brad Kahlefeldt.

He believes his “best early season preparations” are largely down to his intense block of training alongside Kahlefeldt, Australia’s only pre-selected triathlete for the Olympics.

“I know the form is good,” he said. “ ... I’m quite happy with performance (in the Mooloolaba ITU World Cup race). I’ve had a solid block of training on the Gold Coast here in Australia with Brad.”

Bermuda triathletes Butterfield and Flora Duffy were both awarded London 2012 Scholarships to help them prepare for the Games. A total of 16 triathletes, eight men and eight women, received Olympic Solidarity awards by the International Triathlon Union (ITU) 12 months ago, the largest number ever handed out.

Butterfield’s upcoming race schedule:

April 15 ITU World Championship Series, Sydney, Australia.

April 22 ITU Triathlon World Cup Ishigaki, Japan.

May 6 ITU Triathlon World Cup Huatulco, Mexico.

May 12 ITU World Championship Series, San Diego, USA.

May 27 ITU World Championship Series, Madrid, Spain.

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