Navigating the globe to secure qualification for Paris 2024: Richard Murray’s story

Navigating the globe to secure qualification for Paris 2024: Richard Murray’s story

 Richard Murray is a special case. Not only is the South African-born BMC triathlete aiming to participate in Paris 2024, but he is also still working on becoming a Dutch citizen. The combination of two time-consuming activities leads to an utmost important month of May, with three ultimate qualification races and – hopefully – citizenship, to represent The Netherlands in Paris.

“My journey towards becoming a Dutch citizen began in 2022 after receiving temporary residence due to Brexit,” Murray says. “Motivated by the prospect of qualifying for Paris 2024 alongside my wife, Rachel Klamer, I successfully passed all integration exams, a year-long process. Now, with the exams behind me, I can officially apply for Dutch citizenship, a crucial step before competing in Paris 2024.” 

To secure a spot in Paris 2024, the triathlete on BMC bikes must clinch a top 8 position at one of the two remaining WTCS Olympic distance events - Yokohama and Cagliari – both in May. Additionally, there's a relay element in these races in May, contributing to Team NL's qualification bid, which is yet to be achieved.

Richard Murray BMC

Murray: “My plan is to head to east Japan on time to get over the jetlag before the racing starts. Right after, I head to the US for the team relay event and then fly back to Italy for the last WTCS event. I will need to plan well for it as these are three races in 3 continents in 3 weeks.”

Approaching this crucial three-week period requires a delicate balance. Although the plan is to participate in all three events, the realistic target is to be fit and ready for the first two. Murray: “To manage the challenging schedule of three races in three continents within three weeks, meticulous planning is essential. The strategy involves heading to Japan early to combat jetlag, racing there, and then jetting off to the US between events.”

“Organizing the logistics for a pro triathlete during the season is no small feat. Unlike pro cycling teams with dedicated logistic teams, we must plan most aspects ourselves. However, support from the national federation for the lead-up to Paris is invaluable. Despite the challenges, years of experience have honed our planning and organizing skills, making the journey smoother.”

“Anticipating the grand stage of Paris 2024, my ideal bike setup involves the cutting-edge Team Machine R - an aerodynamic marvel. Sporting a massive front chainring of 54/55 and deep DT Swiss ARC 60mm wheels, coupled with Shimano's 12-speed system, it promises a winning combination. Custom modifications, such as ceramic Cbear bearings and a waxed chain, will further optimize performance for the ultimate pursuit of glory in Paris.”