Abu Dhabi Tri 2012 - day 1

The 2012 Abu Dhabi International Triathlon is almost upon us and we collected a few impressions as athletes are getting primed and ready for the big day.

After the morning swim, we checked out the press conference (we will have a separate feature about it) and the autograph session and bumped into quite a few of the Pros.

Race day is Saturday March 3rd.

All images © Herbert Krabel / slowtwitch.com

The signs are not yet in place yet, but pretty much everything else is ready for the race.

The wetsuit ritual is the same no matter where you go in the world.

Rasmus Henning was one of the first Pros to be at the morning swim.

Nikki Butterfield was an early bird too.

Defending champion Frederik Van Lierde has a lot of eyes on him.

Transition is ready for the almost 1900 competitors.

This sign may mean different things to different folks.

Quite a few lifeguards were keeping a watchful eye on the swimmers.

Post swim shower for Nikki Butterfield.

Fraser Cartmell is looking calm and relaxed.

The crew of Wolfi's Bike Shop has been busy.

Meanwhile the boss was working hard on a bigger operation.

Eneko Llanos won this race in 2010 and sits here with Chris Lieto and Dirk Bockel awaiting the pres conference.

Sultan Al Muhairi opened up the press conference with passionate words about the event.

There a quite a few first time Abu Dhabi starters here, and Melissa Rollison is among them.

A father and daughter combo from Sweden checking in.

A slight contrast in styles outside the race hotel.

Some of the race bikes were just parked outside.

Most everybody though has their bikes checked in a special section of the garage.

The autograph signing session was very busy.