After a fifty-day hiatus, the 2015 World Triathlon Series heads to Hamburg this Saturday (18 July). The men’s sprint-distance race will be missing both Brownlee brothers, with Jonny nursing a stress fracture and Alistair opting to sit out, while the women’s race will see GB’s Jodie Stimpson, Vicky Holland and Non Stanford lining up against series leader Gwen Jorgensen.
>>> Gwen Jorgensen wins WTS Hamburg 2014
>>> Alistair Brownlee back on top at WTS Hamburg 2014
Spanish men round out the first three positions on the starters’ list this Saturday (18 July): 2014 series winner Javier Gomez missed WTS London but still holds the number one spot with 3507 points, followed by compatriot Mario Mola with 2979 points. Fernando Alarza is ranked third after his silver medal in London, and holds 2961 points.
With the Brownlees out, the path to the podium widens: Vincent Luis (FRA) has also been having an amazing year with a podium in every WTS race in which he has competed in this season, most recently with a bronze medal in London, as the sprint distance suits the Frenchman well.
Richard Murray (RSA) demolished the run in London on the sprint course and scored his first WTS win in Hamburg back in 2012, giving him fond memories to prop his race up this weekend. London also saw Ryan Bailie (AUS) just miss out on a podium, sharpening his hunger for a first-time WTS medal.
Britain’s top-ranked male at WTS Hamburg is Mark Buckingham, who is number 20 on the start list. He’ll be joined by Gordon Benson, currently riding on a high after winning gold at the Baku European Games last month.
The men’s race will take place at 5:45pm local time (4.45pm UK time). Live TV coverage can be found on the BBC’s Red Button service for UK viewers, and on triathlonlive.tv (£).
Men’s start list here.
It’s no surprise that Gwen Jorgensen (USA) will sport the golden number in the women’s race, after utterly dominating the 2015 WTS series so far: with a perfect season to her name, she sits top of the table with 4000 points.
Gwen Jorgensen after winning WTS Hamburg 2014
Joining Jorgensen on the start list are compatriots Katie Zaferes (3645 points) and Sarah True (2632 points), who will be hoping to make it a third USA podium sweep. The trio controlled all three medals in two races this season (Gold Coast and London), a feat that no other country has accomplished in a single season.
Jodie Stimpson (GBR) returns to the circuit after injury for her first WTS race since Abu Dhabi back in March, where she posted 17th. Likewise, Kirsten Sweetland (CAN) is back in action after suffering from an illness that has kept her out of the mix since Auckland. Last year, Sweetland took home the bronze medal in Hamburg after coming up short in a head-to-head sprint finish with Emma Jackson (AUS).
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Vicky Holland on her way to victory at WTS Cape Town
Vicky Holland will be top-ranked British female in Hamburg with 1386 points, thanks to her imperious win in Cape Town, and 2013 world champion Non Stanford will likewise be looking to make up for lost time after missing out on the first four races this season, placing seventh at WTS Yokohama. 2015 debutante Sophie Coldwell will hope to repeat her perfect start to WTS London, where she led out of T2.
The women’s race will take place at 3:45pm local time (2.45pm UK time). Live TV coverage can be found on the BBC’s Red Button service for UK viewers, and on triathlonlive.tv (£).
Women’s start list here.
WTS Hamburg will also see 11,000 age-groupers are expected to compete, along with the Mixed Relay World Championships set on Sunday. The one-lap swim, six-lap bike, two-lap run sprint distance course will be jam-packed with star-studded elites all eager to compete (full start list here).
The Mixed Relay World Championship will begin at 3.45pm local time (2.45pm UK time) on Sunday 19 July. Live TV coverage can be found on the BBC’s Red Button service for UK viewers, and on triathlonlive.tv (£).
Who do you think will win in Hamburg this weekend? Let us know in the comments below!