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© Janos M Schmidt/ITU Media/triathlon.org
World Triathlon London preview
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Wednesday 27th May 2015


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No Javier Gomez or Helen Jenkins in London this weekend

The final start lists for this Sunday's Vitality World Triathlon London in Hyde Park have now been published - full links at the bottom of this article.

The Elite men's race starts at 3:05pm on Sunday (31st May), with the Elite women ending the two day festival with the last wave of racing action, starting their race at 4:45pm (UK time). As per the 2014 edition, the Elite will race over the sprint distance with the one lap swim, four lap cycle and two lap run all taking place within the boundaries of Hyde Park.

Men

The biggest name missing this weekend is reigning ITU World Champion and winner of the last event in Yokohama, Javier Gomez. Javier has raced all five of the WTS events of 2015 so far, and with four podiums (1st, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd) and a sixth place in Abu Dhabi, he currently heads the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings with a total of 3507 points, more than 500 clear of second placed Mario Mola. With the year end rankings based on "best five results plus the Grand Final", Javier has put himself in a great position for the remainder of 2015, and can afford to miss a race or two. As we already know, he'll be racing Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire on 14th June. Indeed, whatever the result is on Saturday, Gomez will still hold top spot in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings ahead of round seven of the series in Hmaburg, as even if Mario Mola were to win, he can only improve his own points total to 3489 in London.

©ITU/triathlon.org

While the ever popular Gomez will certainly be missed, would he have challenged for the win? History at least would suggest not, on the basis that:

  • No male has ever won in Yokohama and London in the same WTS season
  • Javier has never won (in eight starts), a Sprint distance event in the World Triathlon Series.

From a British (male) perspective, for the first time this year we'll see Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee racing together. With wins in Auckland and Gold Coast (Jonathan), and Cape Town (Alistair) the brothers will be looking to regain the London title before the UK WTS event moves to Leeds next year.

©ITU/triathlon.org

The brothers are joined by Adam Bowden (fresh from a fifth consecutive top ten in Yokohama), Tom Bishop, Grant Sheldon and for his first WTS start this season, Matthew Sharp.

The 2014 London event was a historic (and still unique) point in the sport, the first time in which the trio of Alistair Brownlee, Jonathan Brownlee and Javier Gomez had all been beaten in the same race (indeed, they all finished off the podium in 4th, 5th, 6th respectively). The top two from 2014, Mario Mola (ESP) and Richard Murray (RSA) are back.

©ITU/triathlon.org

Women

From a British perspective, the absence of Helen Jenkins is perhaps the most interesting/concerning news. With two Bronze and one Gold in the London event from 2009 to 2011, Jenkins has consistently performaned well in Hyde Park. After returning from injury with seventh place in Cape Town, we hope this isn't a sign of another setback for the popular two-time World Champion.

The British entry for London is Vicky Holland, Non Stanford, Emma Pallant and a first WTS start for Sophie Coldwell. Holland, Stanford and Pallant have all had encouraging starts to the year and will be motivated to continue that form, while Coldwell has nothing to lose - with a swim / bike combination that should keep her in the mix from that start. Remember, she has experience of leading Gwen Jorgensen late into the run section!

Headline act of course is the USA's Gwen Jorgensen, looking to defend her 2014 London win and inflict another bout of Gwensanity for a tenth consecutive WTS win. If anything, she looks stronger with every race. Thoughts of 'weaker swim' should have been discarded by observers well over a year ago, while her cycling looks stronger every outing - with no obvious impacts on her killer run speed. She starts as overwhelming favourite.

©ITU/triathlon.org

The USA women have had (at least) three finishers in the top ten in all five WTS races this year and Jorgensen is joined by Katie Zaferes, Sarah True, Lindsey Jerdonek, Chelsea Burns, Kaitlin Donner and Jessica Broderick. Expect them to maintain that statistic following Sunday's race too, as only Broderick from that grouping is yet to secure a top ten in 2015.

©ITU/triathlon.org

Somewhat under the radar is Ireland's Aileen Reid, but she has raced four times this year and improved every race, finishing sixth in Yokohama. She'll have eyes on matching her podium finish at the 2013 Grand Final and keeping that trend going.

©ITU/triathlon.org

ELITE MEN START LIST

ELITE WOMEN START LIST


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