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© Janos M Schmidt/ITU Media/
2015 ITU post-Chicago roundup: Elite Men
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Thursday 24th September 2015

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Columbia Threadneedle Rankings Report #9
ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Chicago (MEN)

Welcome to the final Columbia Threadneedle Rankings Report of 2015. We do hope you have enjoyed these in-depth reviews as the season has progressed. With the conclusion of the 2015 season at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final, we're going to split the report into two.

Below, we present the roundup on the Men's event and 2015 season, with the Women's review available separately HERE.

What a fantastic year it has been, culminating in Chicago with sensational racing, a whole host of records being broken and two truly exceptional ITU World Champions.



Columbia Threadneedle Rankings

Men's Review

It was called the #DriveForFive and Javier Gomez delivered once again. Second place in the Grand Final to compatriot Mario Mola was more than enough for Javier to hold the record as the most successful athlete in history, with five ITU World Triathlon Championship titles.

©Delly Carr / ITU Media /

Much as we've shown with Gwen Jorgensen, what Javier has achieved is quite remarkable based on the following statistics:

  • Eight consecutive World Triathlon Series podiums in 2015 since finishing sixth in the season opener in Abu Dhabi.
  • The first athlete, male or female, to win three consecutive ITU World Championship Gold medals.
  • Nine consecutive seasons on the World Championship podium.
  • 36 career World Triathlon Series podium finishes with a 75% podium success rate.
  • Raced more World Triathlon Series events (48), than any other athlete.
  • Finished on the podium in six of the seven ITU World Triathlon Grand Final events held since 2009, only missing out in Beijing (2011), when he was sixth.

While Javier was breaking records, the only man he couldn't break in Chicago was his great friend Mario Mola. After an incredible head-to-head run, decided only in the final few hundred metres on the approach to Buckingham Fountain, Mario would become only the third man after Alistair Brownlee and Javier himself to win an ITU World Triathlon Grand Final.

©Delly Carr / ITU Media /

Mario set himself up for a great day with perhaps the greatest swim of his career to date, exiting the water in the leading group and three seconds ahead of Javier. That's only the second time Mario has ever managed to do that in a World Triathlon Series event. So often have to play catch-up on the bike leg, that was a superb start for Mola.

Mario was the only male athlete to complete all ten World Triathlon Series races in 2015 and his season had symmetry too, winning the first and last races of the year. As with 2014, his efforts earned him World Championship Silver and his third consecutive season on the podium.

That podium was completed by Frenchman Vincent Luis. Vincent limited his World Triathlon Series outings to the minimum ‘five plus the Grand Final', but it was clearly an approach which worked well for him. Those six races yielded his first ever WTS win in Hamburg and four podiums in total, while a highly respectable fifth place in Chicago was his lowest of the year. With a second placed finish in the Rio Test Event too, 2016 will surely see Vincent Luis as a serious contender for the Olympic podium.

©Janos M. Schmitt / ITU Media /

The third placed athlete in that Test Event, Richard Murray, was also the Bronze medal winner in the Chicago Grand Final. Exiting the water more than 40 seconds behind the main favourites, it was an immense effort from Richard to both catch the main group on the bike and still be able to produce a great run split. Richard ends the season ranked fourth in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings, which is his best year end position to date.

We must also mention Mexican athlete Crisanto Grajales. Fourth place in Chicago represents a career best result for an athlete who has raced in the World Triathlon Series since 2010. He finishes the year seventh in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings, a significant improvement on 23rd in 2014.

What about the Brownlee brothers? Alongside Javier Gomez, they have been the dominant force in the sport for the past seven years, but with Jonathan Brownlee (11th) and Alistair Brownlee (14th) ranked outside of the top ten in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings, one could be forgiven for thinking that their star is fading. If you dig a little deeper however, that may be a little premature.

Prior to his mid-season injury, Jonathan won in both Auckland and Gold Coast in exceptionally impressive style. Many would regard his performance in the Gold Coast as one of the most dominant from any athlete in recent years.

©Janos M. Schmitt / ITU Media /

In a similar vein, Alistair only started three World Triathlon Series events in 2015, winning Cape Town and London in style, and only losing out to Javier Gomez in Yokohama after the best sprint finish of the year. Expect the Brownlee brothers to be stronger than ever in Olympic year.

Some other notables from 2015:

  • Two athletes earned their first career World Triathlon Series podium finishes during 2015: Pierre Le Corre and Fernando Alarza.
  • Alistair Brownlee and Javier Gomez maintained their record of having finished on the podium in at least one race every year, since the World Triathlon Series was introduced in 2009.
  • Alistair Brownlee has won at least one World Triathlon Series event in all seven seasons since 2009.
  • Only 13 men have ever won a World Triathlon Series race since 2009, with Vincent Luis the only new name added to that list during 2015.
  • The highest ‘new entry' to the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings in 2015 is Canada's Tyler Mislawchuk (28th, 1270 points).
  • The biggest mover in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings in 2015 versus last season is Jason Wilson from Barbados. 164th in 2014, he improved by 124 places to end the year ranked 40th (1099 points).

The 2016 World Triathlon Series kicks off in Abu Dhabi, March 4th-5th next year and we look forward to following the action with you.

©Janos M. Schmitt / ITU Media /

Columbia Threadneedle Rankings 2015
Following ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Chicago

1st – Javier Gomez Noya (ESP) 4930
2nd – Mario Mola (ESP) 4795
3rd – Vincent Luis (FRA) 4422
4th – Richard Murray (RSA) 4317
5th – Fernando Alarza (ESP) 3774
6th – Ryan Bailie (AUS) 3196
7th – Crisanto Grajales (MEX) 3005
8th – Joao Pereira (POR) 2987
9th – Aaron Royle (AUS) 2966
10th – Pierre Le Corre (FRA) 2702

The full Columbia Threadneedle Rankings can be accessed at: http://wts.tria

This report is brought to you by Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Global Financial Services partner of the ITU World Triathlon Series.

Join the conversation on twitter with @CTinvest_tri or by using #CT_Rankings.

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