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© Janos M Schmidt/ITU Media/triathlon.org
WTS Stockholm: what to expect
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Wednesday 29th June 2016


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World Triathlon Series returns on Saturday: Stockholm awaits

With round six of the 2016 World Triathlon Series reaching Stockholm this weekend, here are a few thoughts on the Elite races. For this Editor - for reasons outlined below - it is very difficult to see beyond a Brownlee's-Gomez podium in the men's race. In which order might we see those three legends? Well, I leave that for you to decide!

[*** UPDATE *** Javier Gomez has now withdrawn from the race due to illness]

The British Elite women are out in force too, with arguably a full-strength line up.

ELITE MEN

  • Alistair Brownlee, Jonathan Brownlee and Javier Gomez are all scheduled to race in Stockholm on Saturday.
  • That didn't happen at all during 2015, and the last event in Leeds was the first time we had seen that trio race together in 2016.
  • The World Triathlon Stockholm started in 2012, and the winners have been... Jonathan (2012), Alistair (2013), Jonathan (2014) and Javier (2015).
  • Alistair has raced Stockholm twice and finished 1st (2013) and 2nd (2014).
  • Jonathan has raced Stockholm three times and finished 1st (20212) / 3rd (2013) / 1st (2014).
  • Javier has raced Stockholm four times and finished 2nd (2012) / 2nd (2013) / DNF (2014) / 1st (2015)
  • So... the 'big three' have taken eight of the 12 possible podium positions between them over the four races.
  • When the Brownlee-Gomez trio start together, you can almost guarantee that one of them will win - London 2014 was the only time that all three have ever been beaten in the same race...
  • ...and none of the three athletes that managed to do that on that historic day in Hyde Park are racing this weekend.
  • Javier's 2014 DNF aside, the trio have never finished off of the podium in Stockholm.
  • Absent this weekend are Mario Mola (ESP), Richard Murray (RSA) and Vincent Luis (FRA) - though Cape Town winner Fernando Alarza (ESP) is racing.
  • Gregor Bucholz (GER) is the only other athlete racing who has finished on the podium in Stockholm - he was third in 2014.
  • Norway's Kristian Blummenfelt has been in great form this year - with the Scandinavian support, look for him to bounce back from a disappointing result in Leeds.
  • Adam Bowden and Gordon Benson are the other British entries for Stockholm. Look for Bowden to build on what was a very strong and courageous effort in Leeds, while Benson will be seeking, where possible, to employ the 'pilot' tactics that the British team will be hoping to implement in Rio.
  • Both Richard Varga (SVK) and Henri Schoeman (RSA) are racing - you can be sure the swim will be 'full gas' from the start, so the chance of an early breakaway group on the technical circuit is high, and that will suit Alistair, Jonathan and Javier perfectly.

PREVIOUS STOCKHOLM REPORTS: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012

ELITE MEN START LIST


ELITE WOMEN

  • Sarah True (USA) has won the last two events in Stockholm and she races again this weekend. By her high standards 2016 to date hasn't been a great one it terms of results; where better to try and put that right than a venue you have been very successful at previously?
  • The 2012 (Lisa Norden) and 2013 (Gwen Jorgensen) winners in Stockholm are both absent this weekend.
  • The British team features the Rio 2016 squad of Non Stanford, Vicky Holland and Helen Jenkins, plus Jodie Stimpson and European Champion India Lee. Every one of them has won at least one major international event this year - this is a very strong GB entry!
  • In the absence of Jorgensen, the British team will - quite rightly - have high hopes of podium success (at a very minimum), but very realistic chances of overall victory too. Or, perhaps more than one podium spot featuring a Union Jack is not just realistic, but expected...
  • ... look for Flora Duffy (BER) and Andrea Hewitt (NZL) to be trying to prevent that though. Will we see a repeat of the Duffy / Hewitt / Jenkins breakaway success from Gold Coast? That is a realistic prospect - though with her consistently strong swimming, you would have to think that Vicky Holland will want to be a part of that if there is an early opportunity and gaps are formed during the swim leg.
  • Hewitt has a great record in Stockholm - 7th / 2nd / 3rd over the last three years, while Flora was fourth last year too.
  • Non Stanford will definitely want to forget her swim in Leeds and get back to consistent front-pack action, so keep an eye on the swim splits when she exits the water.
  • Team tactics from the Brits? There was definitely a team approach to the racing in Leeds, with the duo of Lucy Hall and Jessica Learmonth seemingly not able to contribute as fully as they were capable of to the breakaway group. With the full Olympic squad present, this could well be a dress rehearsal for Rio. While the team doesn't have 'pilot' athletes as such, the British Triathlon performance team do encourage an 'intelligent racing' approach... so if there was an athlete in a potentially winning break, will they be chased down by the other Brits?
  • By contrast, Jodie Stimpson is not going to Rio and her primary goal for the season is the World Championship podium. For that she needs as many points as possible and will certainly not appreciate being 'held back' from doing so, should that race scenario arise, as every point and position could be crucial come the end of the season.

PREVIOUS STOCKHOLM REPORTs: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012

ELITE WOMEN START LIST


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