The battle for triathlon world titles intensifies this weekend in Hamburg. With five rounds of the ITU World Triathlon Series already completed, Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee have won two rounds each, whilst Non Stanford and Jodie Stimpson are highly ranked thanks to a win each and further podium finishes.
The German town of Hamburg will host 10,000 triathletes and 300,000 spectators this weekend with the highlights being the men’s and women’s elite sprint races on Saturday and the ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships on Sunday, where Great Britain will attempt to win the title for a third year running.
With this and just one more round of the World Triathlon Series remaining before the free-to-view PruHealth World Triathlon Grand Final London, 11-15 September, points won in Hamburg could prove crucial when athletes line up in Hyde Park to decide the 2013 world champions.
Olympic Champion Alistair missed the round in Madrid due to injury, but claimed an inspiring victory on the alpine climb in Kitzbühel (6 July). Younger brother and Olympic bronze medallist, Jonathan Brownlee missed Kitzbühel with a stomach bug but both brothers will line up in Hamburg alongside the Olympic silver medal winner, Javier Gomez of Spain.
Alistair Brownlee said: “I think it’s the first time we’ve all raced since the Olympics but we are obviously all coming in at slightly different stages of our year. Javier has done pretty much every race under the sun in the last six months. Jonny hasn’t done very many races and neither have I. We’ll be racing in very different ways. Jonny might have the slight advantage at sprint distance, he’s got that speed.”
The men’s field also includes current world number two, Mario Mola of Spain and 2012 Hamburg race winner, Richard Murray of South Africa. The British team includes David McNamee and Adam Bowden, who have both featured in the world’s top ten rankings during 2013. Matt Sharp and Aaron Harris complete the GB line up.
Jodie Stimpson starts in Hamburg as the number two world ranked athlete and convincing winner of the previous round in Kitzbühel. Hamburg’s flat sprint course couldn’t be more different to the course in Kitzbühel, but Stimpson has shown consistency throughout the season with two other podium finishes.
Non Stanford is ranked fourth, demonstrating the strength of Britain’s women this year. Katie Hewison, seventh in Kitzbühel, Vicky Holland, second at the ETU European Championships, and Vanessa Raw will also provide formidable opposition to the strong international field during Saturday’s race.
Sunday will see the ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships where two men and two women will compete together in a super-sprint relay format for the ITU World title. Great Britain won in 2011 and 2012. The team line up will be confirmed after Saturday’s individual races.
Both the individual and triathlon mixed relay races will be televised by the BBC on the Red Button. Live footage is also available internationally via triathlonlive.tv. There will be televised highlights on BBC2 on Monday 22nd July from 2.30-4.30pm.
BBC Red Button live on Saturday: Women 2.50pm start, Men 5pm start. Sunday: Triathlon Mixed Relay live 2pm start (all UK times).
Highlights: BBC 2 Monday 22nd July 2.30-4.30pm.
British athletes in Hamburg:
Jonathan Brownlee, 23, Leeds, world rank: 4
Alistair Brownlee, 25, Leeds, world rank: 5
David McNamee, 25, Irvine/Leeds, world rank: 11
Adam Bowden, 30, Watford/Loughborough, world rank: 14
Matt Sharp, 24, Enfield/Loughborough, world rank: 21
Aaron Harris, 25, Bideford/Loughborough, world rank: 46
Jodie Stimpson, 24, Oldbury, West Midlands, world rank: 2
Non Stanford, 24, Swansea/Leeds, world rank: 4
Katie Hewison, 27, Chorley, Lancashire, world rank: 20
Vanessa Raw, world rank: 31
Vicky Holland, world rank: 50