The World Triathlon Series may be heading to Yorkshire next year, as Leeds has just been nominated by British Triathlon as its preferred candidate to stage a round of the 2016 series.
If successful it would give Leeds natives Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee the chance to compete in front of packed crowds and in an atmosphere similar to the unforgettable Tour de France Grand Départ in the city last summer.
A leg of the series has previously been held since 2009 in London’s Hyde Park (except 2012 when it was the Olympic venue), but Leeds has now been put forward by British Triathlon as the preferred city to take over hosting a British round for an initial three years.
Alistair and Jonny have advised on a potential race route in the city, which could see the Leeds-based brothers compete in front of a home crowd in one of the final races before the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
“The ITU World Triathlon Series is about delivering world-class racing in iconic locations and Leeds will guarantee to do just that,” said Alistair Brownlee. “I am sure that spectators will line the route and the city centre will be full of fans cheering on the athletes as we cross the finish line.
“The Tour de France Grand Départ 2014 demonstrated how much the people of Leeds and Yorkshire love sport, and the opportunity for not just myself but also for athletes from around the world to race in front of crowds like that will create an unforgettable event. It will create a platform to inspire the local community to get involved in the sport and continue the proud triathlon tradition within Yorkshire.”
The event in Leeds would see Olympic-distance elite men’s and women’s triathlon races start with a 1500m swim in Roundhay Park, before making the transition onto a 40km bike route into the city centre where they would complete a number of circuits before finishing with a 10km run through the heart of Leeds in front of possible crowds in excess of 40,000 spectators lining the free-to-view route.
The calendar of ITU World Triathlon Series events for 2016 is expected to be announced by the ITU next month – May 2015.