Will Clarke’s Olympic Predictions

Will Clarke tells us his Olympic predictions, where he thinks the race could be won, and what he's planning on doing next...


220: Having race the course, what do you see as the keys to the race? 

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The London Olympic course is really very straight forward. The swim is one large lap of the Serpentine and will be borderline wetsuit / non-wetsuit which will be decided on the day. The bike course is flat and not particularly technical because the roads are so wide, and the run is also flat and will be very fast with a dead turn chucked in each lap. 

In my opinion the swim is an absolutely key part in the race. Both men and women don't want to leave this race to chance by letting it come down to a 10km running race, so they'll be looking to create a breakaway with a selection of athletes who can come out of the swim with them. There are a few gun swimmers in each race who'll do their very best to make the swim as fast as possible – notably Lucy Hall in the Womens and and Richard Varga in the men's.  Richard Varga has been training in St Moritz with the GB men's Olympic Team which is interesting. I can guarantee the Russians and Javier Gomez will also be forcing the pace looking to establish a gap on the rest of the field hoping to start the run with a healthy lead.  

Give us your predictions for the men's race

I really can't see past Alistair [Brownlee], he's just so much better than anyone else at the moment and doesn't seem to be bothered by pressure. Plus, apparently he's been training very, very well. He's come off the injury well and because of the rest he's fresh and ready to go. 

I think Jonny [Brownlee] has a great chance of silver but I think he's going to be challenged by Javier Gomez, Steffen Justus, Laurent Vidal and Sven Riederer. These guys are closing the gap. 

How about the women's race?

The women's is a lot harder to predict. There isn't on stand out athlete and a few people have been pretty shady with their form going in. Helen jenkins will be racing at the front for most of the race, but it's all on the last lap of the run, for me. There are quite a few girls that can challenge her [Jenkins] if it's left that late and it could then turn into anybody's race. Nicola Spirig has a great sprint finish as well as Andrea Hewitt and the Aussie girls, Erin Densham and Emma Moffat. 

Now we're a bit further down the line, what are your thoughts on the GB team selection?

I'm obviously still gutted about it and I still think it's the wrong decision. I don't want our sport to head in this direction and I'd like to see the three best athletes compete in the Olympics. When you're the top three in your country, you're at that level for a reason, you're training and racing harder than anyone, more motivated and more driven and I think it's only fair if that extra effort is repaid in a start at the home Olympic Games. 

I think I've said my piece on it all now and, honestly, I've wasted enough time on it already so I've put it in the past. I'm looking forward to getting on with my racing and I've got a lot of exciting racing coming up all over Europe. Alistair, Jonny and Helen are all very capable of looking after themselves. They're class athletes and have got what it takes to deliver. 

Have you got any plans to go to anything at the Olympics? Are you going to be there for the triathlons?

I have tickets to the men's triathlon so I'll be watching that in the grandstand. I'm good friends with probably 50% of the field so I want to support them and potentially watch history be made – I want to be there to witness it! Other than that, I'll just be glued to the TV, I love watching swimming and athletics. 

Can you give us an update on what you're doing now, Will? What's the plan for the rest of the season? And beyond?

I have a decent block of hard training now and I'm finishing my season with five races in a row. The first is Stockholm World Series, then two Bundesliga's, a French GP and the London Triathlon. I'm hoping to have a great race in Stockholm and then just hold my form for a bunch of solid results to see my season off!

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I'm not decided yet on what I'm doing in 2013 onwards. My gut instinct when I didn't make the Olympic team was to take my racing to the USA/70.3 and start looking down the Ironman route. I'm waiting for the off-season to make decisions on where I want to take my career from now on. It depends on quite a few factors that will be revealed in the next few months. It's not as clear cut for me because I do have a great career just doing what I'm doing right now, but there is the other side of triathlon which is equally as exciting for me.