Alistair Brownlee will make his 2015 World Triathlon Series debut in Cape Town this Sunday, and the quality field will ensure it’s going to be a very tricky return.
With brother Jonny missing Cape Town having won the Auckland and Gold Coast WTS races back-to-back, the traditional Ali Brownlee and Javier Gomez rivalry will resume, with this race earmarked as the one to potentially put Gomez back on top of the world series rankings. Brownlee will be competing in his first WTS race since winning the 2014 Grand Final in Edmonton, and will be looking to pick up maximum points this weekend. Mario Mola will also race, and his blistering run splits so far in 2015 will surely make him a contender to take the tape.
The South African contingent is lead by Richard Murray, who will be looking to capitalise on competing on home soil. Henri Schoemann will also compete, and three other South Africans have also made the start list.
No other British athletes are lining up, but Joao Silva (POR) Vincent Luis (FRA) Igor and Dmitry Polyanskiy (RUS) and Fernando Alarza (ESP) add to a very strong men’s field. Full start list.
The Olympic-distance race will begin in chilly waters with a two-lap swim, followed by a flat technical bike leg and fast 10km run starting and finishing at Green Point athletics stadium. The men’s race will start at 2.55pm local time (1.55pm UK time) on Sunday 26 April.
UK viewers can watch live on the BBC’s Red Button service, or on triathlonlive.tv.
Last year’s Cape Town race was a British one-two, and also the last time Gwen Jorgensen was defeated in a WTS series event. This year only Helen Jenkins from the 2014 podium will be competing, leaving the field wide open. Katie Zafires of USA has more 2015 podium finishes than any other athlete in the field, but much is expected of versatile Bermudan Flora Duffy, who also won the Xterra Asia-Pacific championships on April 18. Whether Duffy has taken too much out of herself with her busy schedule so far remains to be seen, but strong bike skills are expected to put her in contention.
With Jenkins’ form hard to predict after returning from a long-term foot injury, a strong American contingent competing and Olympic champion Nicola Spirig lining up, picking a winner is an impossible task.
Other British athletes lining up are Vicky Holland and the improving Emma Pallant. Other top athletes include Sarah True (USA) Rachel Klamer (NED) and Anne Haug (GER). Full start list.
The women’s race will get underway on Saturday 25 April at 2.55pm local time (1.55pm UK time). UK viewers can watch live on the BBC’s Red Button service, or on triathlonlive.tv.
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Who do you think will claim the Cape this weekend? Let us know in the comments!