This weekend the world’s elites will be flocking to Sweden for WTS Stockholm, the sixth in the World Triathlon Series, and the series penultimate race before Rio. Run over the cobblestone streets of the Swedish capital, there is a two-lap swim, eight-lap bike and four-lap run course.
In the men’s the Brownlee brothers will aiming for a repeat performance of WTS Leeds where they took first and second. Hoping to prevent this will be Spaniard Fernando Alarza, who has scored a silver medal in Gold Coast and a win in Cape Town so far this season and is second in the WTS rankings behind Mario Mola, who won’t be in Stockholm. However Alarza will have to stay with the Brownlees in the swim to have any chance of winning as they have proven ability over Stockholm’s cobbled streets and have triumphed here in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Sadly last year’s winner in Stockholm Javier Gomez will be unable to defend his crown due to illness.
While in the women’s six of the top 10 women in the WTS rankings will race on Saturday, including WTS current leader Flora Duffy from Bermuda. Will Duffy be able to make a break for it on the bike leg to put others under pressure on the run, like she did at WTS Leeds, and get a third podium finish?
However the on-form British triathletes Jodie Stimpson, Helen Jenkins, Vicky Holland and Non Stanford will be hard to beat. Stanford won WTS Cape Town , while Jenkins will be hoping for a repeat of WTS Gold Coast, where her victory ended Jorgensen’s her run of victories. Stimpson opened up the WTS season by winning in Abu Dhabi, followed by a silver medal in Cape Town, and sits second overall in the Columbia Threadneedle rankings. Her results mean she has a good chance of being named World Champion in Cozumel later this year if she pulls out another strong performance this Saturday in Stockholm.
Andrea Hewitt (NZL), always a force to be reckoned with as well, and kicked off her season with a bronze in Gold Coast. Stronger in the back half of the season, Hewitt has scored bronze and silver in Stockholm the last two years. Although a consistent feature to the WTS podium, Hewitt hasn’t won a WTS race since 2011, but that could all change on Saturday.
The women will get the 2016 Vattenfell World Triathlon Stockholm underway at 15:00 on Saturday July 2, while the men will follow at 17:45 (British time). You can watch all of the action live at triathlonlive.tv or the BBC red button. You can also follow us on Twitter @220Triathlon. Highlights will be shown on BBC 2 at 15:15pm