This Sunday, for the first time ever, the World Triathlon Series will be coming to the city of Leeds. The races are to feature reigning Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee and both reigning world champions Javier Gomez and Gwen Jorgensen.
The provisional line-up of elite women taking to the start pontoon in Roundhay Park at 1pm include two-time world champion Gwen Jorgensen of the USA, who will be taking on the Great Britain contingent headed by Leeds-based duo Non Stanford and Vicky Holland.
The strong Great Britain line-up also features Jodie Stimpson, who is a world title contender after winning the season-opener in Abu Dhabi, Leeds’ own Jess Learmonth and Lucy Hall, who is also based in the city.
The women’s field also includes current 2016 Columbia Threadneedle Rankings Leader Flora Duffy of Bermuda and established frontrunners at world level Andrea Hewitt of New Zealand, Emma Moffatt of Australia and American Sarah True.
The elite men race will begin at 3:45pm and all British eyes will be on hometown stars Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, as well as Leeds-based European Games Triathlon Champion Gordon Benson, who has just been announced as the final member of the British Olympic triathlon squad and Tom Bishop, together with Adam Bowden in a five-strong team.
Reigning and five-time world champion Spain’s Javier Gomez will be making his first appearance in the series this season, as he begins his final preparations for Rio.
Also in the men’s line-up are French duo Dorian Coninx and Pierre Le Corre, Australia’s Ryan Bailie and Aaron Royle, along with Richard Varga of Slovakia who trains in Leeds with the Brownlees. Switzerland’s Sven Riederer and Russia’s Polyanskiy brothers Igor and Dmitry also feature but South African star Richard Murray unfortunately misses out as he continues to recover from a broken collarbone.
Chief Executive of British Triathlon Jack Buckner said: “The Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds has attracted a world-class field with the biggest names in the sport racing. The combination of great athletes, a challenging course and a fantastic home crowd for the Brits will create an incredible atmosphere. I can’t wait for the 11 and 12 June to arrive – don’t miss it.”
After a 1500-metre swim in Roundhay Park, the elites will cycle a 41.5km ride through Roundhay, Moortown, Meanwood, Weetwood, Headingley and Woodhouse before completing seven circuits of a city centre loop.
They will then transition on Millennium Square fand run 10km in four shorter laps culminating in a thrilling finish on the square.