ITU WTS Stockholm
Aug. 24-25, 2013 – Stockhold, Sweden
1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run
As the second-to-last race of the 2013 World Triathlon Series, the biggest ITU stars will be showing up in Sweden this weekend. The course includes a pontoon start and two 750-meter laps in Stockholm’s harbor, a transition in front of Stockholm Palace before a nine-lap 4.5K technical course that circles through the Old Town of Stockholm, and then another transition in front of the palace before a four-lap 2.5K run course. Last year, when this course debuted, it was a sprint-distance race but will be a full Olympic this year.
Both the men’s and women’s fields boast almost every athlete within reach of claiming the 2013 overall series title (the final race will take place in London Sept. 11-15). In the men’s race will be all three men’s 2012 Olympic medalists—Alistair Brownlee (GBR), Javier Gomez (ESP) and Jonathan Brownlee—plus top men such as Richard Murray (RSA) and Sven Riederer (SUI). Due to their late start, neither Brownlee brother has led the overall rankings, but both are still within reach, especially with extra points on offer at the London Grand Final next month. A key to the race will be doing well on the technical bike course, which is riddled with cobblestones in the old Gamla Stan area of Stockholm. Expect both Brownlees, Gomez and Reiderer to be in the lead pack and push the pace, while others like Alessandro Fabian (ITA), Ryan Sissons (NZL) and Henri Schoeman (RSA) could stay in the pack. If they’re close off the bike, the run could suit Murray, Laurent Vidal (FRA) and Vincent Luis (FRA). It should be noted that no one outside the Brownlees and Gomez has won a WTS race this year.
In the women’s race, Olympic silver medalist Lisa Norden (SWE) will be defending her Stockholm title after spending the early part of the season racing longer distances. Racing against her will be Germany’s Anne Haug, who’s currently leading the rankings after her win at home in Hamburg last month, as well as other 2013 WTS winners Jodie Stimpson (GBR), Gwen Jorgensen (USA) and Non Stanford (GBR). Others to keep an eye on include Kiwis Kate McIlroy and Andrea Hewitt, who have fourth-place finishes in the last two WTS races; Maaike Caelers from The Netherlands, who did well on this course last year; and Ireland’s Aileen Reid, who just had her first major podium for the 2013 season at the Tiszaujvaros World Cup.