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Four Canadians to open WTS season at Abu Dhabi

Mislawchuk, Sharpe, Brown and Ridenour to race WTS season opener on March 2 & 3

The start lists for WTS Abu Dhabi, the first World Triathlon Series race of the year, is out and unlike last year we have multiple Canadians on the start line. Four of the Commonwealth Games-bound athletes who have been training with coach Jono Hall in Arizona over the winter will head to the Middle East soon for the first stop of their 2018 tour — Matt Sharpe, Tyler Mislawchuk on the men’s side and Joanna Brown (heading in as the top-ranked Canadian right now) and Desriae Ridenour.

A couple noteworthy details about the WTS Abu Dhabi start line:

— Both Brownlee brothers are on the list. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re both planning to race (especially as Alistair had previously stated he would be focusing just on half distance racing after Rio 2016) but it does add some serious competition to the men’s podium chase

— Flora Duffy is set to race; she’ll begin her quest for a third straight ITU World Title

— A powerful contingent of American women are listed; Brown’s training partner Kirsten Kasper (world no. 4), Katie Zaferes, Summer Cook, Taylor Spivey and Renee Tomlin.

— British stars and Rio 2016 3rd and 4th Vicky Holland (who won last weekend’s Cape Town World Cup) and training partner Non Stanford are racing. Next to the USA women, the British women have the most WTS podiums as a nation.

Full start lists here.

You can check out what the Canadians have been up to on the Triathlon Canada Instagram page.