Not only does this weekend kickstart the business end of the 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series, but it is a major qualifying event – not to mention the preview – for the London 2012 Olympic Games. The start lists are loaded with star power as all the top names have been aiming to peak for this race all year.
Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series LondonIn the women’s race, will a return to form from Emma Moffatt, Emma Snowsill and Nicola Spirig mean one of them can topple Canadian Paula Findlay for the first time in 2011? Or will Findlay keep her London title and knock Barbara Riveros Diaz off the top of the rankings?
In the men’s, can Alistair Brownlee, Jonathan Brownlee and Will Clarke possibly sweep the podium for Great Britain at home? Or will Javier Gomez and Jan Frodeno take the chance to bounce back? Whatever the outcome, both races are set to thrill.
About the race: London hosted its first ITU race in 2009, as part of the inaugural Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series. Next year, it will host one of the biggest races in triathlon’s history, the fourth edition of the triathlon at the Olympic Games. The course starts with a one-lap 1.5km swim in The Serpentine in Hyde Park, before a 7-lap 40km bike that circles Buckingham Palace and a 4-lap, 10km run that finishes in Hyde Park. It will be a perfect preview as the world’s best get that priceless chance to conquer the Olympic course. London will become the first city to host the modern summer Olympic Games three times. It first hosted them in 1908 and 1948. With a population of almost eight million, London is the largest city in the European Union.
Elite Women – Saturday 6 August – 8:30am (UTC/GMT +1)
Elite Men – Sunday 7 August – 1:00pm (UTC/GMT +1)
Live video coverage from London will be available on race day at triathlonlive.tv
Or follow @triathlonlive on Twitter for text updates on race day.
CBC Sports will have live coverage at CBCsports.ca, and same day taped coverage on CBC TV. Check your local listings.
TOTAL PRIZE MONEY:
$150,000 USD (equal for men & women)
Swim – One-lap, 1.5km swim in The Serpentine, with a pontoon start on the north side of the lake.
Bike – Seven-lap, 40km bike that starts with transition on Serpentine Road, then down South Carriage Drive towards Hyde Park Corner. From there the loop takes in London icons like Constitution Hill and Buckingham Palace. The course is generally flat, with no climbs, but is technically demanding.
Run – Four-lap, 10km run on a flat course, that runs along the side of the Serpentine.
STORIES TO WATCH FOR:
The perfect Olympic preview – It’s all of the world’s best on the same course that will decide the Olympic medals, what better way to preview the London 2012 triathlon events than this? Both reigning Beijing champions Emma Snowsill (AUS) and Jan Frodeno (GER) (who have become a couple since Beijing) and the three athletes who have won ITU World Championships since then will compete, Javier Gomez (ESP), Alistair Brownlee (GBR) and Emma Moffatt (AUS). And then there is Paula Findlay (CAN), who has won every Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series race she has entered in 2011 and is the defending London champion.
Olympic Qualification – Most National Federations have set London as a major qualification event for next year’s Olympics and as a result, some athletes could secure their spot on the start line in London if they achieve the standard. New Zealand, France, Germany and the U.S all have put some automatic qualification places on London, so keep an eye on Andrea Hewitt (NZL), Bevan Docherty (NZL), Sarah Groff (USA), Laura Bennett (USA), Svenja Bazlen (GER) and David Hauss (FRA). Findlay should also secure her place, as she has already met the first qualifying criteria, a WCS top eight result in the past eight months. Additionally, the top three finishers in the men’s and women’s races will earn their countries an automatic Olympic spot.
For more details on individual national federation qualifying details click here.
For more on the ITU’s Olympic qualification criteria please click here.
For more on the current ITU qualification points as they stand now, please click here.
World Championship on the line – While this event deserves to come down with Olympic fever, it’s still a pivotal battle for the 2011 ITU World Championships. While Findlay and Alistair Brownlee have won the most races this year, three and two respectively, Gomez and Riveros Diaz are currently leading the overall rankings. Gomez has 2027 points, Clarke is in second with 1935 and Hauss third with 1907. In the women’s, Riveros Diaz just has the edge with 2498, ahead of Findlay who has 2400. Hewitt is in third with 2318 points. With just London and the sprint distance Lausanne round to go before Beijing’s Grand Final showdown, the battle for points and therefore the world titles, is nearing its crescendo. For the current rankings click here.
Going for a perfect four for four – There are only two women to have raced in every Olympic Games in Sydney, Athens and Beijing – Kiyomi Niwata (JPN) and Anja Dittmer (GER). Both women will race in London with an aim to make it four for four. In the men’s race, a total of ten men have been to each Olympics and four will race in London, Simon Whitfield (CAN), Ivan Rana (ESP), Hunter Kemper (USA), and Tim Don (GBR).
PAST LONDON RESULTS
2010 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series London
1. Paula Findlay (CAN) 1. Javier Gomez (ESP)
2. Nicola Spirig (SUI) 2. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR)
3. Helen Jenkins (GBR) 3. Jan Frodeno (GER)
2009 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series London
1. Nicola Spirig (SUI) 1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR)
2. Lisa Norden (SWE) 2. Steffen Justus (GER)
3. Helen Jenkins (GBR) 3. Kris Gemmell (NZL)