ITU triathlon returns to Hamburg for the 10th year in a row this year, as a host of London-bound athletes get ready for a fast and furious sprint in their final pre-games preparation. However it’s not all about Olympics fever, as this race marks the second half of this year’s WTS series. With only Stockholm, Yokohama and the Auckland Grand Final to come, the battle for world title points is starting to get serious. Hamburg has hosted a World Cup event since 2002, and the ITU World Championships in 2007, before coming on board as in the first year of the ITU World Triathlon Series in 2009.
About the race:
Hamburg has hosted a World Cup event since 2002, and the ITU World Championships in 2007, before coming on board as in the first year of the ITU World Triathlon Series in 2009. The entire centre of the city shuts down for triathlon weekend as 10,000 age-group athletes race on the same venue as the elites, diving into the River Alster before biking and running through the heart of the city. Hamburg is always an athlete and fan favourite, as crowds turn out in thousands to create an amazing atmosphere. It’s the second largest city in Germany, behind Berlin, with a population of 1.8-million.
Elite Men – Saturday 21 July – 18:25 (UTC/GMT + 2) Click here to time in your area
Elite Women – Sunday 22 July – 16:00 (UTC/GMT + 2)
TOTAL PRIZE MONEY: $170,000 USD (equal for men & women)
COURSE PROFILE: Sprint Distance
Swim (750m) – Athletes will start from the quay along Jungfernstieg, there is just one lap to swim. There is a tunnel about 40m long, which has to be swum through.
Bike (20km) – Generally flat profile with no noteworthy climbs. There are four circuits of 5km to ride. The route is technically demanding, due to the many changes of direction and tight turns. Very good tarmac surface.
Run (5km) – A generally flat course with two laps of 2.5km to run, with two 180° turns per lap.
STORIES TO WATCH FOR:
Final chance to see Olympic preparations – It’s the final chance to for athletes to fine-tune their Olympic preparation and many of the London field have opted to race in Hamburg. There are a total of 25 London-bound women on the start list, including the entire Australian team of Emma Moffatt, Erin Densham and Emma Jackson, Ireland’s Aileen Morrison who will wear No.1, Anne Haug (GER), Rachel Klamer (NED), Olympians Kate McIlroy (NZL), Nicky Samuels (NZL), Sarah Groff (USA), Annamaria Mazzetti (ITA) and four-time Olympian Anja Dittmer (GER). In the men’s, there are 28 athletes who will be heading to London next, including Russia’s Alexander Bryukhankov and Dmitry Polyanskiy, Switzerland’s Sven Riederer, South Africa’s Richard Murray, Germany’s Steffen Justus, Spain’s Javier Gomez, reigning Beijing gold medallist Jan Frodeno, New Zealand’s Olympic team of Ryan Sissons, Kris Gemmell and Bevan Docherty, Italy’s Davide Uccellari and Alessandro Fabian and the Australian team of Brendan Sexton, Courtney Atkinson and Brad Kahlefeldt.
Race for World Championship points – Hamburg is the fifth race on the 2012 ITU World Triathlon Series calendar, and with only Stockholm, Yokohama and the Auckland Grand Final to go after it, it could be crucial when it comes to determine the overall 2012 ITU World Triathlon champions. While no one can knock Andrea Hewitt off the top of the women’s rankings after this race, Aileen Morrison could put herself in second, there are a number of athletes who are racing that could gain valuable points heading into the second half of the season to set themselves up for a podium run, like Densham, Haug, Moffatt and Klamer. In the men’s, another podium for Bryukhankov could would be an important step on the way to Russia’s first elite men’s world title. Like in the women’s, Bryukhankov cannot lose his top ranking, but another good result for both him and Polyanskiy who is second, could see their lead quickly become hard to pull back in. Others who will be aiming to set up a path to a podium in Auckland are Murray, Justus and Mario Mola (ESP).
Chance for first WTS wins – Ireland’s Aileen Morrison will wear No.1 in Hamburg and the second largest city in Germany already has happy memories, it was where she claimed her first WTS medal back in 2010. Now fresh from a silver medal in Madrid, Morrison could claim her first WTS series win. But there are a host of other contenders who are also aiming for that breakthrough WTS win and are in great form, including Anne Haug (GER), Rachel Klamer (NED), Emma Jackson (AUS) and Ashleigh Gentle (AUS). Haug has been in stellar form this year, with two seventh placed finishes in Sydney and San Diego before a sprint to the line in Madrid saw her clinch fourth and her Olympic spot.
The same goes for Klamer, who finished fifth in Mooloolaba and Madrid. Gentle has finished 10th in each WTS race so far this year, as well as collected a bronze medal in Banyoles and her second ITU World Cup win last weekend in Tiszaujvaros. Jackson will be looking for form ahead of London, and Hamburg is where she claimed her first series medal last year as part of the historic all Aussie, all Emma sweep. Jackson also has form over the sprint distance, she claimed silver in the world titles in Lausanne last year.
In the men’s race, it’s surely only a matter of time before Russia’s Alexander Bryukhankov takes a title. So far he has six series medals, five silver and one bronze, and is the most successful man in series history not yet to win a race. His Russian teammate Dmitry Polyanskiy has also been a threat, and has plenty of top-5 finishes, but is also yet to take the title. Then there is Switzerland’s Sven Riederer, who has already collected five series medals, just one less than Bryukhankov but not a series win, while also keep an eye on the USA’s Lukas Verzbicas, who won in Banyoles earlier this year and ran a sub-15 minute 5km time in Tiszaujvaros last week.
– Last year the Australian sweep gold sweep was one of only three in ITU World Triathlon series history, the others were both Great Britain in London last year with Alistair Brownlee and Helen Jenkins and then in San Diego this year, with Jonathan Brownlee and Helen Jenkins.
PAST HAMBURG RESULTS
2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Hamburg
Emma Moffatt (AUS) Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS)
2010 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Hamburg
Lisa Norden (SWE) Javier Gomez (ESP)
2009 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Hamburg
Emma Moffatt (AUS) Jarrod Shoemaker (USA)
2008 Hamburg BG Triathlon World Cup
Ricarda Lisk (GER) Daniel Unger (GER)
2007 Hamburg BG Triathlon World Championships
Vanessa Fernandes (POR) Daniel Unger (GER)
2006 Hamburg BG Triathlon World Cup
Vanessa Fernandes (POR) Javier Gomez (ESP)
2005 Hamburg ITU Triathlon World Cup
Samantha Warriner (NZL) Filip Ospaly (CZE)
2004 Hamburg ITU Triathlon World Cup
Anja Dittmer (GER) Rasmus Henning (DEN)
2003 Hamburg ITU Triathon World Cup
Anja Dittmer (GER) Andrew Johns (GBR)
2002 Hamburg ITU Triathlon World Cup
Jill Savege (CAN) Greg Bennett (USA)