On July 20-21, the city of Edmonton will welcome athletes from around the world for the 2019 ITU World Triathlon. This year’s event will host an age group sprint and Olympic triathlon, an open water swim, Provincial Youth Championships, University Sprint Championships, a National Developmental race (Junior/U23), the WTS elite event and mixed relays.
In the men’s race, Vincent Luis (FRA) and Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS) have separated themselves from the rest in 2019. Luis has a comfortable 500-point cushion over Spain’s Javier Gomez in the WTS standings. Birtwhistle has won two out of the last three WTS races after a slow start to the season.
With the return of Gomez to ITU racing, Spain has three men ranked in the top five on the WTS standings – Gomez (2nd), Fernando Alarza (3rd) and Mario Mola (5th). All three men will be competing this weekend for the win and a chance to earn valuable points in the race to become world champion.
Other contenders for a top placing in Edmonton include Belgium’s Jelle Greens and Marten Van Riel. Greens has been on an impressive run of late – winning WTS Montreal and finishing third at WTS Hamburg. Van Riel has been incredibly consistent over the past two seasons with seven top-ten finishes in the last eleven WTS events. In 2018, Van Riel finished seventh in Edmonton.
Another name to keep an eye on is Canadian Tyler Mislawchuk. Already in 2019, Mislawchuk has collected two World Cup wins (Mooloolaba and Mexico) and a third-place finish at WTS Montreal. The race in Montreal was a career-best placing for Mislawchuk on the WTS. Canadians Alexis Lepage and Matthew Sharpe will be joining Mislawchuk on the start line.
In the women’s race, Americans Taylor Spivey, Summer Rappaport, Chelsea Burns, Taylor Knibb and Tamara Gordon will all be present at the front of the race. Spivey and Rappaport will be the biggest threats for a win. Both have been on the WTS podium multiple times this season, but have yet to take the top spot.
The American women can expect challenges from Ashleigh Gentle (AUS), Claire Michel (BEL) and Sophie Coldwell (GBR). Given the sprint distance race, several women will have a shot at a top finish. Including Canadian Amelie Kretz who has had played a valuable role in Team Canada’s top-five finishes in the Mixed Relay Series (Nottingham and Hamburg).
You can follow the race on social media by using the hashtag #WTSEdmonton, or you can watch the race live in full on TriathlonLIVE.tv. The WTS race is on Saturday, and the Mixed Relay follows on Sunday.