With the two Olympic gold medalists as former winners, the upcoming WTCS Montreal event is gearing up for some exciting racing from August 13 to 15 – both in terms of the potential field as well as a new race format.
In terms of the field, Tokyo women’s gold medalist Flora Duffy is slated to return to Montreal – she won the race in 2016. That year’s men’s champion, Kristian Blummenfelt, also won gold in Tokyo, but he’s not slated to compete in Montreal.
When it comes to the format, the Montreal race promises to be exciting because it will feature a new format for the World Championship Triathlon Series – the Eliminator. The race takes place across two days on a super-sprint course that includes a 300 m swim, 7.2 km bike and a 2 km run. There will be two qualifying races on the first day, with the top 10 from each race automatically moving to the final. The athletes who don’t make the cut have a chance to compete in a repechage to earn a spot in the final.
In the final the top 30 will race three super sprint races. At the end of the first race the last 10 will be eliminated, with ten more being dropped after the second race. The last 10 then race for the medals in the third super-sprint effort.
On the Sunday there will also be a Mixed Team Relay event.
While Duffy will arrive as the prohibitive women’s favourite, the bronze medalist from Tokyo, Katie Zaferes, is also on the start list for the race, along with her countrywomen Taylor Knibb, Kirsten Kasper and Taylor Spivey. Great Britain has some potential podium finishers including Beth Potter, Sophie Coldwell and Non Stanford, while Germany’s Laura Lindemann was impressive at the Olympics, too.
Hometown hero Amelie Kretz will be competing in Montreal, too, continuing her stirling season that saw her qualify for Tokyo and take 15th in the women’s individual race in Tokyo.
You can see the Elite women’s start list here.
While Blummenfelt isn’t set to start in Montreal, Tokyo bronze medalist Hayden Wilde is on the start list. France’s Vincent Luis, who went into the Olympics as a favourite, excels at this type of racing and will no-doubt be a favourite on many people’s lists. Other men who could thrive in the Eliminator format include Australia’s Jacob Birtwhistle, Belgium’s Jelle Geens, Germany’s Jona Schomburg and American Kevin McDowell.
You can see the Elite men’s start list here.
The Montreal race is one of just five races that will count towards the 2021 World Championship.
Age group race is on … spots are available
Through all the challenges of trying to hold an event together through the pandemic, the Montreal Organizers have managed to also include a number of age group races including a Sprint (750 m/ 19 km/ 5 km), Super Sprint (300 m/ 7.8 km/ 1.7 km) and a Sprint Duathlon (5 km/ 19 km/ 2.5 km). The entire field is limited to just 750 people, so if you’re interested in competing you should register soon.
There will also be a Youth Quebec Cup event which will feature individual time trial races – 300 m swim, 7.8 km bike and 1.7 km run.
All of this racing will help build the excitement for next year’s Montreal race, which will serve as the Sprint and Mixed Relay World Championships. Somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 athletes from around the world will descend on Montreal for the worlds between June 22 and 26.