ITU WTS Grand Final: Cozumel here we come

The ITU WTS Series wraps up this weekend with some exciting racing in Cozumel, Mexico. .

| September 15, 2016 | NEWS

Flora Duffy | Flora Duffy

Flora Duffy

Photo >Wagner Araujo / triathlon.org

After eight thrilling ITU World Triathlon Series races this year, the men's and women's elite World Championship titles will be decided in heated battles this week at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Cozumel from September 14-18.

In the women's race, Flora Duffy (BER) has dominated the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings and will have a chance to claim her first-ever World Championship crown. However, Olympic gold medallist Gwen Jorgensen (USA) is just 166 points behind Duffy, so the women's race is expected to be a tight head-to-head battle, with Duffy having to finish in the top two in Cozumel if Jorgensen wins the race on Saturday.

Likewise, on the men's side, it's also another close match-up between Spaniard Mario Mola and Great Britain's two-time Olympic medallist Jonathan Brownlee. The two men are only separated by 235 points, meaning the title will all be decided in Cozumel. If Brownlee wins the race on Sunday, Mola needs third or better to win the overall world title.

The week-long Grand Final event will be jam-packed with races outside of the elite line ups. Juniors, U23, age groupers, mixed relays and the aquathlon World Championship will also be decided hroughout the week, with the first World title being given out tomorrow, Wednesday, September 14.

ABOUT THE RACE: 
The Cozumel Grand Final will mark the fourth time the popular beach resort has hosted an ITU race, with the city having hosted a World Cup every year since 2013. In its first year hosting the World Cup, Olympic silver medallist Javier Gomez and Olympic gold medallist Nicola Spirig each stormed through the race to win in dominating fashion. Spirig returned the next year to again take the title. With its clear ocean waters and colorful city as a background, Cozumel is one of the most picturesque races to hit the ITU calendar.

SCHEDULE:
Aquathlon Men - September 14 - 08:00 Click here for a time in your area
Aquathlon Women - September 14 - 08:05 Click here for a time in your area
Age group sprint - September 15 - 06:45 Click here for a time in your area
Under23 Men - September 15 - 15:00  Click here for a time in your area  
Under23 Women - September 16 - 07:30 Click here for a time in your area
Junior Men - September 16 - 15:00  Click here for a time in your area 
Junior Women - September 16 - 17:00 Click here for a time in your area
Junior/U23 Mixed Relay  - September 17 - 09:00 Click here for a time in your area
Elite Women - September 17 - 15:30 Click here for a time in your area
Age group standard - September 18 - 06:45 Click here for a time in your area
Elite Men - September 18 - 15:00 Click here for a time in your area

Click here for the full, detailed schedule including age-group races 
 

START LISTS:
Click here for the elite women's start list
Click here for the elite men's start list
Click here for U23 women's start list 
Click here for U23 men's start list 
Click here for junior women's start list 
Click here for junior men's start list 
Click here for age group sprint start lists
Click here for age group standard start lists
Click here for 4xMixed relay start lists
Click here for aquathon elite women's start list
Click here for aquathon elite men's start list

PRIZE MONEY:
$280,000 USD (equal for men & women) 

COURSE PROFILE:
Swim (1500m) – Athletes will swim 1 lap in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea.
Bike (40km) – Athletes will cycle 8 laps of 5 km each, passing 16 times in front of the transition zone and spectator area. On fully paved and closed roads, the course is flat but very technical as it winds around FONATUR marina Triathlon park and the city streets.
Run (10km) – Athletes will finish with a run of 4 laps of 2.5 km. each. They will pass 8 times in front of transition zone using the FONATUR marina Triathlon Park and city streets that is sure to offer up a flat and fast competition

Click here for a complete list of all course maps

STORIES TO WATCH FOR:
Elite Women's Preview
The 2016 ITU World Triathlon Series will come to an end this week at the World Triathlon Grand Final Cozumel. Two-time reigning world champion and Olympic gold medallist Gwen Jorgensen (USA) will attempt to defend her title over top-ranked Flora Duffy (BER) on Saturday, September 17 at 3:30pm. If Jorgensen wins the world title, she will become just the second woman to win three world championship titles. She already owns more World Triathlon Series overall titles with two consecutive wins.

Click here for the complete preview

Elite Men's Preview
After a whirlwind year of exciting World Triathlon Series racing, the time has finally come to crown the men’s ITU World Champion. With multiple men sharing success throughout the year, the quest for the World title is closer than ever. Mario Mola (ESP) has been the leader of the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings for the majority of the season and will enter Cozumel still grasping tightly to that position. However, Great Britain’s Jonathan Brownlee is on his heels in the Rankings and will want to do anything he can to get the title for himself.
Click here for the complete preview

U23 Preview
The men’s Under23 World Championships will be one of the first triathlon World Champ races to kick the Grand Final off on Thursday, September 15 at 3pm. The women will follow on Friday, September 16 at 7:30am. The Under23 athletes will complete one 1.5km loop in the ocean, followed by eight laps over a 40km bike and ending with a four-lap 10km run. Two-time Junior World Champion and Olympian Laura Lindemann might be racing as an Under23 for the first time, but expect nothing less than a medal for the young German athlete. The men’s Under23 start list reads like a who’s who of up and comers for men’s triathlon. Gordon Benson (GBR), like Lindemann, is fresh off his first bid at the Olympics.
Click here for the complete preview

Junior Preview
The junior men’s and women’s World Championship races will be contested on Friday, September 16 and 3pm and 5pm, respectively. The world crowns will be earned over a sprint distance course that includes a one-lap swim, followed by a flat and technical four-lap 20km bike and finished with a two-lap 5km flat and fast run.
Click here for the complete preview

Aquathlon Preview
The 2016 Cozumel ITU Aquathlon World Championships will once again be the start of the week-long Cozumel Grand Final program on Wednesday, September 14 with great triathletes such as Alistair Brownlee, Richard Varga and Crisanto Grajales racing. The race, which consists of a 2.5 kilometre run, 1 kilometre swim followed by another 2.5 kilometre run, is one of the fastest events in multisport. Multiple World Champions will be crowned as hopeful elites, under23, juniors, paratriathletes and age group racers from around the world compete. ITU Aquathlon World Championships have been held annually since 1998 and some of the world’s best athletes have claimed the title and this year, two more will join the club.
Click here for the complete preview

PAST GRAND FINAL WINNERS
2015 Chicago Grand Final

1. Gwen Jorgensn (USA)                            1. Mario Mola  (ESP)
2014 Edmonton Grand Final 
1. Gwen Jorgensen (USA)                           1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR)
2013 London Grand Final 
1. Non Stanford (GBR)                                 1. Javier Gomez (ESP)
2012 Auckland Grand Final
1. Anne Haug (GER)                                    1. Javier Gomez (ESP)
2011 Beijing Grand Final
1. Helen Jenkins (GBR)                               1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR)         
2010 Budapest Grand Final 
1. Emma Snowsill (AUS)                               1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR)
2009 Gold Coast Grand Final
1. Emma Moffatt (AUS)                                 1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR)

ITU WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MEDALLISTS   
(since World Championship format change in 2009)

2015
1. Gwen Jorgensen (USA)                         1. Javier Gomez (ESP)
2. Andrea Hewitt (NZL)                               2. Mario Mola (ESP)
3. Sarah True (USA)                                   3. Vincent Luis (FRA)
2014
1. Gwen Jorgensen (USA)                          1. Javier Gomez (ESP)
2. Sarah True (USA)                                  2. Mario Mola (ESP)
3. Andrea Hewitt (NZL)                              3. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR)
2013 
1. Non Stanford (GBR)                                1. Javier Gomez (ESP)
2.  Aileen Reid (IRL)                                   2. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) 
3.  Emma Moffatt (AUS)                              3. Mario Mola (ESP)
2012
1. Lisa Norden (SWE)                            1. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) 
2. Anne Haug (GER)                             2.  Javier Gomez (ESP) 
3. Andrea Hewitt (NZL)                         3. Dmitry Polyanskiy (RUS) 
2011
1. Andrea Hewitt (NZL)                            1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR)      
2. Helen Jenkins (GBR)                              2. Sven Riederer (SUI)
3. Melanie Hauss (SUI)                                3. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR)
2010 
1. Emma Moffatt (AUS)                             1. Javier Gomez (ESP) 
2. Nicola Spirig (SUI)                                  2. Steffen Justus (GER) 
3. Lisa Norden (SWE)                                3. Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS)  
2009
1. Emma Moffatt (AUS)                            1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR) 
2. Lisa Norden (SWE)                               2. Javier Gomez (ESP)
3. Andrea Hewitt (NZL)                             3. Maik Petzold (GER)

Past ITU Cozumel World Cup winners
2015   Ai Ueda (JPN)                                        Richard Murray (RSA)
2014    Nicola Spirig (SUI)                                Javier Gomez (ESP)
2013    Nicola Spirig (SUI)                                Etienne Diemunsch (FRA)