Olympic favorites heat up Hamburg

This weekend's ITU WTS Hamburg race will be a final tune up for many Olympic favorites including Gwen Jorgensen, Helen Jenkins and Mario Mola, but Jodie Stimpson might be the most motivated athlete in the field as she guns after a world title to ease her Olympic disappointment.

| July 13, 2016 | NEWS

Jodie Stimpson | Jodie Stimpson is after a world title after missing a chance to compete in Rio this year.

Jodie Stimpson is after a world title after missing a chance to compete in Rio this year.

Photo >Janos Schmidt / triathlon.org

World Triathlon Hamburg the final hit out before Rio Olympics

 

In the final World Triathlon Series race before the Olympics, Hamburg Wasser World Triathlon offers Rio-bound athletes a final speed tune up with a sprint-distance race on Saturday. Also one of just three World Triathlon Series races left on the calendar, the one-lap swim, six-lap bike and two-lap run course offers final opportunities to accumulate critical points in the hunt for a World Championship title. Hamburg will some of triathlon's top athletes with Mario Mola (ESP), Richard Murray (RSA), Gwen Jorgensen (USA), Helen Jenkins (GBR) and Jodie Stimpson (GBR) poised to race.

The weekend of events will also include the ITU Mixed Relay World Championships, which sees two men and two women each complete a mini triathlon. In addition to the elite races, Hamburg will host more than 10,000 age group athletes on Saturday and Sunday.

Click here for the women's preview
Click here for the men's preview

ABOUT THE RACE: 
Hamburg is the longest-standing venue on the ITU World Triathlon Series calendar, having hosted events since 2002, including the 2007 World Championships, but has featured a twist the last four years. In 2012, the event featured a fast and furious sprint race. After such a successful event, the sprint race format returned again in 2013. Not only is Hamburg the oldest event on the WTS schedule, it hosts the world’s largest age-group triathlon with more than 10,000 athletes having races last year. The entire city of Hamburg shuts down for the event, which is no easy feat considering it is the second largest city in Germany. This year, Hamburg will also again host the Mixed Team Relay World Championships.


SCHEDULE:
Elite Women
Saturday 16 July - 16:35 UTC/GMT +2 Click here for the time in your area
Elite Men
Saturday 16 July - 18:40 UTC/GMT+2 Click here for the time in your area 
Mixed Team Relay
Sunday 17 July - 14:35 UTC/GMT +2 Click here for the time in your area

WEBSITES:
http://hamburg.triathlon.org/

START LISTS:
Click here for the women's start list
Click here for the men's start list

PRIZE MONEY:
$150,000 USD (equal for men & women)  

LIVE COVERAGE:
Follow all the events live with timing and text updates, at triathlonlive.tv and on twitter at @triathlonlive

COURSE PROFILE:
Swim (750m) – Off a pontoon, athletes dive into an artificial lake within the city limits of Hamburg for a one-lap swim that exits after swimming through a dark tunnel for 40m.
Bike (20km) – Athletes will bike six laps of a 3.33km loop on a flat, technical course that includes eight sharp turns around downtown Hamburg. Generally flat profile with no noteworthy climbs.
Run (5km) – Off the bike, athletes will run two laps of a 2.5km loop on a flat course. There are two 180 degree turns per lap.

STORIES TO WATCH FOR:
Looking for a crown:
Gunning for that World Champion title is Great Britain’s Jodie Stimpson. Currently third in the Columbia Threadneedle rankings, she already has two WTS medals this season. Despite being forced to withdrawal from Stockholm mid-race due to illness, Stimpson could maintain her momentum towards a World Championship crown if she does well in Hamburg.

Jorgensen vs Jenkins:
As the back-to-back champion in WTS Hamburg for the last two years, Gwen Jorgensen has history on her side.  A gold this weekend could mean a three-peat victory and her 18th WTS title. Only Brit Helen Jenkins has beat Jorgensen in the last two years, which she did in Gold Coast earlier this year. The three-time Olympian is strong in all three disciplines and executed a successful break away on the bike in Gold Coast that was instrumental in her win.

Spaniards top men's start list:
There will be a tight race for the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings leader between Spanish and Olympic teammates Fernando Alarza and Mario Mola. Mola held onto the leading ranking for the first five WTS races after winning in Abu Dhabi, Gold Coast and Yokohama. But the competition heated up when he sat out in Leeds and Stockholm. That left room for Alarza to come in and grab the leader position, which he captured after his fifth place in Stockholm. Alarza will now wear the golden number this weekend in Hamburg just 312 points ahead of Mola, but with the knowledge that he’s beat Mola in a sprint race already this year.

Murray only returning male winner
South Africa’s Richard Murray returns to the Series after suffering a broken collar bone in Gold Coast. However, a win at the 2016 Aviles ITU Duathlon World Championships suggests Murray hasn’t slowed down in his absence from the WTS. Hamburg is where Murray scored his first WTS title back in 2012, and he’s the only man on the start list that has won in Hamburg. While experience is on Murray’s side, history is not, as a different athlete has won the men’s race every year since it became a WTS even in 2009. Murray could change that history come Saturday.

Mixed Relay World Championships
Mixed Relay World Championships return for its eight appearance this Sunday. France scored its first world title in the event last year, becoming the fourth National Federation to win a title, joining Great Britain, which has three, Switzerland which owns two and Germany with one.

PAST HAMBURG WINNERS 

          WOMEN                        MEN   

2015      Gwen Jorgensen (USA)      Vincent Luis (FRA)
2014      Gwen Jorgensen (USA)      Alistair Brownlee (GBR)
2013      Anne Haug (GER)               Jonathan Brownlee (GBR)  
2012      Erin Densham (AUS)           Richard Murray (RSA)  
2011      Emma Moffatt (AUS)           Brad Kahlefeldt  (AUS)   
2010      Lisa Norden (SWE)             Javier Gomez (ESP) 
2009      Emma Moffatt (AUS)           Jarrod Shoemaker (USA)