ITU WTS Grand Final, Ironman Wales, Challenge Grand Canaria, Xterra Ogden and more: Weekend preview

TriathlonWorld.com previews the weekend of racing that includes big events at virtually every distance and discipline in the sport.

| September 16, 2016 | NEWS

ITU Cozumel

Photo >ITU Media

Event: ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Cozumel

Location: Cozumel, Mexico
When: Sunday, September 17 (Women) 18 (Men)
Distances: Swim: 1.5 km, Bike: 40 km, Run: 10 km

The 2016 World Triathlon Series will come to an end this week at the Grand Final in 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.

The battle for the world title is an exciting one this year, as a two-time reigning champion and a first-time candidate will duke it out in the hopes of claiming the 2016 crown. Coming off her Olympic gold last month, Jorgensen is arguably the fastest woman in triathlon. Currently sitting second in the Columbia Threadneedle rankings, earning the title once again would give her a true hat trick with her third title in a row. No elite woman has ever done that in the history of the series.

With multiple men sharing success throughout the year, the quest for the men's title is closer than ever. Mario Mola (ESP) has been the leader of the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings for most of the season and will enter Cozumel in 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 on Sunday.

Pro Start Lists

Event: Ironman Wales

Ironman Wales 2015 5 | Ironman Wales 2015

Ironman Wales 2015

Photo >Getty Images for Ironman

Location: Pembrokeshire, Wales
When: Sunday, September 18
Distances: Swim: 3.8 km, Bike: 180 km, Run: 42 km
Prize Purse: $25,000

Featuring a challenging course, athletes have to bring their “A” game to Wales or they will get spit out the back. Karl-Johan Danielsson should be the early favorite with Fraser Cartmell, Nick Baldwin and Phillip Graves making the race interesting throughout the bike and run. Diana Riesler and Jeanne Collonge come into the race as the ones to beat, however there are a number of British women who would be thrilled to claim the tile on home soil.

Pro Start List

Event: Challenge Mogan-Gran Canaria

Challenge Mogan-Gran Canaria

Photo >Challenge Mogan-Gran Canaria

Location: Canary Islands, Spain
When: Sunday, September 18
Distances: Swim: 1.9 km, Bike: 90 km, Run: 21 km

The Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off the coast of northwestern Africa, are rugged volcanic isles known for their black- and white-sand beaches. On Saturday the Islands will host a half-distance race that will feature Stephen Bayliss, Massimo Cigana and Jonathaan Ciavattella  in the men’s race. The women's side will be highlighted by Mirjam Weerd, Ewa Komander and Ema Bilham.

Event: Xterra Pan American Championship

Location: Ogden Utah, USA
When: Sunday, September 11
Distances: Swim: 1.5 km, Bike: 29 km, Run: 10 km

The inaugural 10-stop Pan American Championship series started in March in Costa Rica and concludes this weekend with the Xterra Pan American Championship race in Ogden, Utah.  The series hosts events in Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

This weekend's event at Snowbasin Resort in Ogden, Utah will see Josiah Middaugh return to racing after being sidelined after having his appendix removed. He will be hoping there won’t be too much rust in his legs as he contends with a deep field that includes: Rom Akerson, Karsten Madsen and Kieran McPherson. On the women’s side, Suzie Snyder has four wins already to her credit and is clearly the women to beat on Saturday. The American can claim the inaugural XTERRA Pan Am Pro Series title with an eleventh place finish or better. She will face tough competition from Maia Ignatz, Kara LaPoint and Sabrina Gobbo.