Luis leads heading into WTS Grand Final in Lausanne

Can Vincent Luis stop Mario Mola's streak of ITU world titles this weekend in Lausanne? A look at the possibilities and some of the other contenders.

| August 29, 2019 | NEWS

Vincent Luis celebrates his 2018 WTS Grand Final victory.

Vincent Luis celebrates his 2018 WTS Grand Final victory.

Photo >Delly Carr | ITU Media

No less than 15 different athletes have appeared on WTS men's podiums in 2019, a sign of the impressive depth in the men's field as athletes clamour to nail down Olympic qualifying spots heading into Tokyo next year. France's Vincent Luis heads into the Grand Final with a 500-point lead, but there remain five other athletes with a mathematical chance of taking the overall title if Luis falters at all in Lausanne.

The chances of that are slim, though - Luis has been remarkably consistent in 2019, starting his year off by taking the Super League title, then moving on to the WTS series with a fifth in Abu Dhabi and a fourth in Bermuda before taking Yokohama, finishing sixth in Leeds, second in Hamburg and fifth in Edmonton. He's also won the Grand Final the last two years, proving he knows how to come up big when it counts.

Spain's Mario Mola, the winner of the last three WTS titles, remains in the mix, though - he's in second in the standings heading into Saturday's race. If he wins on Saturday and Luis finishes lower than fifth the Spaniard will earn a fourth straight world title. The other Spanish WTS legend, Javier Gomez, made an impressive return to WTS racing this year, too, and could also take the title with a win this weekend if Luis finishes eighth or lower and Mola is third (or lower).

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There are three other men who could take the overall WTS title - Spain's Fernando Alarza, Australia's Jacob Birtwhistle (who took two titles this year in Leeds and Hamburg) and Belgium's Marten Van Riel. The chances of them getting the overall title are slim, but remain a possibility with the right combination of finishes.

In terms of the Grand Final title, some other athletes likely to be in the mix include 2012 world champ and two-time Olympic medalist Jonathan Brownlee, South Africa's Henri Schoeman, Canada's Tyler Mislawchuk, who is fresh off a big win at the Tokyo Olympic test event, along with the always strong Norwegian contingent of Kristian Blumenfelt, Casper Stornes and Gustav Iden.

Below you'll find the full list of men racing in the elite race on Saturday.

WTS Grand Final Start List | Men

August 31, 2019 | Lausanne, Switzerland

Race Number

First Name

Last Name

Country

1

Vincent

Luis

FRA

2

Mario

Mola

ESP

3

Javier

Gomez Noya

ESP

4

Fernando

Alarza

ESP

5

Jacob

Birtwhistle

AUS

6

Marten

Van Riel

BEL

7

Henri

Schoeman

RSA

8

Léo

Bergere

FRA

9

Hayden

Wilde

NZL

10

Jelle

Geens

BEL

11

Bence

Bicsák

HUN

12

Tyler

Mislawchuk

CAN

14

Dorian

Coninx

FRA

15

Gustav

Iden

NOR

16

Alex

Yee

GBR

17

Jonas

Schomburg

GER

18

Sam

Ward

NZL

19

Kristian

Blummenfelt

NOR

20

Aaron

Royle

AUS

21

Jonathan

Brownlee

GBR

22

Antonio

Serrat Seoane

ESP

23

Pierre

Le Corre

FRA

24

Matthew

McElroy

USA

26

Richard

Murray

RSA

27

Ryan

Sissons

NZL

28

Morgan

Pearson

USA

29

Alois

Knabl

AUT

30

Alessandro

Fabian

ITA

31

Luke

Willian

AUS

32

Joao

Pereira

POR

33

Lasse

Lührs

GER

34

Shachar

Sagiv

ISR

35

Irving

Perez

MEX

36

Ryan

Fisher

AUS

37

Joao

Silva

POR

38

Max

Studer

SUI

39

Wian

Sullwald

RSA

40

Matthew

Sharpe

CAN

41

Adrien

Briffod

SUI

42

Eli

Hemming

USA

43

Sylvain

Fridelance

SUI

44

Davide

Uccellari

ITA

45

Jorik

Van Egdom

NED

46

Valentin

Wernz

GER

47

Casper

Stornes

NOR

48

Russell

White

IRL

49

Andrea

Salvisberg

SUI

50

Rostislav

Pevtsov

AZE

51

Tamás

Tóth

HUN

52

Richard

Varga

SVK

53

Alexis

Lepage

CAN

54

Márk

Dévay

HUN

55

Ryan

Bailie

AUS

56

Jonas

Breinlinger

GER

57

Gábor

Faldum

HUN

58

Manoel

Messias

BRA

60

Igor

Polyanskiy

RUS

61

Gregor

Payet

LUX

62

Crisanto

Grajales

MEX

63

Kevin

McDowell

USA

64

Constantine

Doherty

IRL

65

Alexandre

Nobre

POR

66

Henrik

Goesch

FIN

67

Domen

Dornik

SLO

68

Gaspar

Riveros

CHI

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