Stacked field on hand for WTS Edmonton

The top-five men in the WTS standings along with some other big names will line up at the ITU World Triathlon Edmonton on the weekend. The women's race will be missing WTS leader Katie Zaferes, but still includes many of the world's best draft-legal racers.

| July 18, 2019 | NEWS

2018 Grand Final champion Vincent Luis leads the WTS standings heading into WTS Edmonton.

2018 Grand Final champion Vincent Luis leads the WTS standings heading into WTS Edmonton.

Photo >Delly Carr | ITU Media

One of the long-standing mainstays in the WTS series, the ITU World Triathlon Edmonton serves as a practice run for next year's Grand Final, the third time the Canadian city has hosted the world championships. This year's race promises to be a barn burner, especially in the men's race. The weekend includes a sprint race on Saturday followed by the ITU Mixed Team Relay on Sunday.

Stacked men's field

After the crash-filled day in Hamburg a couple of weeks ago, athletes will hope for some dryer conditions in the Canadian mid-west. The results in Hamburg shuffled the men's rankings quite a bit after WTS series leader, Fernando Alarza (ESP), crashed. That allowed France's Vincent Luis to move to the top of the rankings after his runner-up finish in Hamburg. Second in the rankings is five-time ITU world champ Javier Gomez, with Hamburg winner Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS) sitting in third in the overall standings. They'll both be on the line this Saturday in Edmonton. Add to that list three-time WTS world champ Mario Mola and you have the top five in the WTS standings on the line in Edmonton. Others to watch for include Marten Van Riel (BEL), Tyler Mislawchuk (CAN), Ben Kanute (USA), and Tayler Reid (NZL). Anotehr big name who will toe the line after some bad luck in Hamburg is 2016 Olympic silver medalist Jonathan Brownlee (GBR).

Spivey leads the women

Katie Zaferes (USA) has been on a winning roll this year, but has decided to skip the race in Edmonton to focus on the final races of the season at a high-altitude training camp in Flagstaff, Arizona. So, with the top-three in the WTS standings - Zaferes (USA), Jessica Learmonth (GBR) and Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) - taking a pass on the Edmonton event, the top name in the women's race is Taylor Spivey. With a runner-up finish in Abu Dhabi and a third place in Yokohama, she's ranked fourth in the WTS standings. She'll have some stiff competition, though - countrywoman Summer Rappaport was third in Hamburg, while Australian Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) is back to WTS racing after another win at the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon last month. Others to watch for include Yuko Takahashi (JPN), Chelsea Burns (USA), Claire Michel (BEL) and Lisa Perterer (AUT).

We'll be in Edmonton for extensive coverage of all the racing.

The elite women race on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. local time, followed by the elite men at 5:30 p.m. The action continues with the ITU Mixed Team Relay on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. local time.