Season opens in Abu Dhabi

It's here - this weekend marks the start of the WTS season with a sprint and Triathlon Mixed Relay in Abu Dhabi.

| March 7, 2019 | NEWS

Can three-time WTS world champion Mario Mola run his way to another win in Abu Dhabi?

Can three-time WTS world champion Mario Mola run his way to another win in Abu Dhabi?

Photo >ITU Media

On Friday, March 8, the ITU World Triathlon Series opens with the women's and men's individual races over the sprint distance. On Saturday many of those same athletes will compete in the Triathlon Mixed Relay. All races can be followed live on, which debuts a new format for this weekend's races.

Abu Dhabi has been a WTS host city since 2015. The swim start features the city skyline as a back drop, while the bike and run courses run through Yas Marina Circuit, the Formula 1 track. The technical course saw lots of crashes last year when it started to rain. 

Stacked men's field

Defending champion Henri Schoeman (RSA), three-time WTS world champion Mario Mola (ESP) and two-time defending Grand Final champion, Vincent Luis (FRA), arrive in Abu Dhabi as the favorites, but the list of potential frontrunners is huge. Other than the Brownlee brothers (Alistair and Jonathan), a good portion of the world's best are on hand, including: Kristian Blummenfelt, Gustav Iden (both NOR) Jacob Birthwhistle (AUS), Fernando Alazra (ESP), Tyler Mislawchuk (CAN) and Alex Yee (GBR).

Klamer back to defend

She might be the defending champion, but Rachel Klamer (NED) won't likely hit the start line as the prohibitive favorite. Fresh off her big win at last month's Super League Championship, Katie Zaferes (USA) is in great form, but will face some stiff competition from defending WTS world champ Vicky Holland (GBR) and Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA), who took second at the Super League event. Add to that list names like Grand Final champ Ashleigh Gentle (AUS), Laura Lindemann (GER), Joanna Brown (CAN) and Jessica Learmonth (GBR) and you have the makings of an exciting day of racing.

World Triathlon Series 2019

  • March 8/9 Abu Dhabi (VAE)
  • April 27 Bermuda (BMU)
  • May 18/19 Yokohama (JPN)
  • June 8/9 Leeds (GBR)
  • June 15 2019 Nottingham (GBR)
  • June 29 Montreal (CAN)
  • July 6/7 Hamburg (GER)
  • July 20/21 Edmonton (CAN)
  • August 29 – September 1 Lausanne (FRA)