Local favourites and breakout talents ready to earn Series stripes at WTCS Hamburg
The champions of the Season Like No Other may have only just been crowned in Edmonton last month, but the first Maurice Lacroix Ranking points of 2022 will be available on Saturday, as the magic of the Hamburg Wasser World Triathlon Championship Series Hamburg returns to its famous city centre setting this weekend. It is the 20th consecutive year of top-tier racing in a city that has become synonymous with the sport, and the men’s field is stacked with Tokyo 2020 talent and a host of names ready to mark their breakthrough at the highest level and podium at this legendary venue.
The sprint-distance course sees the athletes take to the familiar start line by the Binnenalster lake, the 750m swim including the dark 40m tunnel section under the bridge on the way back towards transition in front of the iconic Rathaus building.
From there, it’s a flat and technical 6-lap bike of 21km in total before the 2-lap run will once again provide 5km of pure drama all the way to the tape. Watch the action unfold on TriathlonLive.tv from 6pm CEST this Saturday.
The coveted number one will be worn by Frenchman Leo Bergere in his fifth outing in Hamburg. Having never finished outside the top 10 and scooping the bronze last year, Bergere will be a man on a mission for a first Series gold this time around and flush with confidence after back-to-back podiums in Montreal and Edmonton.
The only man on the start line to have tasted victory at the top level is Casper Stornes, who spearheaded that remarkable Norwegian podium sweep at the inaugural WTCS Bermuda in 2018. After disappointment in Tokyo, Stornes arrives fresh from winning the 70.3 world title in Nice and would love to register a second Series gold here.
Looking to get the fans behind him will be Germany’s Jonas Schomburg, making his 7th appearance in Hamburg. The 27-year-old from Hanover isn’t afraid to roll the dice on the bike and would love to score a first podium in front of the crowds. Compatriot Lasse Nygaard-Priester won his first World Triathlon Cup in Karlovy Vary at the weekend with an outstanding run and may be one to watch again on Saturday over the shorter distance.
Mark Devay led for much of the race in the Czech Republic only to fade during the run, and his swim could again be decisive if he can form a small group out front on the bike as the Hungarian will look to create as much daylight as possible between himself and the fastest runners as they head out of T2.
In the realm of the rising stars, Spain’s Antonio Serrat Seoane may have been operating in the shadows of the mighty Mola, Gomez and Alarza in recent years, but will surely believe the time is now for him to convert a host of strong results into a Series podium and charge towards Paris 2024.
Likewise the young Swede Gabriel Sandor narrowly missed out on a Tokyo 2020 berth, but is one of the most consistent performers of those to have broken through from the U23s in the past couple of seasons and will relish a rare shot at the Series medals.
Among the other athletes who will rate their chances of a first Series podium will be Brazil’s 21-year-old Miguel Hidalgo. Bronze in the heat of Huatulco showed what he is capable of over the sprint distance and it is a format that may also suit Japan’s Takumi Hojo, who ran out of steam in Karlovy Vary but is invariably well set out of the water.
USA’s Chase McQueen, Australian Brandon Copeland and Portugal’s 2019 Junior World Champion Ricardo Batista are all part of the next generation who will be using this opportunity to earn vital experience at this early stage of their careers and shake up the pre-race favourites. The full start lists can be found here.
Hamburg Wasser World Triathlon Championship Series Hamburg
Saturday 18 September
12:21 - 01 Jul, 2021
03:02 - 06 Sep, 2020
04:55 - 05 Sep, 2020
06:05 - 06 Jul, 2019