Leading ladies step out for WTS London
As the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Series hits the back half of the season, World Triathlon London sets the scene for fast and furious racing with a sprint course on offer this Sunday with all of the leading ladies poised to line up.
Given her dynamite season, there’s no question the tour de force lining up in London is Gwen Jorgensen. Undefeated this season, the American will look to collect her second consecutive title in the UK capital, having scored gold with a run-away performance last year. While her nine-race winning streak suggests the title should be hers for the taking, London Town has presented a mixed bag of results for Jorgensen in years past, having medalled twice but also crashed out to end a World Championship bid in 2013.
In fact, in that race it was Great Britain’s own Non Stanford that was named the world’s fastest triathlete. But as fate would have it, it was also the last race Stanford would line up for for another 20 months until she secured a top 10 finish last weekend in Yokohama. A triathlete that has challenged Jorgensen’s foot speed in the past, look for the home crowd to get behind Stanford.
Stanford will toe the line with teammate and housemate Vicky Holland who, like Stanford, has endured injury on and off the last year. But the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist came back blazing in the saddle in her first race out in Cape Town, scoring her first WTS gold last month.
While the Brits field a four-woman team, there’s no question it’s the Americans who have dominated the podium this year. Together with Katie Zaferes, Sarah True and Jorgensen, the trio has been responsible for 60% of the 2015 WTS podium positions. True took silver here last year, while Zaferes has proven her strength in both sprint and standard distance events this season.
With a reputation as one of the most dangerous and consistent women on the circuit, Andrea Hewitt (NZL) threatens with a revived run speed that has surprised this year. If the flat but technical course fails to break up the women on the bike, any number of women could factor on the run including young guns Sophia Saller (GER), Laura Lindemann (GER), Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA) and Audrey Merle (FRA).
Two weeks ago in Yokohama, the Australians also sent a reminder to the women’s circuit that they are not to be forgotten with Ashleigh Gentle and Emma Moffatt snapping up medals. Although the pair will sit out London, last year’s bronze medallist Emma Jackson returns for another shot at the podium. Compatriot Erin Densham will also start in London for the first time since claiming Olympic bronze at Hyde Park three years ago.
The women will get underway at 16:45 local time on Sunday, May 31. Click here to convert the start time to your time zone. Watch the races live on triathlonlive.tv and follow on @triathlonlive for play by play updates.