In its third year of existence, the ITU Sprint World Championships will double up as a first time WTS event in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm this weekend. Just a few weeks after the biggest Draft-Legal event EVER, we may see some familar and not so familar faces on the podium. After such a big focus for the Olympics many athletes may be in a bit of a coma coming into this one while others will be on a high, the last third of the season starts now and Stockholm should be just the jump start.
Startlist can be found here
Unsure of the water temp for race day I would suspect wetsuit conditions in the Stockholm harbour for a 1 lap, 750m frothing. As Richard Varga’s (SVK) WTS ranking improves we may begin to see different patterns forming in the swims. Stockholm should give an indication if this statement bears any merit.
The mens field has a host of great swimmers, Pujades (FRA), Russians, Zaferes (USA), Fabian (ITA) to mention a few. I see them filling the gaps that we saw in the olympic field and thus bringing us into T1 as a chaingang.
With Varga leading us out on to this quite technical 5k loop we will be eyes peeled to see if some riders can get away early. J.Brownlee and Gomez will definitely be keen to seperate from runners such as Vidal and Mola. I don’t see it happening, thus positioning into T2 in a large group will be vital to start the run.
Over 5k on foot Gomez appears to be the favourite. Don’t count out his countrymen Mola. If the bike isn’t insane then Mola may be in with a chance. As is Justus, Vidal, and Hauss. Riederer has been consistent this year and will be looking to topple J.Brownlee, who is the only Champ at this distance in the two years run.
On the podium we see:
Gomez, Brownlee, Mola
Startlist can be found here
The spotlight will be on the womens race in Stockholm with Silver Medalist, Lisa Norden, getting the chance to race in front of her country.
The womens swim isn’t stacked but expect to see Harrison, Holland and Razarenova near the front. The field looks even enough that gaps shouldn’t be anticipated out of the water.
Out of T1 however they will occur. Expect Norden to absolute drill the first lap to establish a smaller group and distance herself from Riveros Diaz (2011 champ) and Anne Haug (GER). Diaz and Haug should be alright though with the technical course and I think we will see all the major players off the bike in T2 together.
Densham and Diaz should take the run out quick w Norden happy to sit thru 2.5k. Others that should be near the front include Haug, Moffat, Murua, and Jackson. Get ready for a crazy finish….3-4 sprinting for the medals here I feel.
Podium: Norden, Haug, Diaz
Darkhorse: Campbell + Brown
Things get started with the Men at 6am PST / 9am EST