Yokohama hosts its third WTS event this weekend in the port city of Japan. With cooler temperatures forcasted the field should enjoy good conditions as long as the scheduled typhoon passes through on time:) Unfortunately Yokohama will see no Canadians on the startline, a disappointment but a reality.
The course does not offer a lot in terms of variety but the bike is technical enough to make the legs tingle coming out of T2 with the many many accelerations that will result from the multitude of corners. Being the last WTS event before Auckland we see smaller fields but with depth. Many will be in better shape post olympics having had the celebratory break pass and a training block underneath them now. This also serves as the last opportunity to max out the WTS scores and/or improve upon prior results for overall pool $ bonuses, so expect the standard « bleed thru your ears » racing.
Startlist can be found here
The womens field is small but strong here. We have a lot of the main players here minus Jenkins and Spirig. Coming off a French GP win in Nice Andrea Hewitt may be capable of repeating here in Yokohama. Densham and Norden will certainly challenge for the win along with Gentle, Diaz, Haug and there is bound to be a local Japenese athlete in there totally peaked for this one.
Norden, Haug and Hewitt are seperated in the overall standings by roughly 200 pts for second spot, expect these ladies to not give an inch and have an eye on one another through the 2hrs of racing.
In the warm harbour waters the swim expect Adachi and Groff to be near the front. Out of the water take Adachi to please the hometown crowd into T1. The lead group should formalize on this course once the athletes hit the technical areas near the ferris wheel. From here on out it will be staying near the front, avoiding crashes and reducing the take on the legs before T2. That being said I believe the breakaway prime is still up for grabs on both mens and womens here so we may see some valiant attempts to break away for the cash!!! Norden could be one of these looking to make the bike more of a factor in the overall scheme.
Off the bike i feel we see the contenders together. With the conditions and time of year I think Hewitt comes out to shine here and takes the win. Norden a close second and Haug third.
Podium: Hewitt, Norden, Haug
Startlist can be found here:
Big story here the performance of Gomez. A race in hand on Johnny, a win here could make things very very interesting in Auckland. With recent form showing well Javier is definitely the man to beat here.
Varga will lead the boys up out of the water with brother duos vasiliev, salvisberg, and Polyanskiy in the mix.
With a smaller mens field here of 40 we can expect some dynamics similar to the Olympic here. Perhaps three different groups forming. The lead bunch with enough strength should stay away here if the motivation is there. Again the break away prime is up for grabs if the group is less than 8.
No getting rid of him anywhere, Gomez should seal this race up on the run. The other podium spots could be up for grabs though. Going out on a bit of a limb I’ll take Silva for silver and Moulai for bronze.