The Event that the World Triathlon Series was modeled after takes place this weekend in Hamburg for the 10th consecutive rendition. As the 5th stop on the tour the Sprint-Distance format will offer a very fast racing to the masses that will line the city streets. Easily the most anticipated stop on the WTS circuit a part from the Grand Finale each year, Hamburg brings out the best in its domestic athletes to please the crowd. Look for Germans that have not been selected to the Olympics to shine here and perhaps steal the show! Both events have been moved to later in the day, late afternoon / early evening just as the cocktails begin to mingle. Men go off at 18:25 Saturday and Women 16:00 Sunday, tune in to CBC streaming Sports for free coverage and follow @ITUOnline for tweets.
Startlist can be found here
With the lay of the swim venue and the shortening distance to 750m, the distance to the first turn bouy is going to be shorter this year. I’d expect it to be no more than 200m so start speed here will be crucial to set up the rest of the race. There really isn’t a lot of opportunities to « move up » with a bad start as you have two quick turns, and the narrow 40m tunnel to the exit.
I feel this sort of swim favors Moffatt (AUS) who should be right up there at the exit. Take a chance on her leading things out with the likes of Groff (USA), Tanner (NZL), Oliveira (BRA), Rivas (MEX) in tow. There isn’t a strong enough swimmer here to break things up in the water so expect a long train coming in T1 with the backdrop of City Hall.
Out onto the bike it will take just one weak link to create a gap. This field is solid but there are some newer athletes to this level that may provide gaps to open. With now $10,000 on the line for a break-away group into T2 expect some jostling before we hit the run.
Out on to the always quick run course we should see a host of Aussies up front doing their thing: Densham, Gentle, Sheedy-Ryan, Moffatt, and Jackson. The Germans, Haug, Dittmer and Bazlen will also be up there with the crowd pushing them on. This one will be very close but we have the podium as:
Gentle, Densham, Haug
Darkhorse: Murua (ESP)
Startlist can be found here
Word on the street is Wetsuits may be worn for this swim. With or without Varga still will find a way to the front with an expected gap on the main bunch into T1. We could see a slight London dress rehearsal here with Varga stringing things out. Expect Petzold (GER) to really push this bike early on, a long time vet would love to get in a break on his home country course. Raphael (FRA), coming off a silver in Tizzy last weekend should also be good for some early hammer time. I’d expect that a small group will get away and go after the $10,000 prime. The technical course with some « get out of sight » opportunities lends well to the chances of this.
Take a group of 5-6 to roll into T2 but with not enough time to claim the cash, 30s tops. In this group we may see one hold on for the podium.
Podium: Gomez, Atkinson, Petzold