By Chelsea White on 02/09/15 at 3:34 am
As the penultimate stop on the World Triathlon Series, Edmonton will this weekend offer up a fast and furious sprint course to a star-studded men’s start list as the athletes fight for final points in the hunt to call themselves the fastest athlete in the world.
In his drive for five World Championship titles, Javier Gomez Noya (ESP) is back to top off the men’s roster and sport the golden number one. After dominating the competition in Stockholm and effortlessly earning himself the gold medal, the Spaniard remains in strong contention to become the first athlete to win five ITU World Championships, having scored his fourth here in Edmonton last year. Following his convincing win in Stockholm, Gomez raced to bronze at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships just days ago. While clearly in form, it remains to be seen if he will have enough spring in his step to score another podium in Edmonton.
If anybody could interrupt Gomez’s campaign for another World title, it’s Spanish compatriot Mario Mola. Sitting in second in the Columbia Threadneedle rankings, Mola is right on the coat tails trailing just 447 points. While Mola has had an up and down season when it comes to his finishes, he does continue to remains consistent in his strong ability to outrun his opponents. Deficits in the first two legs prove to be no match for his super human running powers, but should he make it in the lead group in the swim and bike, there should be nothing stopping him from making podium.
Another talented runner is South Africa’s Richard Murray. He wowed the spectators at the Rio Test Event when he made up a minute after the bike leg and blew past over twenty men to ultimately earn the bronze medal. Murray has not seen the likes of a WTS podium since Abu Dhabi and is overdue for a medal this weekend.
To do so, however, he will have to go head-to-head with Vincent Luis (FRA) in addition to the Spaniards. The young French triathlete has been the name to watch this season in sprint races after countless strong performances throughout the whole season. He has made the podium in every single race that he has contested and was finally able to secure his first gold medal in Hamburg. A tactical racer whose swim, bike and run are all on par with the best, look for Luis to be a leader this weekend.
Aussie Aaron Royle is an athlete that has progressively improved throughout the season. After a phenomenal performance at the Rio Test Event, Royle followed it up with a bronze medal in Stockholm - his first time on the WTS podium since 2014. Similarly, Joao Pereira struggled to put up solid results this year after a breakthrough season in 2014. However, he showed signs of his speed returning last weekend when he matched Royle step for step nearly the entire race until the final metres when he pushed ahead for silver.
Click here for the men’s start list
The men’s race will be held on Sunday, September 6 at 3:35pm. To watch the race live, tune in at triathlonlive.tv. For live updates, follow us on twitter at @triathlonlive.
Find more details about this event - 2015 ITU World Triathlon Edmonton