By Erin Greene on 25/03/15 at 8:10 pm
The second stop of the ITU World Triathlon Series touches down in Auckland this Sunday, which brings forth some of the sport’s top men all vying to take home the next circuit title in the season’s first standard distance race of the year. The men’s elite will battle it out on a choppy two-lap harbour swim, hilly eight-lap bike and finish it off with a four-lap run course.
The men’s race will come with much anticipation as four of the top-ten ranked athletes are set to compete.
Mario Mola (ESP) will wear the No. 1 uniform on Sunday after an impressive and explosive start to the WTS circuit in Abu Dhabi. Holding steady in a three-man pack going into the final lap of the run, Mola recorded the fastest 5km run split time in the history of the WTS to break away and claim his second Series title.
Although he only saw a sixth-place finish in Abu Dhabi, the defending world-champion Javier Gomez Noya (ESP) will be back in Auckland looking to earn his first Series title of the season. He will also be stepping up to the New Zealand start line as the reigning WTS Auckland champion three years over.
He and Mola will have strong help from their compatriots, with the Spanish team featuring a full squad of six men on the starting line. Four of those six are also ranked in the top 10 making them a danger bunch of competitors.
Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) and Joao Silva (POR) are also set to headline the Auckland stop over. The Brit has finished second to Gomez on two occasions and his fifth-place in Abu Dhabi will have him gunning for gold.
Portugal’s Silva was back to stunning form in Abu Dhabi when he ran ahead of both Gomez and Brownlee at the end of the 5km sprint. He, like Mola, Gomez and Brownlee, is also a previous Auckland medallist having finished third in 2013.