By Erin Greene on 27/05/14 at 8:51 am
In its fifth year on the ITU World Triathlon circuit, London will see yet another all-star cast of women compete, with the likes of Jodie Stimpson, Gwen Jorgensen and Helen Jenkins at the top of the start lists. But this year will see a new twist to the old tale, with London offering up a sprint course to the elites. This year, athletes are due to compete over a 750m swim in the Serpentine Lake before taking off on four technical bike laps and concluding with three run laps along the Serpentine.
Jodie Stimpson will line up as the woman to beat on home soil. The Brit has stormed to an impressive start to the season, having won the first two WTS events of the year. Stimpson was again poised for the podium in Yokohama when she tripped in transition, sustaining a cut to her foot that required stitches. Despite the injury, Stimpson finished the race in ninth place to retain her top spot in the Threadneedle Rankings.
After sitting out last year’s race due to injury, Helen Jenkins (GBR) will return to compete in London for the first time since finishing fifth at the 2012 Olympic Games. But history is on the side of the solid all-around triathlete, as she’s finished on the podium in each of the WTS London races that she has competed. Jenkins will also sport fresh legs after opting out of making the trek to Japan for the Yokohama race.
While Gwen Jorgensen didn’t have the start to the year she was looking for, the American was back to her red hot racing style in Japan. But London represents a mixed bag of results for Jorgensen. In 2011, the Olympian scored her first podium in a major ITU race, while last year she was forced to pull out of the race after a crash derailed both her bike and her World Championship dreams. Although Jorgensen is well suited for the flat course, the sprint distance may not lend itself to Jorgenen’s medal aspirations.
Likewise, Anne Haug (GER) will certainly look to avenge her poor performance last year that prevented her from being the World Champ. Haug, however, proved in Hamburg last year she has the power needed over the sprint distance to cross the finish line first.
Olympic silver medallist Lisa Norden (SWE) will make her debut to World Triathlon racing after illness and injury has prevented her toeing the line so far this year. Despite returning to the coach responsible for training her to the Olympic silver medal, little is known about Norden’s sprinting form.
Along with Norden, several women will pose serious threats to the podium this weekend including Andrea Hewitt (NZL) and Sarah Groff (USA). Like Jenkins, all of these women sat out Yokohama suggesting they could be well rested to take on London town. Hewitt and Groff are no strangers to the course, especially in pulling out impressive runs, meaning it could be a fight to the end in the women’s race.
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Find more details about this event - 2014 ITU World Triathlon London