Just a few hours before taking the start on 2017 ITU World Triathlon Stockholm, a couple of the elite athletes took the stage to share with the media, and with all the triathlon fans around the world, their thoughts about the race and the season. Even though American Kirsten Kasper was not able to join at the last minute, let’s hear what Norwegian Kristian Blummenfelt and Swedish Gabriel Sandör said about the fantastic Stockholm course.
On how does it feel to race so close to tour home nation: “I’m not from Sweden, but Stockholm is quite close, so I almost feel at home. This is the closest I can get to race at home in a big race, and there’s always tons of people cheering and that’s always great”.
On goals for this race, after getting a third and a second place on WTS races this year: “I would love to win here. Montreal was a bit disappointing for me, I think I saved a bit more energy than what I should have on the run instead of taking more risks, and that’s the reason why I didn’t win. I was too scared of blowing u and not finishing on the podium. So I’m really looking forward to not saving anything here”.
On the hard and hilly course: “I like this course. I reckon that it’s a tough course, but it’s tough for all of us. It’s not so easy to get back and relax, you have to push hard and climb the hill anyway”.
On your favourites for this race: “I think definitely Jonny (Brownlee) is the one to beat here. I will be extra motivated after his two fourth places in the last two races, and I’m sure he will be trying to break away, similar than what he did in Montreal, and then I guess he will be even stronger on the run. So he is my favourite for this one. And on the women’s side, Flora. No doubt about it”.
On how it is like to be racing at home: “It adds a little bit of pressure, but I like it. It’s good to have crowds supporting”.
On goals for this race. “My goal is to get over the top 30. I need a very good swim to be able to get out of the water on the first pack, and then ride hard and have a very good run”.
On goals for the future: “Obviously, the Olympics in Tokyo. And for the season, get better results than last year”.
On your favourites for this race: “I think Kristian is one of the main favourites for this race, he is in a great shape. As for the women, I see Flora as the clear favourite, but Andrea (Hewitt) is very strong as well”.