The World Triathlon Series returns to Canadian soil this week with athletes heading to Edmonton for the first of two stops in the Great White North. Edmonton will proudly host the World Triathlon Series again this year as well as in 2019 in advance of the 2020 Grand Final. Located in the heart of Edmonton’s stunning William Hawrelak Park on the edge of the famous River Valley, this sprint distance race promises loads of excitement in a stacked field.
This year WTS Edmonton will feature racing in the early evening, drawing spectators down to the park to see the action packed short course races. Paratriathlon, Elite Men and Elite Women race on Friday and Mixed Relay goes off Saturday, promising a busy and exciting weekend on the triathlon calendar.
The elite women lining up to race includes plenty of past WTS Edmonton podium winners including number one ranked Katie Zaferes (USA), who is holding steady in the top spot after a recent third place finish in WTS Hamburg. Zaferes has twice finished in third place in Edmonton, earning bronze medals in 2016 and 2017.
Behind her in the rankings are contenders Rachel Klamer (NED) and Vicky Holland (GBR) who will be looking to earn valuable points towards that golden number one slot. Holland was victorious in Edmonton in 2015.
Having been on the WTS circuit for many seasons means plenty of past WTS Edmonton podium winners are in the line-up on Friday. Americans Taylor Knibb and Summer Cook will toe the line eager to have repeat podium performances. Two other women sporting the stars and stripes are Kirsten Kasper and Taylor Spivey, both sitting in the top ten and looking for solid showings. Kiwi Andrea Hewitt will hope to better her second place performance in the 2014 WTS Edmonton race that was also the Grand Final that year.
Canadian women who will be wearing red and white looking for hometown advantage are Joanna Brown and Amelie Kretz, who will be seeking the energy and support of the local spectators to help propel them to victory. Brown opened the season with a third place finish at the Commonwealth Games, and has been a regular in WTS racing.
Japan’s Yuko Takahashi and Yuka Sato are two to watch after a season of consistent performances. Great Britain’s Jessica Learmonth is sitting in the tenth spot and continues to be one to watch in the strong team which includes Holland, Jodie Stimpson, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Non Stanford who will also be on the sandy start line this Friday.
The women will get underway in the 2018 WTS Edmonton Triathlon Friday at 17:36 local time, and the men will follow at 19:21. Follow all of the action live at triathlonlive.tv and on twitter @triathlonlive. Join the conversation with the hashtag #WTSEdmonton