The always impressive Javier Gomez Noya (ESP) is the man to beat in Stockholm, as are compatriots Mario Mola (ESP) and Fernando Alarza (ESP), the three of whom top the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings.
After an uncharacteristic ever so slight slow start to the year due to a sore quad, Gomez quickly recovered and was back to firing on all cylinders the rest of the season. Now down to three races to go, Gomez could become the first athlete ever to win five ITU World Championship titles – that is if his teammates don’t interrupt the historic feat.
Mola is just 331 points behind Gomez with four podium finishes to his name this season. A win would put Mola at the top of the leaderboard if Gomez doesn’t finish in the top two this weekend. Of course, stopping the reigning World Champion isn’t so easy to do but considering Stockholm is the rare WTS race Gomez has never won, history could go Mola’s way.
Aaron Royle (AUS) lines up looking more and more a threat to the podium after an impressive race in Rio that saw him secure his berth to Rio 2016. He’ll have Aussie company in Ryan Bailie, who sailed to a career-WTS high fourth-place finish in London and earned himself a reputation as a tough athlete after continuing to flourish in Rio despite having flipped over the course barrier on his bike.
While Vincent Luis is off the start list in Stockholm, France is emerging as the latest nation to rival the Brits and Spaniards. There will be no shortage of French talent in Stockholm come Sunday in Anthony Pujades, Aurelien Raphael and Simon Viain. All three men will likely emerge from the wetsuit-required water out front, along with the Russian team and South African Henri Schoeman. Their challenge, of course, will be holding off speedy runners such as Mola, Joao Pereira and Joao Silva.
Men’s start list
The men’s race will be contested at 15:36pm local time on Saturday, August 23.
Follow the races with live timing at triathlon.org and on twitter @triathlonlive.
tagsalistair brownlee javier gomez mario mola aaron royle ryan bailie world triathlon series stockholm