Edmonton is set to play WTS host for a record fifth time this week when athletes from around the globe arrive in the bustling Canadian prairie city for a chance to test their mettle. For the first time Edmonton will feature elite racing in the early evening, promising a showcase that will delight spectators on the sprint distance course which backdrops on the stunning river valley in Edmonton. The two days of racing begins with Paratriathlon, the elite women and men and finishes with Mixed Relay on Saturday. For the first time ever, Edmonton will host a Party in the Park around the elite races.
“In an effort to shake things up and add a new dynamic to the events, we thought we would try a small experiment around building a party in the park concept to step up the sport presentation aspect of the races to bring more spectator excitement and engagement,” says Stephen Bourdeau, General Manager of WTS Edmonton. With plenty of racing ahead, spectators are sure to delight in the experience.
Variety of past podium winners and current top ranked athletes descend on Edmonton looking for points with only three races remaining in the series. The man to watch will be Spaniard Mario Mola, hot off a win in WTS Hamburg that featured a blazing fast run time. He knows that he will still be the leader after this race no matter what happens this Friday, but he is eager to add another victory to his tally.
Fellow Hamburg podium athletes Vincent Luis (FRA) and Richard Murray (RSA) will be looking for top end speed on the short course. Murray has historically performed well in Edmonton, including a third place birth in 2016 and a big win in difficult conditions in 2015.
With calm waters in William Hawrelak Park, we will expect a smooth swim and a quick transition onto the bike. Super cyclist Norwegian Kristian Blummenfelt will look to hammer the pace on the lapped course and we expect to see Great Britain’s Jonathan Brownlee to match the pace. Brownlee will hope to better his fourth place finish a few weeks ago in Hamburg.
Norwegian Casper Stornes and Aussie Jake Birtwhistle will be two others to watch, as Casper strives for a repeat performance of his stunning win in Bermuda and Birtwhistle looks to improve on a couple of runner-up performances including last year in Edmonton as well as in Yokohama earlier this year.
Hoping for a boost from the host country crowd will be a trio of Canadians: Tyler Mislawchuk, Taylor Forbes and Matthew Sharpe. Mislawchuk is in the middle of a break out season with a top ten series ranking and a number of strong performances on the world stage. He will look to capture his first WTS podium on hometown soil.
The women will get the 2018 ITU World Triathlon Edmonton underway at 17:36 local time on Friday, July 27. The men will follow shortly thereafter at 19:21 MST Follow all of the action live at triathlonlive.tv and on twitter @triathlonlive. Join the conversation with the hashtag #WTSEdmonton