Brits in hunt for points ahead of Championship Finals

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Three months after the last race in Hamburg, the World Triathlon Championship Series continues this weekend as the world’s best triathletes race in Cagliari, kickstarting the final two races of the series ahead of the Championship Finals in Abu Dhabi at the end of November.

Already this year, there have been four British race wins and 10 individual medals won by British triathletes at WTCS level, with a number of British athletes putting themselves into strong positions heading into the final part of the season.

Georgia Taylor-Brown currently leads the women’s Maurice Lacroix World Triathlon Championship Rankings after wins in Yokohama and Montreal and two second-place finishes including at her home race in Leeds.

The Olympic gold and silver medallist will wear the number one in Italy when WTCS returns this weekend with the seventh event in the series, but fifth in the calendar year, after two races were held towards the end of 2021.

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Beth Potter also currently occupies a podium place in the overall standings in third and, with Olympic champion Flora Duffy (BER), currently ranked second, not on the Cagliari start list, it will be Potter who will wear race number two.

Potter’s rise into the podium places comes off the back of back-to-back medal finishes with her silver medal in Hamburg following her bronze, and first WTCS medal, in Montreal in June.

Sophie Coldwell and Sian Rainsley make it four athletes in the overall top-10, showing the strength in depth within Great Britain.

Coldwell, who was part of Team England’s gold medal winning mixed relay team in Birmingham, is currently ranked eighth after results which include two bronze medals – one of which came at AJ Bell 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds. Rainsley is 10th after two top-10 finishes so far in 2022 but will not be racing in Cagliari.

Taylor-Brown, Potter and Coldwell will all be on the elite women’s start line this weekend, as will Kate Waugh, who had her first top-10 WTCS finish in the first race that counted towards the 2022 series in Hamburg last September.

In the battle for top spot and the men’s world title, it’s Alex Yee who is the top ranked British athlete, currently placed 10th overall. The Olympic gold and silver medallist has two WTCS wins this year after claiming victories in both Yokohama and Montreal, which came in between the misfortunate in Leeds where his race was ended early after being caught-up in a bike crash.

Three-time Olympic medallist Jonny Brownlee was also involved in the Leeds crash and the 2012 world champion will be back on the start line in Cagliari in only his second World Triathlon Championship Series start of 2022.

With top-ranked Hayden Wilde (NZL) not competing in Italy, Leo Bergere (FRA) is the highest-placed athlete on the start list, currently second overall.

The event in Cagliari will start with a rare beach start into the 1.5km swim before athletes will transition to the 10-lap 40km bike and then onto the 10km run to the finish. The Italian race is the first standard distance WTCS race to be held within the qualification period for Paris 2024.

Speaking ahead of Cagliari, British Triathlon Performance Director Mike Cavendish said: “We’re looking forward to getting back into World Triathlon Championship Series racing again especially as there’s still plenty to race for ahead of the Grand Final in Abu Dhabi at the end of the year.

“There have definitely been highs and lows so far this year, but it’s been really pleasing to see how our athletes have responded to those setbacks. We’ve already had some fantastic performances in 2022 and I’m sure we’ll see more to come in the coming weeks.

“We head to Cagliari with a number of athletes placed highly in the series rankings and our focus now is on supporting athletes to finish as high in the final standings as they can, and to support those who are just dipping their toes at WTCS level.”

Both the women’s and men’s races are taking place on Saturday (8 October) with the women’s start time at 09:30 (UK Time) and the men’s following at 13:45.

There will be live coverage on BBC Red Button, BBC iPlayer and triathlonlive.tv.

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