The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has confirmed 11-12 June 2016 as the dates for the world’s best triathletes to take on Yorkshire’s and Britain’s finest, including Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, at the ITU World Triathlon Series Leeds.
Featuring as one of eight confirmed races in the prestigious ITU World Triathlon Series, Leeds will feature on BBC television, and be broadcast to a global audience.
The June date sets things up for ITU World Triathlon Leeds to be the final opportunity to see Team GB triathletes swim, bike and run on home soil before they compete in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
As the baton is passed from London to Leeds, Alistair Brownlee celebrated another memorable win at the Vitality World Triathlon London on 31 May before looking ahead to the ITU World Triathlon Series being hosted in Leeds next summer.
Hyde Park has hosted a major triathlon every year since 2009. This year’s event on 30-31 May featured as part of UK Sport's National Lottery funded #EveryRoadtoRio events series, attracting 5000 amateur athletes and the elite competitors battling to win the 2015 ITU world titles. The London event attracted 1.2 million viewers for the live BBC broadcast.
Alistair said: “Triathlon has come from a sport that hardly anyone knew about, to in 2016 there being a World Series race in my home city of Leeds.
“In Leeds the entire city is going to be behind the triathlon. It’s going to be the major event of the summer, and I think the whole city will get behind it. Hopefully hundreds of thousands of people are going to come out to support the sport.”
Jonathan Brownlee added: “Having a World Series race right here at home is amazing, and it’s just a year away. This will be a really big part of our Olympic build up, and what a send off it will be to be cheered along by thousands of home fans before we go.”
As well as cheering, the general public will have the opportunity to take part in the event through competing and volunteering. A range of competition opportunities are planned for all levels, from beginner to amateur world champions.
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said: "As could be seen from watching the coverage of the races in London recently, there is already a real excitement about the World Triathlon Series coming to Leeds next year so we cannot wait for June 2016 to come around.
“As our leading Leeds-based triathletes Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, Non Stanford and Vicky Holland have all said, there is a huge appetite for watching world-class sport in our city and the Yorkshire region, and like the Tour de France this event will be something everyone can get involved with, watch and support.
"Lots of ideas are already coming in for the supporting cultural programme, while the chance to volunteer or take part in the mass-participation races mean there will be something for everyone, so this is shaping up to be another fantastic event to showcase our city and region to the watching world."
Amateur triathletes will have the opportunity to compete on the same course as the elite competitors in mass-participation races, and the event will be supported by a range of cultural activities in the build-up. Roundhay Park will also host novice GO TRI events aimed at encouraging new triathletes to take up the sport. Prospective competitors, spectators and volunteers are invited to register their interest via http://www.britishtriathlon.org/leeds.
The full schedule for the 2016 ITU World Triathlon Series is as follows, one additional event may be added and confirmed by ITU:
Abu Dhabi, UAE – March 4-5
Gold Coast, Australia – April, weekend dates TBC
Yokohama, Japan – May 14-15
Leeds, England – June 11-12
Stockholm, Sweden – July 2-3
Hamburg, Germany – July 16-17
Edmonton, Canada – TBC
Cozumel, Mexico – September 11-18