Triathlon is set to take over this week with two ITU World Triathlon Series races taking place, both of which offer free live spectating opportunities and will feature live on the BBC.
Thursday is the turn of Nottingham to host the Accenture World Triathlon Mixed Relay followed by Sunday’s individual races at the AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds, featuring many of the best triathletes in the world.
This Thursday 7 June, the world’s leading triathlon nations take to the River Trent to start the first Mixed Relay in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification window. Great Britain has a very strong team, featuring two Olympic medal winners, Jonathan Brownlee and Vicky Holland along with former ITU world champion Non Stanford and ITU World Triathlon Series podium finisher, Tom Bishop.
The start list features 19 teams, including all of the strongest triathlon nations in the world. As well as national pride, there are ranking points on offer towards Olympic qualification as Mixed Relay makes its debut in Tokyo.
The Mixed relay is set to start at 6:36pm and the action will unfold rapidly with the whole event taking not much more than a very action-packed hour. Grandstand tickets are still available.
Athletes then move to on to Leeds for the AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds on Sunday. Both defending champions, Alistair Brownlee and Flora Duffy have withdrawn though injury, so new champions will be crowned, and Jonathan Brownlee hopes that he may be in with a chance.
He commented: “They’re two very big events coming up and I’m looking forward to both of them. Obviously, the mixed team relays are exciting, it’s the start of the Olympic qualification for Tokyo and we want to try win that one.”
He added: “And then in Leeds, it’s super important for me, it’s my home town event and I can’t wait to race there again. I would like to think I’ve got in reasonable enough shape to be competitive and hopefully I can go there and race tactically well and try and win.”
Britain’s women have demonstrated fine form this season with Non Stanford and Vicky Holland both having made Series podiums this season already, and Jess Learmonth having finished second to Duffy at the Commonwealth Games. Without Duffy, the dynamic may change this year, and with home advantage and having raced on this course twice previously, there is every opportunity for Britain’s leading women to shine.
Learmonth said: “I think we all know Leeds is a tough, technical course and I hope that rewards the crowds with an exciting race as the support here on home-soil has always been incredible and gives us a lift throughout.”
Andy Salmon, Chief Executive of British Triathlon added: “The start lists for the Accenture World Triathlon Mixed Relay Nottingham and the AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds are some of the most exciting we have seen here in the UK since London 2012. It’s going to be a fantastic platform for our sport and I hope we can inspire even more people to take up triathlon after watching the achievements of both amateur and elite participants alike.”
Accenture World Triathlon Mixed Relay Nottingham; Thursday 7 June 18:36
AJ Bell World Triathlon; Sunday 10 June; Women’s Race 13.06, Men’s race 15:51; 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run:
Julian Skan, Accenture Senior Managing Director:
“With only three days to go until the Accenture World Triathlon Mixed Relay Nottingham, we couldn’t be more excited to see this event, which we have supported since its inception, truly come to life on Thursday 7 June.
“We wish all teams, whether it be their first triathlon experience or they’re going for gold against the world’s top triathlon squads, the very best of luck”
Cllr Dave Trimble, Nottingham City Council Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture:
“The stage is set – we’ve got a world class field, our British team of heroes to cheer on. The course is looking amazing and we’ll have a full grandstand of supporters cheering them on. All we need now is the rest of the city to come out and line the course to cheers the teams home. Look forward to seeing you all on the Victoria Embankment”
Billy Mackay, Marketing Director, AJ Bell:
“The AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds is understandably viewed as one of the must do triathlons in the UK, giving thousands of amateur age groupers the opportunity to race the same course as some of the world’s greatest elite triathletes in a city that has become synonymous with the sport. It is a great opportunity to test yourself and also watch the world’s best do battle over a fantastic weekend of racing.”
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake:
“We have been absolutely delighted with the reception to the two previous World Triathlon series events we’ve hosted in Leeds, which have attracted fantastic crowds and created unforgettable atmospheres for the athletes.
“We simply cannot wait for this weekend’s AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds to begin, and to see triathletes of all abilities and ages experience the magic and excitement of the sport in our city. All those taking part or spectating can be guaranteed of a very warm welcome in Leeds, this really is a spectacle not to be missed.”
Wayne Coyle, Event Director of the AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds 2018:
“I am delighted to welcome thousands of amateur triathletes and of course the world’s best to Leeds this weekend. The scene is set for one of our most exciting races in Leeds so far and I would urge the whole city to join us either in Roundhay Park or Leeds city centre to celebrate one of the UK’s biggest sporting events of the year.”