10 Things to Know About the Rotterdam Grand Final

1. A first for Rotterdam

This is the first time Rotterdam will host a WTS event. It hosted the Paratriathlon World Championships in 2016. More than 75,000 spectators are expected to witness the excitement and drama of age group and professional triathlon in Rotterdam in one of the best port cities in the world. The 2017 ITU World Triathlon Series has so far seen eight stops across eight cities, seven countries and four continents with elite action that has produced nail-biting finishes and record-breaking moments that have made the history books. This season has been one to remember and as it gets ready to come to a close, the elites will line up on the WTS start line one last time where world champions will be revealed.

Photo: Wagner Araujo/Triathlon.org

2. Flora Duffy needs to finish at least seventh to defend her title

It is only going to take a seventh place finish for Flora Duffy (BER) to become the ITU WTS World champion for a second year in a row. She enters the Grand Final in Rotterdam with a perfect tally of points with 4000, due to her five win she has collected throughout the year. The five wins that came from Yokohama, Leeds, Hamburg, Edmonton and Stockholm made for a historical season for Duffy as she became only the second woman in ITU history to win five races in a single season. She also collected some other records along the way from her dominating 2017 season, such as the longest winning margin for a WTS victory, which was 1:51 in Yokohama. While she may have missed the first two races of the season due to injury, Duffy returned and has conquered ever since, never missing the podium in every race she has contended in. She is easily the frontunner to take the world honor on Saturday, if all conditions can play in her favor.

Photo: Wagner Araujo/Triathlon.org

3. The 2017 world crown is Spaniard Mario Mola’s to lose

Mario Mola has dominated the WTS season this year by winning four straight races in a row (Gold Coast, Yokohama, Hamburg and Edmonton), so he is entering the Grand Final as the number one seed and the frontrunner with 3701 overall Series points. He needs to finish at least fifth place on Saturday in order to secure the title that would give him back-to-back world crowns. However, Mola has not had the most consistent of seasons this year. Although he has won four races, if he hasn’t been on top of the podium, then he has finished far from it. His best finish off the podium has been 7th place in Montreal, so knowing that he needs to finish at least fifth, he needs to be on top of his game come Saturday.

Photo: Delly Carr/Triathlon.org

4. Taylor Knibb is on a roll

Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.) stole the show at the ITU Junior World Championships on Friday, breaking away on the bike and never looking back to successfully defend her 2016 world title.

The 19-year-old has now reached the podium at three consecutive ITU Junior World Championships, as she earned silver in Chicago in 2015 along with her gold in Cozumel, Mexico, last year.

Photo: Janos Schmidt/Triathlon.org

5. Javier Gomez has a shot at another title

If the cards fall into his favor, Javier Gomez could win the race and the world title. If he does, he will earn his sixth ITU world title and ninth overall. His most recent came just last weekend in Chattanooga, Tenn. at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship.

Photo: Delly Carr/Triathlon.org

6. Since the Series changed in 2009, only four men have won the WTS World Championship

Mario Mola, Javier Gomez, Jonathan Brownlee and Alistair Brownlee. Mola, Gomez and Jonathan Brownlee are on the start list this year, with Alistair on the sidelines with a season-ending injury.

Photo: Delly Carr/Triathlon.org

7. Nicola Spirig is back

Spirig will be racing in her first race of the 2017 WTS season since the Rio 2016 Olympics. She welcomed a baby just a few months ago.

Photo: Delly Carr/Triathlon.org

8. Two Americans have a chance at the podium

Katie Zaferes leads the U.S. contingent at No. 4 on the women’s start list behind defending world champion Flora Duffy of Bermuda, Ashleigh Gentle of Australia and Andrea Hewitt of New Zealand. Kristen Kasper is No. 5 on the start list. Both Kasper and Zaferes have a chance to finish on the WTS overall podium with strong performances at the Grand Final. Visit Triathlon.org for a podium simulation tool.

Photo: Delly Carr/Triathlon.org

9. Both Spaniards Mario Mola and Javier Gomez will line up for their 56th career WTS race on Saturday

Photo: Delly Carr/Triathlon.org

10. You can watch it live!

The elite men will compete on Saturday at 12:50 p.m. Rotterdam time, which translates to 3:50 a.m. PDT/6:50 a.m. EDT. The women will follow at 3:35 p.m. local time (6:35 a.m. PDT/9:35 a.m. EDT). You can watch the action live at or on Twitter at @Triathlonlive.