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Hamburg has hosted some brilliant races in the 12 years it has been part of ITU racing and 2013 is set to showcase more stellar showdowns, with the fight for the overall ITU World Championship heating up. In the men’s race, it might finally be the first time in a year that the sports three heavyweights, Alistair Brownlee, Jonathan Brownlee and Javier Gomez, line up against each other. In the elite women’s race, the four currently vying for that title will all toe the start line. This year the world’s biggest triathlon has the added excitement of hosting the 2013 ITU Mixed Relay World Championships, the dynamic super sprint team event.
It’s been on the cards at two previous races this year before late withdrawals have meant the battle between the three London 2012 Olympic medalists hasn’t eventuated. But Brownlee, Brownlee and Gomez are back on the start list in the Hamburg sprint. Plus with just three races left in the World Triathlon season, each and every race is crucial for gathering ranking points in the overall ITU World Championship series.
Germany’s Anne Haug goes into this race as the leading ITU athlete this year, having amassed more points than anyone else, even Gomez. After a blistering start to the season in which she dominated the Mooloolaba World Cup and Auckland WTS, the only time she just slipped off the podium was in San Diego where she finished fourth. Sitting in the box seat to claim her first ITU World Championship, Haug will surely revel in the raucous Hamburg crowd.
However the other two women who are within striking distance of the lead might have something to say about that this weekend. The USA’s Gwen Jorgensen is sitting in second, and the quick and mostly flat course will suit her down to the ground while Great Britain’s Jodie Stimpson has showed she is one of the most versatile athletes on the tour, with podium places on courses that range from technical and flat, to ones that require tough biking skills. She showed them off to exemplary fashion in Kitzbuehel just two weeks ago, breaking away solo to win her first career WTS title and will no doubt be on a confidence high this week.
ITU Mixed Relay World Championships
The dynamic, thrilling mixed relay format continues to grow in 2013 with teams from 20 National Federations on the start list in Hamburg. Each team is made up of two female athletes and two male, and each must complete a super-sprint triathlon before tagging their teammate to start the next leg. In Hamburg, the course will consist of a 300m swim, 6.6km bike and a 1.6km run. Click here for more course details. So far this event has been dominated by two teams, Great Britain and Switzerland.
The Swiss team took the first two titles in 2009 and 2010, but since then Great Britain have taken over the mantle. After Great Britain winning with the dream team in Lausanne in 2011, Brownlee, Helen Jenkins, Brownlee and Stimpson, they managed to pull off a come from behind stunning win in Stockholm last year courtesy of Non Stanford, Will Clarke, Vicky Holland and Jonathan Brownlee.
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