Luis in pole position but title race wide open heading to Grand Final

Friday 30 August 2019

The Swiss Olympic City of Lausanne will play host to the 2019 Grand Final this week, with Saturday afternoon’s action in and around Lake Geneva set to decide who will be crowned the 2019 World Champion.

As befits the occasion, the Olympic-distance course will be a huge test for the athletes. The 1.5km lake swim is straightforward enough, but two sharp climbs in the middle of a bike course that only flattens out into and out of the waterfront transition are sure to take their toll over seven laps, before the 10km run passes the grandstands three times, finally settling the 2019 championship race at the end of lap four.

Of course, you can watch all the weekend’s racing from Switzerland - including Paratriathlon, Junior and U23 World Championships and the Junior/U23 Mixed Relay - on TriathlonLIVE.tv. With interactive camera selection and Spanish commentary for the first time, you can grab a pass for just $2 using the code World_Champs19.

Men’s preview
Over the seven races so far in 2019, the Elite men have delivered a WTS season for the ages, the honours and medals shared among a deep pool of talent with no fewer than 15 athletes taking up a place on the World Series podiums leading into the Grand Final. It is therefore no surprise that even with Vincent Luis leading the rankings by almost 500 points heading to Lausanne, the Frenchman remains just one of six on the start line who could, mathematically at least, go home as World Champion.

It has been Luis’ enviable consistency that has got him to this point. Starting the year with fifth place in Abu Dhabi and fourth in Bermuda may not have been the glittering start he would have wanted, but it proved a platform to gold in Yokohama, with victory coming at the end of a thrilling showdown with Henri Schoeman (RSA) and Bence Bicsak (HUN). Sixth place in Leeds was followed by silver in Hamburg and another fifth place in Edmonton, amassing valuable points at every stop.

The fact that Luis has won gold in the previous two Grand Finals will add further fuel to his fire, but he will be taking nothing for granted in a year that has been full of surprises, breakout stars and dramatic moments. Luis’ nearest challenger for the title is the indefatigable Mario Mola, who got his season off to a familiar start with gold in Abu Dhabi, a race that was perhaps more remarkable for the silver-medal performance of Alex Yee, the young Brit daring to challenge the three-time World Champion on his WTS debut.

Mola’s dominance was brought to a swift end in Bermuda, however. With Javier Gomez Noya stepping back onto the WTS start line for the first time since the Rotterdam Grand Final of 2017, it was Spain’s other legend who almost wrote the script for his return to the triathlon front line, only for another Frenchman, Dorian Coninx, to edge the sprint finish and seize his first WTS gold.If Luis finishes lower than fifth place in Lausanne, then a Mola victory would mean a fourth straight World title for the man who has bounced back from an early-season lull to score crucial silvers in Montreal and Edmonton. For Gomez to take the honours, Luis would have to finish eighth or lower and Mola third.

The remaining challengers Fernando Alarza (ESP), Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS) and Marten van Riel (BEL) are all in with a theoretical, if unlikely, shot at the title. Alarza may have only made the podium once in 2019, but six top-10 finishes tell the story of another excellent season for the 28-year-old. In stark contrast, Jake Birtwhistle has finished inside the top 10 just three times, but two of those - WTS Leeds and WTS Hamburg - were superb gold medals. Van Riel’s podium in Edmonton keeps him in the hunt by the finest of margins.

This being the Grand Final, the field is full of athletes with huge podium potential eager to wrap up their seasons with a bang if not the big prize. Belgium’s Jelle Geens’ debut World Series win in Montreal underlined his credentials while Jonathan Brownlee‘s win in Edmonton heralded the return to form of the 2012 World Champion.

Few would bet against Henri Schoeman (RSA) being the fastest out of the water and he will feel another big result is overdue, France’s Leo Bergere would love to punch through and secure a podium finish after narrowly missing out in Abu Dhabi and Hamburg.

Hayden Wilde (NZL) and Tyler Mislawchuk (CAN) both enjoyed memorable campaigns even before their superb displays at the Tokyo Test Event, and will arrive in Lausanne confident of being right in contention in the final stages. Norway’s Casper Stornes was back to his best on the Olympic course too, and along with compatriots Kristian Blummenfelt and Gustav Iden will be hungry for medals to round off their seasons.

by Doug Gray ITU Triathlon (Photo: Delly Carr/ITU Media)


Coming Triathlon Events View all

    Visit website Google Map Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Watch us on YouTube

15

Sep

2019

The Goliath

Syracuse, UT, United States

Website Google Map YouTube

21

Sep

2019

Redman

Oklahoma City, United States

Website Google Map

21

Sep

2019

BearMan Xtreme

Amélie-Les-Bains, France

Website Google Map YouTube

22

Sep

2019

Challenge Madrid

Madrid, Spain

Website Google Map

28

Sep

2019

Hispaman

Peniscola, Spain

Website Google Map

29

Sep

2019

Elbaman

Elba Island, Italy

Website Google Map YouTube

29

Sep

2019

Manx Xtreme Triathlon

Isle of Man, United Kingdom

Website Google Map

05

Oct

2019

Blacklake Xtreme

Zabljak, Montenegro

Website Google Map YouTube

12

Oct

2019

IronStar 226

Sochi, Russian Federation

Website Google Map YouTube

12

Oct

2019

Spirit of 78

Freixo, Porto, Portugal

Website Google Map YouTube
    Visit website Google Map Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Watch us on YouTube

15

Sep

2019

Ironman Wales

Tenby, Wales, United Kingdom

Website Google Map YouTube

21

Sep

2019

Ironman Italy

Carvia, Italy

Website Google Map YouTube

22

Sep

2019

Ironman Gurye Korea

Gurye, Korea, Republic of

Website Google Map

28

Sep

2019

Ironman Maryland

Cambridge, Maryland, United States

Website Google Map

29

Sep

2019

Ironman Chattanooga

Chattanooga, TN, United States

Website Google Map

29

Sep

2019

Ironman Taiwan

Penghu, Taiwan, China

Website Google Map YouTube

06

Oct

2019

Ironman Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain

Website Google Map YouTube

12

Oct

2019

Ironman World Championships

Kona, Hawaii, United States

Website Google Map YouTube

13

Oct

2019

Ironman Louisville

Louisville, United States

Website Google Map

26

Oct

2019

Ironman Malaysia

Langkawi, Malaysia

Website Google Map YouTube
    Visit website Google Map Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Watch us on YouTube

15

Sep

2019

TOUGHMAN New York

Harriman State Park, Stony Point, NY., United States

Website Google Map YouTube

15

Sep

2019

Challenge Davos

Davos, Switzerland

Website Google Map

15

Sep

2019

Savageman

Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, United States

Website Google Map YouTube

15

Sep

2019

Harvest Moon Tri

Boulder, CO, United States

Website Google Map

15

Sep

2019

Cultus Lake Tri

Cultus Lake, BC, Canada

Website Google Map

15

Sep

2019

Legends Ad Astra

Clinton Lake, Lawrence, KS, United States

Website Google Map

21

Sep

2019

Triathlon Long Island

Long Island, Croatia

Website Google Map YouTube

22

Sep

2019

Barrelman

Niagara Falls, Canada

Website Google Map YouTube

22

Sep

2019

InfiniTri

Almassora, Spain

Website Google Map YouTube

22

Sep

2019

Outlaw X

Thoresby Park, United Kingdom

Website Google Map YouTube
    Visit website Google Map Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Watch us on YouTube

15

Sep

2019

70.3 Superfrog

Coronado, CA, United States

Website Google Map

15

Sep

2019

70.3 Atlantic City

Atlantic City, NJ, United States

Website Google Map

15

Sep

2019

70.3 Xi an

Shaanxi Province, China

Website Google Map

22

Sep

2019

70.3 Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Website Google Map

22

Sep

2019

70.3 Weymouth

Weymouth, United Kingdom

Website Google Map YouTube

22

Sep

2019

70.3 Slovenia

Koper, Slovenia

Website Google Map YouTube

22

Sep

2019

70.3 Italy Emilia Romagna

Cervia, Italy

Website Google Map YouTube

29

Sep

2019

70.3 Augusta

Augusta, Georgia, United States

Website Google Map

29

Sep

2019

70.3 Cozumel

Cozumel, Mexico

Website Google Map YouTube

29

Sep

2019

70.3 Portugal

Cascais, Portugal

Website Google Map YouTube

Triathlon News & Media Blogs View all

Yvonne van Vlerken calls full time at CHALLENGE Almere-Amsterdam

Yvonne van Vlerken calls full time at CHALLENGE Almere-Amsterdam

Friday 13 Sep 2019 [Triathlon News]

It’s special and above all very cool news: none other than Yvonne van Vlerken will be at the start of CHALLENGE ALMERE-AMSTERDAM this year. It’s special because at the end of last year Van Vlerken announced that she would not be doing any Long Distances this year, because she needed a break and some rest until next year, when the World Championships Long Distance will be held in Almere. It’s amazing news because Van Vlerken more

Lucy Gossage Gives IRONMAN Wales Another Go

Lucy Gossage Gives IRONMAN Wales Another Go

Friday 13 Sep 2019 [Triathlon News]

IRONMAN Wales begins on Tenby's North Beach, which provides one of the most spectacular swim locations on the race circuit. Despite challenging bike and run courses, athletes are treated to consistent and motivating inspiration from some of the most vocal and enthusiastic spectators in endurance sports. more

Who will be the new Champion at CHALLENGE Davos

Who will be the new Champion at CHALLENGE Davos

Friday 13 Sep 2019 [Triathlon News]

Davos will host the CHALLENGE DAVOS Festival for the third consecutive year. During the course of three days, athletes will have the possibility to participate in various endurance events. The highlight of the multi-sport event marks the Saturday, where three different triathlon formats cater to all levels of athletes, putting the Flu¨ela into focus. The main event is the middle-distance triathlon more

Pete Jacobs headlines 70.3 Xi’an China

Pete Jacobs headlines 70.3 Xi’an China

Friday 13 Sep 2019 [Triathlon News]

2019 IRONMAN 70.3 Xi’an will be held in Chanba Ecological District (CBE) of Xi'an City. Located in the eastern part of the urban area of Xi'an, the ecological area of Chanba has a planned total area of 129 square kilometers, which is named after the famous Chanshui and Bashui water system of Chang'an Bashui. more

Norwegian Gustav Iden races to first 70.3 World Championship

Norwegian Gustav Iden races to first 70.3 World Championship

Sunday 08 Sep 2019 [Triathlon News]

An epic battle unfolded on the second day of the 2019 IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship as a field of the world’s top male professional triathletes took on a tough and technical course in Nice, France today. With a bike course that included multiple passes and exciting head-to-head racing more

Challenge Almere 2019 – Analyzing Results

Saturday 14 Sep 2019 Thorsten
Course Conditions This year’s race in Almere saw very good conditions: It was sunny, nice temperatures and almost no wind. The adjustment of 24:07 indicates that the race conditions were about three minutes faster than last years race. The course rating for Almere is now 16:48. This year saw a couple of new course records. […]

Ask Chris: What Are the Best Triathlon Swim Goggles?

Friday 13 Sep 2019 Chris Foster

Goggles are goggles, right? Nope. Our guide on what to look for in the best pair of triathlon swim goggles for you.

Read the full article at Ask Chris: What Are the Best Triathlon Swim Goggles? on Triathlete.

Long Runs and A Touchy Gut: The UCAN Tri Challenge

Friday 13 Sep 2019

Age-group triathlete Katie Godec takes the UCAN Challenge to see if she can improve her fueling as part of her ultramarathon training.

Read the full article at Long Runs and A Touchy Gut: The UCAN Tri Challenge on Triathlete.

Quick Set: Nothing Over 150

Friday 13 Sep 2019 Sara McLarty

A unique workout from Triathlete contributor and coach Sara McLarty to take to the pool this weekend.

Read the full article at Quick Set: Nothing Over 150 on Triathlete.

Twitter


Facebook


YouTube


Sign up for FREE NEWSLETTER:

We will never share your email address or spam you.