The 2018 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final on Australia’s Gold Coast marks the culmination of eight World Triathlon Series races across some of the biggest cities in the world.
With the grand final being worth double points and compulsory for an end of season world ranking, each year we see the very best in the world battle it out for the World Championship titles. We will also see World Champions crowned in the U23 and Junior categories, as well as Paratriathlon and Age Group, which all makes for an action-packed few days!
Up until the last two races the women’s series has been wide open with various athletes claiming victory throughout the year, however with back to back victories for Vicky Holland (GBR) in Edmonton and Montreal, she looks the in-form athlete at the moment. Despite three victories in 2018 to her name Holland still enters the grand final in second position in the series rankings due to the ever-consistent Katie Zaferes (USA) who has notched up five individual WTS podiums this year. Although mathematically others can still claim the world title, essentially whoever comes out on top this weekend between Zaferes and Holland will become 2018’s World Champion.
HUUB’s Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) and Jessica Learmonth (GBR) lie third and fourth in the series rankings showing how dominant the British women have been this year. Other HUUB athletes racing include Lotte Miller (NOR) and Sophie Coldwell (GBR) who will also be hoping to finish the year on a high after another successful season which saw her crowned European sprint champion.
Mario Mola has reigned supreme in 2018 claiming six WTS podiums with four wins, two second places, and his only non-podium finish in fourth place at Bermuda WTS where we saw a historic Norwegian clean sweep of the podium. Mola looks infallible and is practically untouchable for the world title with Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS), Vincent Luis (FRA) and Richard Murray (RSA) looking best of the rest.
HUUB’s Jonny Brownlee (GBR) and Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) have had some bad luck in 2018, and both will be eager to finish the season on a high. Brownlee can’t ever be written off especially with Alistair making his return to the WTS circuit since last claiming a 1-2 victory with Jonny back in 2017 at Leeds WTS. Their previous race was the 2016 grand final at Cozumel which saw a dramatic end with Alistair carrying his brother over the line.
Other HUUB athletes racing include Richard Varga (SVK), Caspar Stornes (NOR), Gustav Iden (NOR), Marco van der Stel (NED), Tom Bishop (GBR) and Commonwealth Champion Henri Schoeman (RSA). Bishop and Schoeman have had highs and lows in 2018 due to illness or crashes and will be keen to show what they are capable of. One thing is for sure, we will see some fireworks this Sunday!
As always HUUB is very well represented in the paratriathlon ranks. Longtime HUUB ambassadors and rivals Joe Townsend (GBR) and Jetze Plat (NED) will go head to head for the PTWC world title, the pair between them hold every single championship title. George Peasgood (GBR) goes in the PTS5 category, and 2018 has been a revolutionary year for the Loughborough based athlete who has claimed two WPTS victories and has also competed at the Para-cycling World Championships in Maniago, Italy earlier this year.