With such a tight turnaround, and a long haul flight separating Hamburg and Edmonton WTS for many of the athletes racing, this weekend will likely produce some unexpected results. Throw in the relay event on Sunday, and recovery will be the crucial thing for those looking to double up. Edmonton is the sixth round of the World Triathlon Series, and it is now even more important for athletes to secure some good points to consolidate their overall series ranking for 2018.
The weather conditions have played a part in the past, and with temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius, it's likely to take its toll in a different way to previous cold conditions!
So far 2017 series champion Mario Mola (ESP) has looked infallible, even with a large deficit to some of the best runners in the sport at Hamburg WTS Mola was able to claw back the gap and ease away. It seems in recent races the chase pack has been even more determined to bring back the break, benefiting the likes of Mola, Richard Murray (RSA) and Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS).
We see a very similar line up of athletes this weekend as in Hamburg, but the results could easily be very different. HUUB have a number of athletes racing, Jonny Brownlee (GBR) will be looking to build on a solid 4th place two weekends ago, and Tom Bishop (GBR) will be hoping Edmonton again provides good fortunes after his first ever top 5 WTS finish in 2016. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) will be hoping to return to the podium. Also racing is Marco Van Der Stel (NED), Matt Wright (BAR) and Dan Hoy (NZL).
The women's races have been a lot more open, Flora Duffy (BER) has been unable to reproduce the domineering form of her record-breaking 2017 season and will again be sitting out a round of the WTS because of injury. It seemed at first that breakaways would yet again define 2018, and at times it has been the case, such as at the Commonwealth Games. However, there have been first-time winners and returns to the podium from past stars. This weekend really could go either way! HUUB’s Jessica Learmonth (GBR) and Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) will both be aiming at the podium and possibly even the top step, but there will be challenges from yet another competitive field.
Edmonton WTS also hosts the next leg of the WTS Relays, and again many nations will be focusing on this event to move themselves up the rankings to gain valuable Olympic qualification points. At the moment it seems the in-form nations are France, Australia, Great Britain and the United States.