Start Lists Reveal Stunning Quality For Auckland World Tri Series

03/03/2015 by Steve Knowles

The Barfoot & Thompson World Triathlon Auckland in late March has attracted star-studded fields, with the best triathletes in the world inking their names on the start list for the March 29 race on the Auckland waterfront.

The elite men’s race features the top five ranked athletes in the world, with (in ranking order) Javier Gomez (ESP), Mario Mola (ESP), Jonathan Brownlee (GBR), Alistair Brownlee (GBR), Joao Pereira (POR) all on the start list, as are top ten athletes Richard Murray (SAF) and Aaron Royle (AUS).

Alistair and Jonny Brownlee compete on the WTS in Stockholm in 2014,

credit: ITU.

The elite women’s race features the return of defending Auckland champion and number one ranked athlete in the world Gwen Jorgensen (USA), along with number two Sarah True (nee Groff – USA) and New Zealanders Andrea Hewitt (3rd) and Nicky Samuels (5th). They are joined by top ten ranked Emma Jackson (AUS), Aileen Reid (IRE) and Kirsten Sweetland (CAN).

Barfoot & Thompson World Triathlon Auckland CEO Dave Beeche says that yet again, New Zealand is going to be treated to some of the best racing seen on the planet in 2015.

“Barfoot & Thompson World Triathlon Auckland is established as one of the most popular events on the World Triathlon Series calendar for the top athletes. They love the challenging course with its repeat hills on each lap of the bike and the amazing atmosphere around the course thanks to a big and knowledgeable triathlon crowd.

“The fields this year promise to rival that of our Grand Final event in 2012, the racing will be amazing, the crowd can get very close to the action and of course we have age group, corporate, team and social events on the Saturday, allowing people to truly be a part of the event, whether in the standard distance event or the variety of shorter and team race options that we have on the programme.”

While still subject to fitness, the start list published by the ITU in recent days is highlighted by the appearance of both Brownlee brothers and both leading Spaniards in Gomez and Mola, setting up a fascinating clash between the top four athletes and the dominant nations in recent times.

The 2014 men’s podium will return in 2015, credit ITU

The Kiwis will be looking to get in amongst it as well, with Ryan Sissons (Auckland) and Tony Dodds (Wanaka) looking to start their 2015 campaigns strongly in front of their home support. Sissons enjoys the course and posted one of his best results in finishing 6th last season while Dodds enjoyed one of his better ITU World Triathlon Series results when finishing 7th on the same course in 2013, both will be looking to race well in familiar surroundings.

On the women’s side it will be Hewitt and Samuels leading the way for the Kiwis and they will be joined by recently crowned Oceania Sprint Triathlon Champion Sophie Corbidge (Auckland) and Simone Ackermann (Whangarei) from the Tri NZ HP squads, while Anneke Jenkins (Tauranga), Kate McIlroy (Wellington) and Rebecca Clarke (Auckland) have all earned starts and the chance to earn vital ranking points.

The Auckland event is the second on the ITU World Triathlon Series calendar, with the first race in Abu Dhabi this weekend kicking off the season.

For full elite start lists for the Barfoot & Thompson World Triathlon Auckland, CLICK HERE

The event also offers opportunities for age groupers, corporate teams and social triathletes to get in amongst the fun and take part on some of the same course that the elites will race over on the Sunday. The morning is set aside for races from sprint to standard (featuring the Sovereign Tri NZ National Standard Distance Championships), including team options and a 5km fun run and swim/run event as well, leaving no excuses for anyone not to be involved.

“From the national age group championships over the standard distance to the fun of a 5km run or jog, there is an event for everyone,” says Beeche. “With all the racing on the same day, it is perfect for social or serious age group competitors alike to come into town, take part in their own event at their own pace and then settle in with some lunch before watching the best in the world up close and personal.”

For a full schedule and race options for all age group, corporate and social triathletes, CLICK HERE