By Erin Greene on 09/07/14 at 9:01 am
While the men’s races have historically been a three-man show with Javier Gomez Noya (ESP and the Brownlee brothers consistently dominating the podium, that story hasn’t played out to expectation so far this year. But all of the big players will meet in Hamburg for a mighty quick splash and dash sprint race that promises to be a nail-biter.
So you think you can sprint
With half the distance to work with, there’s half as many opportunities to drop the competition and no room for errors. As we saw in London, you’ve got to be firing on all cylinders at all times if you want a chance to medal. Mario Mola (ESP), Richard Murray (RSA) and Joao Pereira (POR) used what fast twitch fibers they posses to push the pace ahead of the usual podium toppers. And while their records in sprint distances speak for themselves, their results in Olympic distance races are gaining attention, as well.
But don’t count the likes of Gomez, Alistair Brownlee (GBR) and Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) out. It was in this race last year that all three of those men reigned supreme yet again, with Jonathan flying past his own brother in the final meters for the win.
It’s no shocker that Gomez is the most successful man in this race that’s on the start list, having won the World Triathlon Hamburg once and podiumed another three times. Of those lining up on Saturday, only Jonathan and Murray have also earned the accolade as the fastest man in Hamburg, with Jonny winning last year and Murray taking the top honour in 2012.
This stop on the Series is one of the few that Alistair hasn’t scored a win in, making Saturday’s race a dangerous one. Taking into account that amongst the men slated to compete this weekend only Steffen Justus (GER) and Alexander Bryukhankov (RUS) has made it into the top three here in Hamburg, the odds aren’t looking in everyone else’s favor.
Hungry for redemption
While he looked primed to continue his hot season that include silver medals in Auckland and Cape Town, Jonathan faltered slightly in Yokohama when he missed the podium for the first time in years. The same unfortunate fate awaited him on home soil in London where he finished fifth. Forced to delay the start of his season until Yokohama, brother Alistair also missed the podium in both Japan and London.
But make no mistake about it, those temporary setbacks will certainly only serve to make the Brownlees hungrier than ever. They sat Chicago out and, if their twitter feeds are any indicator, got some solid training done. It remains to be seen if that training will set them up nicely in Hamburg or pay off in Glasgow at the end of the month, but no matter what happens, rest assured this family will perform.
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Find more details about this event - 2014 ITU World Triathlon Hamburg