Preview: Commonwealth men's race
Men’s triathlon will take over Strathclyde park on Thursday with some serious talent in tow for the Commonwealth Games. Set over a 1.5km swim, hilly 40km bike and a 10km run, only the toughest of triathletes will feature in Glasgow. Here’s who you should keep an eye on this week.
The Brownlee factor
The Brownlee brothers will suit up for England as the heavy favourites in the men’s race. Despite a slow start to the ITU World Triathlon Series, the Olympic medallist siblings, who will represent Team England, sweated out a solid block of training in the early summer months. The work paid off, as older brother Alistair Brownlee scorched through the World Triathlon Hamburg sprint distance course just two weeks ago for gold. He’s never competed in the Commonwealth Games and has openly stated this will be the pinnacle of his season, making him the one to beat.
Younger brother Jonathan Brownlee got off to a good start in the season with a pair of silver medals in ITU’s largest race series, but by midseason he had faltered slightly, missing the podium for the first time in four years. He, too, was back to his medal winning ways two weeks ago, having crossed the finish line in third. Not only have they garnered more success than anyone on the start list, the tough and hilly course is well suited to the lads, who will no doubt run out of the swim in top positions before hammering hard on the bike and blasting away on the run.
A new man in town
Of the men on the start list, only Richard Murray (RSA) has beaten the Brownlees this year. Murray has steadily improved his ranking in men’s triathlon, but rarely comes out of the swim in solid position meaning he is sometimes forced to burn up his legs on the bike trying to close the gap. However, if he’s off his wheels and onto feet anywhere near the leaders, count the South African in, as he’s one of the fastest runners out there.
Tom Davison (NZL) is one to watch on the bike. He may not be on the podium at the end of the race, but he will certainly factor in who is. A talented swimmer and the fastest man on two wheels, Davison serves as a domestique for the New Zealand team. However, with Davison at the helm of the bike packs, his position has an added benefit for athletes like Murray who get pulled back up to the leaders. If his role amongst the Kiwis works, look for Ryan Sissons (NZL) to sizzle.
Not so wild cards
The men’s field is laden with talent, especially amongst the Australian team. While still young, the Aussies are capable of surprising everyone, as they did in Auckland earlier this year when the went 3-4-5 with Aaron Royle having lead the pack. Although Aaron Harris will likely serve as a domestique for the English lads, he can race in his own right.
Swim (1.5km) - The swim will take place in the Strathclyde Loch on a course consisting of two laps of 750m. The athletes will swim anticlockwise around a rectangular-shaped, marked course.
Bike (40km) – The bike will be featured over five tough and testing 8km laps. With hills on each lap, the trick will to be ride hard but save enough legs to run home.
Run (10km) – The run will be completed over three 3.3km run loops.
Related Event: 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games
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