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2018: 9 reasons to tune into tri this year…
1. Commonwealth Games, April 5 & 7
The first day of Games’ action sees the Brownlee brothers, Alistair and Jonny, looking to repeat their one-two finish from Glasgow 2014. In the women’s race, England’s Vicky Holland, Jess Learmonth, Sophie Coldwell, Wales’ Non Stanford, and Scotland’s Beth Potter will all be trying to take down Bermudan favourite Flora Duffy. Throw in the mixed relay and paratri’s debut and it’s a golden start to Gold Coast action.
Commonwealth Games: how will the triathlon medals fall?
2. European Championship. Glasgow. August 9, 10 & 11
The Euros come to Strathclyde Park as part of a new multisport festival that includes swimming and golf and will be aired on the BBC. Learmonth, 29, will want to defend the title she won in Kitzbuhel last year, and should be suited to the testing course.
3. World Triathlon Mixed Relay Series. Nottingham. June 7
With the two-man, two-woman mixed relay receiving the greenlight for Tokyo 2020, qualifying begins on a Thursday evening on the banks of the River Trent. Expect the British quartet to be firmly in the mix.
4. World Triathlon Series. Leeds. June 9 & 10
South Yorkshire plays host to top level racing for the third straight year. The Brownlees finished one-two in 2016 and 2017 as crowds lined the city centre streets. A hill immediately out of T1 instantly break up the race and will also suit the strong swim-bike talents of Britain’s Learmonth, Coldwell and Lucy Hall.
5. Ironman 70.3 World Championships. South Africa. September 1 & 2
The middle distance world championship could become the Brownlee v Gomez duel that never was in Rio 2016 (Javier Gomez broke his elbow a month before the Olympics). A renewal of the rivalry for Ironman Hawaii clashes to come.
6. World Triathlon Series Grand Final, Gold Coast. September 12-16
Watch out for Jodie Stimpson. The 2014 Commonwealth champion was overlooked to defend her title and has motivation aplenty. On the men’s side, the Grand Final could become another classic Spain v GB match-up, with Jonny Brownlee and reigning world champion Mario Mola going head-to-head.
7. Super League Triathlon. Jersey (TBC)
Bankrolled by a Russian oligarch and with events such as the Eliminator, Super League is designed to shake-up the sport. It certainly shakes up the traditional swim, bike, run format, chopping and changing the order over a super short course.
8. Ironman World Championship. October 13
Now in its 40th year, live streaming from the Big Island will entertain you until the early hours. David McNamee ran to third last year, the best-ever placing by a British man, and compatriot Lucy Charles, just 24, was runner-up. Daniela Ryf will be gunning for a record-equalling fourth consecutive victory, and Gomez may well challenge Germany’s four-year stranglehold over the men’s crown.
9. Ironman Bahrain 70.3. November/December (TBC)
Having dominated Ironman Dubai 70.3 in February, should Alistair Brownlee clinch the Ironman 70.3 world title, he’ll return to the UAE with a shot of the $1million ‘Triple Crown’ offered by ruling prince, Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa. By far the biggest payday in triathlon.