WTS Edmonton: 5 things we learnt

November 12, 2020 0 By JohnValbyNation

1. 5, 4, 3, 2 and No 1 is the countdown for Katie: USA’s top triathlete Katie Zafares missed Edmonton knowing only victory could have improved her best five-race total ahead of the Grand Final. Such has been her form and results in 2019, she really only needs to stay uninjured and upright on the bike in Lausanne for the race to be little more than a coronation. The reality is that she will go there to try and win a fifth victory of a dominating WTS season and in doing so will show satisfying linear year-on-year progression since 2015 of finishing fifth, fourth, third, second and top of the world.


2. Lausanne is Luis’ to lose: Although it’s been the most unpredictable men’s WTS season to date, the consistency of France’s Vincent Luis means he will travel to Switzerland knowing that fifth place will be good enough to guarantee the world title. The big two to miss out in Edmonton were Javier Gomez and Jake Birtwhistle, who could have gained enough points to be within striking distance in Lausanne, but failed to finish. That’s not to begrudge Luis his rightful place as world No 1. He has won the past two Grand Finals and contested every WTS race this season, winning in Yokohama and finishing no lower than sixth place elsewhere.

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3. What’s in a name? If you’re an Australian called Emma there’s a fair dinkum chance you’re decent at triathlon. Think Carney, Snowsill, Moffatt… in 2011 in Hamburg, there was even three Australian Emmas on the podium together. One of those was a teenage Emma Jackson, who looked destined for a glittering career. It hasn’t quite worked out as planned and the win in Edmonton marked her first WTS podium for over five years. The victory was also another success for the Joel Filliol squad of triathletes that includes Zafares and Luis, a further reminder that it’s presently head and shoulders the most successful coaching set-up in the sport.

4. Brownlee back on it: From July 2010 to May 2014 – almost four years – Jonny Brownlee only missed the podium once – and that was a DNF when Non Stanford crashed in a mixed relay. The years since the infamous Cozumel combustion of 2016 have been more of a struggle though, as the Yorkshireman has battled both injuries and a greater depth of competition. In Edmonton he was back with the type of race and performance made to suit his strengths: an assured swim in the top five, a small front pack prepared to work hard to stay away, and a confident front-running last 5km to finish it off. Brownlee is too far back to challenge for WTS honours this season, but watch out for him to lay down a marker at the Olympic Test Event in Tokyo next month.