TRIATHLON Preview: ITU World Series starts in Abu Dhabi

Spain's triathlon superstar Mario Mola

The first of the nine legs of the 2019 ITU World Series starts on Friday in Abu Dhabi (UAE) with Sprint races for both men and women. That’s a 750 m swim, 20 km bike phase and 5 km run, with defending champions Henri Schoeman (RSA) and Rachel Klamer (NED) ready to repeat.

Almost all of the top finishers from the 2018 are expected to compete:

Men’s 2018 final standings:
1. Mario Mola (ESP)
2. Vincent Luis (FRA)
3. Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS)
4. Richard Murray (RSA)
5. Kristian Blummenfeldt (NOR)

Women’s 2018 final standings:
1. Vicky Holland (GBR)
2. Katie Zaferes (USA)
3. Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR)
4. Kirsten Kasper (USA)
5. Jessica Learmonth (GBR)

While Schoeman won the Abu Dhabi Sprint last season, the two other Sprint races were won by Mola, with Luis and Brummenfeldt second. The women’s Sprints after Abu Dhabi were in Hamburg (won by France’s Cassandre Beaugrand) and Edmonton (won by Holland).

Mola will be working for his fourth straight World Series title; he’s won four races in each of his three victorious seasons in 2016-17-18.

The racing also includes a Mixed Relay on Saturday (two men + two women), and amateur racing for about 2,600 triathletes in the largest triathlon in the Middle East.

Look for results here.