2015 WTS Grand Final Chicago Week Begins

16 September, 2015

2015 WTS Grand Final Chicago Week Begins

CHICAGO — After nine thrilling ITU World Triathlon Series races this year, the men's and women's elite World Championship titles will be decided in heated battles this week at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Chicago. The U.S. women have dominated the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings, with Gwen Jorgensen the favourite to retain her world title on home soil after an undefeated season. But she'll have to contend with her own compatriot Katie Zaferes who sits just 300 points behind her.

Likewise, on the men's side it's Javier Gomez's race to lose, but he'll fight it out with his own Spanish teammate Mario Mola, as well as Frenchman Vincent Luis and South African Richard Murray for the men's title. If Gomez can hold on to his top ranking, he'll become the first athlete ever to win five ITU World Championship Olympic-distance races.

About the race:
This is the second year Chicago has featured on the World Triathlon Series calendar. Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to witness the excitement and drama of age group and professional triathlon in Chicago in one of the world's most scenic and iconic venues. Chicago is the third U.S. city to welcome a WTS race, with Washington, D.C. having hosted a race in the WTS' inaugural season. San Diego also welcomed competitors to its shores the last two years.

The ITU World Triathlon Series was introduced in 2009, creating a series of world championship races rather than a single - day world championship. With the Series having touched down on every continent the last seven seasons. The Grand Final has been held in the Gold Coast, Budapest, Beijing, Auckland, London, and Edmonton.

LIVE COVERAGE:
Follow all the events live with timing and text updates, at triathlonlive.tv and on twitter at @triathlonlive.

TOTAL PRIZE MONEY:   
$280,000 USD (equal for men & women)   

ELITE COURSE PROFILE:
Swim (1500m) - Off a pontoon start, athletes will swim a two laps for 1500m in Monroe Harbor
Bike (40k) - After exiting the lake, athletes will bike a eight very technical bike laps down Columbus Drive and into off streets in Downtown Chicago.
Run (10k) - Off the bike, athletes will run four laps with several 180-degree turns again along Columbus Drive and the Downtown area.

STORIES TO WATCH FOR:  
Elite Women's Preview

The women’s ITU World Championship title will be decided in a heated battle on Friday at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Chicago with only 300 points separating the first two women - both Americans. Gwen Jorgensen (USA) returns to retain her reign as the world’s fastest female triathlete, and will do so in front of practically a home crowd as she hails from nearby Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While she’s the heavy favourite, having gone undefeated in the last 11 WTS races, it’s her own compatriots that could stand in her way, as Katie Zaferes (USA) is her strongest competition at second in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings with Sarah True (USA) third.

Click here for the full preview.

Elite Men's Preview
The race for the men’s elite World Championship title is one of the closest to be contested since the start of the ITU World Triathlon Series, with only 530 points separating the top four men in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings. The final race of the four-day Grand Final, Spaniards Javier Gomez Noya and Mario Mola will line up as the men to beat, followed by France’s Vincent Luis and South Africa’s Richard Murray on Saturday in Chicago. This week in Chicago, Gomez could become the first athlete to win five Olympic distance World Championship titles. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) is also back from injury and while he's out of the World Championship contest, he could become the third male to win a Grand Final race after just his brother Alistair and Gomez.

Click here for the full preview.

Under-23 Preview
The men’s and women’s Under-23 World Championship start lists are overflowing with talent that have already been making headlines amongst the elites this year. The U23 athletes will compete on the same standard distance course as the elites, with the men taking off on Thursday, while the women race on Friday in Chicago. Great Britain is a country who is putting a lot of talent into the field with Baku European Games winner Gordon Benson lining up next to Marc Austin. Wian Sullwald will be representing South Africa after winning the 2012 Junior World Championship title. On the women's side, expect France's Audrey Merle to feature as she took bronze in the women’s Junior World Championship last year and gained valuable international experience at the elite level as a member of the gold medal winning Mixed Relay World Championship team earlier this year.

Click here for the full preview.

Junior Preview
All eyes will be fixated on the world of triathlon this week as the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Chicago swings into action. Our future Junior triathlon stars will feature on the first day of triathlon racing on Thursday with the men and Friday with the women racing for glory over the sprint distance course 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run.

What makes the junior field a must-watch competition, is the vast representation from across the globe that will be going head-to-head on the course. Countries that are showing an up-and-coming growth for the sport are bringing their best to vie for a title.

Click here for the full preview.

Paratriathlon Preview
The world of paratriathlon has been more exciting than ever, with just under a year to go until the sport makes its debut in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games. Competition has been high and some elites have shown this year that they will be the names to look out for as the countdown continues to next summer, in which men’s PT1, 2, 4 and women’s PT2, 4, 5 will show the planet what the sport is made of. Bill Chaffey (AUS) also drives for five world titles in the men's PT1 while Lauren Steadman (GBR) pushes to continue her undefeated season.

Click here for the full paratriathlon preview.

PAST GRAND FINAL WINNERS

2014 Edmonton Grand Final

1. Gwen Jorgensen (USA)                                  1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR)

2013 London Grand Final

1. Non Stanford (GBR)                                      1. Javier Gomez (ESP)

2012 Auckland Grand Final

1. Anne Haug (GER)                                          1. Javier Gomez (ESP)

2011 Beijing Grand Final

1. Helen Jenkins (GBR)                                      1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR)        

2010 Budapest Grand Final

1. Emma Snowsill (AUS)                                    1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR)

2009 Gold Coast Grand Final

1. Emma Moffatt (AUS)                                     1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR)

 

ITU WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MEDALISTS  

 (since World Championship format change in 2009)

2014

1. Gwen Jorgensen (USA)                          1. Javier Gomez (ESP)

2. Sarah True (USA)                                  2. Mario Mola (ESP)

3. Andrea Hewitt (NZL)                              3. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR)

2013

1. Non Stanford (GBR)                                1. Javier Gomez (ESP)

2.  Aileen Reid (IRL)                                   2. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR)

3.  Emma Moffatt (AUS)                              3. Mario Mola (ESP)


2012

1. Lisa Norden (SWE)                            1. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR)

2. Anne Haug (GER)                             2.  Javier Gomez (ESP)

3. Andrea Hewitt (NZL)                         3. Dmitry Polyanskiy (RUS)


2011

1. Andrea Hewitt (NZL)                            1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR)     

2. Helen Jenkins (GBR)                              2. Sven Riederer (SUI)

3. Melanie Hauss (SUI)                                3. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR)


2010

1. Emma Moffatt (AUS)                                     1. Javier Gomez (ESP)

2. Nicola Spirig (SUI)                                         2. Steffen Justus (GER)

3. Lisa Norden (SWE)                                        3. Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS) 


2009

1. Emma Moffatt (AUS)                                      1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR)

2. Lisa Norden (SWE)                                         2. Javier Gomez (ESP)

3. Andrea Hewitt (NZL)                                        3. Maik Petzold (GER)

 

PAST CHICAGO CHAMPIONS

2014 ITU World Triathlon Chicago

1. Gwen Jorgensen (USA)                        1. Javier Gomez (ESP)