By Doug Gray on 28/02/19 at 10:54 am
Returning for the second time and with an all-new stop at WTS Abu Dhabi, the ITU Mixed Relay World Series is back for 2019 with all the thrills and spills of the high-octane format guaranteed. With Tokyo 2020 qualification points available at all four races, competition is sure to be even more fierce than ever, while opportunities abound for new heroes and breakthrough talents to make their mark for their country with three more Olympic medals up for grabs next year. Don’t forget you can watch every race live on TriathlonLive.tv
Abu Dhabi: 9 March
The Mixed Relay Series hits the Middle East for the first time this season, with the Yas Island bike course identical to the Elite Individual race. That follows the shortened swim of 300m that starts on the same pontoon but then shifts nearer the transition for the remaining three team members’ handovers and a shortened two-lap run course. The route is an unfamiliar one for the teams, and it will be intriguing to see which squad adapts to it best to get the season up and running.
Nottingham: 15 June
After making its debut in 2018, the superb River Trent venue in the centre of Nottingham will welcome back the teams for the second stop on the Series. Boasting one of the more spectacular settings, the grandstand looks directly down the handover zone and pontoon as the athletes launch into the water, and the atmosphere last year was electric as the USA held off Great Britain for the gold. The riverside circuit has barely any gradient so it is flat, it is fast, and it is perfect for showing the intense format at its very best.
Hamburg: 7 July
The centrepiece of every Mixed Relay calendar, Hamburg’s annual Mixed Relay World Championship race has a habit of bringing the best out of the teams. It was the French who took the trophy in grand style in 2018, the young squad headed up by Leonie Periault, Dorian Coninx, Cassandre Beaugrand and steered home by Vincent Luis putting together a consummate performance on Bastille Day to win by 40 seconds from Australia.
Edmonton: 21 July
Also joining in the Mixed Relay Series hosting duties last year was the Canadian city of Edmonton, where the ever-consistent Australian team took the honours after Jacob Birtwhistle had chased down a sizeable deficit on the last leg. The 6.6km bike is where the ground can be made up, and the home team will be wanting to improve on seventh place in 2018 and give the fans plenty to shout about in the last race of the 2019 series.