By Chelsea White on 19/04/16 at 8:00 am
The third stop of the World Triathlon Series is here as the elite men leave Oceania and head to Africa for the 2016 Discovery World Triathlon Cape Town. The South African city is offering up the first sprint-distance course of the season as the men vie for more valuable Olympic qualification points as they tackle a one-lap swim, five-lap bike and two-lap run.
For the third time in a row this year, Spaniard Mario Mola tops the men’s start list. With a perfect possible 1600 points in the Columbia Threadneedle rankings, he currently is holding onto the No. 1 lead position after his back-to-back WTS victories in Abu Dhabi and Gold Coast. Although last year Mola only placed 8th in Cape Town, this year’s course features a sprint distance, which Mola excels at, so this weekend is the perfect opportunity for him to continue his streak and improve in the African city.
But Mola is not the only Spaniard that has been having a successful start to his year. Fernando Alarza joined Mola on the Gold Coast podium by capturing the silver in the final lap of the run. He also just missed the podium in Abu Dhabi with his fourth-place finish.
Finally making his 2016 season debut is Vincent Luis (FRA). Luis had one of his career-best seasons last year when he graced the WTS podium four times, including winning his first-ever gold medal in Hamburg. Last year he placed third in Cape Town, and with his Olympic qualification already accounted for, Luis’ form is an open question.
Once again, both Brownlee brothers are lining up to race this weekend. Alistair Brownlee (GBR) is the returning Cape Town champion after he executed a phenomenal run last year to take home the gold medal. While last year Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) skipped Cape Town, he did earn the silver medal in 2014, so both brothers have familiar success on the course. Jonny also proved his return to fitness in Gold Coast, when he finished third in his first race of the season.
Sitting high on the start list for this weekend is Mexico’s Crisanto Grajales. He currently is the only Mexican who has qualified for Rio by meeting the Mexican Federation’s requirements when he won the gold at the 2015 Pan American Games. But he also has been strong so far this year. He finished fifth in Abu Dhabi and was within the top-15 in Gold Coast.
Headlining for the host nation are South Africans Henri Schoeman and Wian Sullwald. As always, Schoeman has been dominating this year’s waters. As one of the best swimmers on the docket, look out for him to lead during the first leg, along with several of the Frenchmen and Slovakia’s Richard Varga.
The women will get the 2016 Discovery World Triathlon Cape Town underway at 14:00 on Sunday April 24, while the men will follow at 16:30 local time. Follow all of the action live at triathlonlive.tv and on twitter @triathlonlive. Trifecta returns this year with new features. Create a new login and pick your favourites now at trifecta.usatriathlon.org.
Join the conversation with the hashtags #WTSCapeTown and #CTrankings.
Find more details about this event - 2016 ITU World Triathlon Cape Town