The first-ever Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds is shaping up to feature two stunning elite races with the world’s finest triathletes appearing on the provisional entry list for the event.
The races which take place in Leeds on Sunday 12 June promise to be a highlight of the 2016 ITU World Triathlon Series, with the initial entry list for the event being the only one in the season so far to feature both reigning Olympic champions (male and female) and both reigning world champions.
After more than 5,000 amateur triathletes have taken to the course in the morning of race day, it will then be the turn of the professionals at the event which is part of UK Sport’s National Lottery funded #EveryRoadtoRio campaign.
The provisional line-up of elite women taking to the start pontoon in Roundhay Park at 1pm includes a host of star names from around the world.
Leading the field is two-time world champion Gwen Jorgensen of the USA, who will be taking on the Great Britain contingent headed by Leeds-based duo Non Stanford and Vicky Holland.
The strong Great Britain line-up also features Jodie Stimpson, who is a world title contender after winning the season-opener in Abu Dhabi, Leeds’ own Jess Learmonth and Lucy Hall, who is also based in the city.
The women’s field also includes London 2012 Olympic Triathlon Champion Nicola Spirig of Switzerland, along with current 2016 Columbia Threadneedle Rankings Leader Flora Duffy of Bermuda and established frontrunners at world level Andrea Hewitt of New Zealand, Emma Moffatt of Australia and American Sarah True.
Following the women’s race, the elite men will take their places for the finale of the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds starting at 3:45pm.
All eyes will be on hometown stars Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, with the London 2012 Olympic gold and bronze medallists joined in the provisional entry list representing Great Britain by Leeds-based European Games Triathlon Champion Gordon Benson and Tom Bishop, together with Adam Bowden in a five-strong team.
Aside from the British athletes competing on home turf, the most eye-catching name on the entry list is that of Spain’s Javier Gomez, the reigning and five-time world champion and the Brownlees’ biggest rival. The Leeds race will be Gomez’s first appearance in the series this season, as he begins his final preparations for Rio.
Also in the men’s line-up are a host of other leading world triathlon series contenders including French trio Vincent Luis, Dorian Coninx and Pierre Le Corre, Australia’s Ryan Bailie and Aaron Royle, along with Richard Varga of Slovakia who trains in Leeds with the Brownlees. Switzerland’s Sven Riederer and Russia’s Polyanskiy brothers Igor and Dmitry also feature but South African star Richard Murray unfortunately misses out as he continues to recover from a broken collarbone.
Across both the elite races, the provisional entries include athletes representing more than 20 different countries.
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said:
“The strength of the fields for the elite races at the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds is a testament to the level of interest across the world in the event – all the best triathletes in the world want to be at this race.
“We cannot wait to see our Leeds and Great Britain athletes go up against the very best racing in our city. It is shaping up to be an amazing event with the athletes being roared on by a very special Leeds and Yorkshire crowd. It is definitely one not to be missed.”
Chief Executive of British Triathlon Jack Buckner said:
“The Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds has attracted a world-class field with the biggest names in the sport racing. The combination of great athletes, a challenging course and a fantastic home crowd for the Brits will create an incredible atmosphere. I can’t wait for the 11 and 12 June to arrive – don’t miss it.”
Rupert Pybus, Global Head of Brand and Marketing at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, said:
“As the title sponsor of the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds 2016 we are thrilled to see that the event is attracting the world’s best triathletes. We look forward to welcoming them to Leeds - the triathlon is set to be one of the highlights in this summer’s sporting calendar.”
After a 1500-metre swim in Roundhay Park, the elite triathletes will take to their bikes and follow a 41.5-kilometre ride through Roundhay, Moortown, Meanwood, Weetwood, Headingley and Woodhouse before completing seven circuits of a city centre loop.
They will then transition on Millennium Square from bikes to running before covering 10-kilometres in four shorter laps culminating in a thrilling finish on the square. Both the men’s and women’s races will be broadcast to watching audiences around the world.
For the latest information on the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds visit http://leeds.triathlon.org. For anyone interested in volunteering on the Sunday, visit http://leeds.triathlon.org/volunteer/
For the latest information on the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds, as well as Saturday’s GO TRI event which offers a first taste of triathlon in a fun and friendly environment, visit http://leeds.triathlon.org. For anyone interested in volunteering on the Sunday, visit http://leeds.triathlon.org/volunteer/
The Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds is being organised by British Triathlon, IRONMAN, Leeds City Council and the ITU.
Notes to editors
About Columbia Threadneedle Investments
Columbia Threadneedle Investments is a leading global asset management group that provides a broad range of actively managed investment strategies and solutions for individual, institutional and corporate clients around the world. With more than 2000 people including over 450 investment professionals based in North America, Europe and Asia, we manage £323 billion 1 of assets across developed and emerging market equities, fixed income, asset allocation solutions and alternatives.
Columbia Threadneedle Investments started its successful relationship with the ITU World Series in 2013 and has since become Global Financial Services Partner. www.columbiathreadneedle.com
All figures as at 31 March 2016. Columbia Threadneedle Investments is the global brand name of the Columbia and Threadneedle group of companies.
1Source: Ameriprise Financial Q1 2016 earnings release.
The Columbia Threadneedle Rankings
As a global asset manager Columbia Threadneedle Investments recognises the importance of being the best in the field, not just at home, but on a global basis. The Columbia Threadneedle Rankings are used to determine the best performing triathletes across the ITU World Triathlon Series.
The Columbia Threadneedle Rankings Leader Trophy is presented to the top male and female elite athlete at each ITU World Triathlon Series event. In 2016 the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings Leader will continue to wear the bespoke race markings and carry the colours of the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings logo on their bike rack in transition.
Launched in 2015, the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings Report identifies the trends and interesting statistics after each event throughout the season.
British Triathlon is the governing body for the sport in Great Britain. It is responsible for raising the profile and delivering elite performance for Triathlon. Triathlon is a fast growing, dynamic and modern Olympic & Paralympic sport with talented world class athletes, coaches and support staff, focused around delivering world-class events and medal winning performances. www.britishtriathlon.org
Leeds City Council is the second-largest local authority in England with a population of around 776,000. Leeds has a very proud sporting heritage and we are committed to encouraging sport as a way of promoting the city and healthy lifestyles, as well as bringing world-class events, building towards our ambition to become European Capital of Culture 2023. www.leeds.gov.uk
UK Sport is the nation’s high performance sports agency responsible for the strategic investment of National Lottery and Exchequer funding into Olympic and Paralympic sports and bringing major sporting events to the UK. www.uksport.gov.uk/events
The ITU is the world governing body for the Olympic sport of triathlon and all related MultiSport disciplines. ITU is proudly committed to supporting the development of the sport worldwide through strong relationships with continental and national federations, working with its partners to offer a balanced sport development programme from grassroots to a high performance level. www.triathlon.org
A Wanda Sports Holdings company, IRONMAN operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN®Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl®, IRONKIDS®, six of nine International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the UCI Velothon Majors Series, mountain bike races, premier marathons and other multisport races. The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world, with more than 260 events across 42 countries and over 680,000 participants annually. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
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