COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Katie Zaferes will look to build on her overall ITU World Triathlon Series lead Saturday in Hamburg, Germany, as six elite U.S. women toe the line in the sixth WTS stop of the season. The ITU Mixed Relay World Championships follow on Sunday, and the U.S. team will look to reach the podium for the fourth consecutive year.
Both the individual WTS races and the Mixed Relay World Championships will be broadcast live at triathlonlive.tv. The elite women race Saturday, July 6, at 8 a.m. ET (2 p.m. local time), followed by the elite men at 10:30 a.m. ET (4:30 p.m. local time). The Mixed Relay World Championships will be held Sunday, July 7, at 3:30 a.m. ET (9:30 a.m. local time).
No U.S. men will race individually at WTS Hamburg, but two men will contest the ITU Mixed Relay World Championships as part of the four-person U.S. team.
ITU World Triathlon Series Hamburg
Saturday’s WTS race will feature a 750-meter swim through the Alster tributary of the Elbe River, a 21-kilometer bike on the city streets and a 5-kilometer run finishing in Hamburg’s central square, Rathausmarkt.
As the current WTS leader, Zaferes (Santa Cruz, Calif.) is No. 1 on the start list for the elite women. Zaferes has been dominant on the WTS circuit so far this season, winning four of the five stops to date and taking silver in the other. Her 4,925 total series points are 755 ahead of her closet competitor, Jessica Learmonth of Great Britain. A strong performance Saturday will further strength Zaferes’ grip on the world title, which is awarded to the overall leader at the conclusion of the eight-race series.
Zaferes will face stiff competition from Learmonth and Great Britain’s Georgia Taylor-Brown, who is the only woman besides Zaferes to win a WTS race this season.
Also racing for the U.S. is Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.), who is currently fourth in the WTS rankings. Spivey has had a breakout year so far on the WTS circuit — taking silver at the season opener in Abu Dhabi, earning bronze as part of a U.S. podium sweep with Zaferes and Summer Rappaport in Yokohama, and adding two other top-six finishes.
Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.) rounds out the top-10 on the start list. The 21-year-old took fourth in Abu Dhabi and fifth last weekend in Montreal. She has demonstrated her podium potential against the world’s best, as she took silver at WTS Edmonton in 2017 and won the 2018 ITU Under-23 world title.
Chelsea Burns (Seattle, Wash.) looks to crack the top-10 in a WTS race for the first time this season. She has been consistent in the series to date, earning two top-15 finishes and placing no lower than 21st.
Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.), who earned her second career WTS medal in May with a silver in Yokohama, aims to return to the podium. Rappaport has momentum on her side, as she is coming off a victory at the Huatulco ITU Triathlon World Cup in Mexico last month.
Also set to compete is Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.), who makes her 2019 WTS debut after finishing the 2018 season ranked fourth overall.
For the complete women’s start list, click here. For the complete men’s start list, click here.
ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships
On Sunday, a team of four select athletes will look to bring the United States back to the top of the ITU Mixed Relay World Championship podium for the first time since 2016.
In 2018, the U.S. squad of Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.), Ben Kanute (Phoenix, Ariz.), Zaferes and Kevin McDowell (Phoenix, Ariz.) earned bronze, finishing just two seconds behind silver medalists Australia. France enters this year’s race as the defending world champion.
The ITU Mixed Relay World Championships were first held in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2009. The event then moved to Lausanne, Switzerland, from 2010-11, and Stockholm in 2012. Hamburg first hosted in 2013 and has welcomed the event every year since. In Hamburg, hundreds of thousands of fans typically line the city streets during the fast-paced, spectator-friendly race.
In the Mixed Relay race format — which will feature as a medal event for the first time at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games — two men and two women make up each team. Each athlete completes a super-sprint distance 300m swim, 7k bike and 1.7k run before tagging off to the next teammate, with the fastest combined time winning the race.
The ITU launched the Mixed Relay World Series in 2018 to create more opportunities to showcase the race format outside of the world championships. The U.S. reached the podium in all four series stops last year and earned a silver medal earlier this season in Abu Dhabi.
Team rosters for the relay will not be finalized until Saturday afternoon after the WTS race. The final relay start list will be posted at triathlon.org. In total, 19 teams will compete for the world championship crown.
For more information about ITU World Triathlon Hamburg and the ITU Mixed Relay World Championships, visit hamburg.triathlon.org/en.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).