Sunderland and the north-east of England will make a World Triathlon Championship Series debut on the afternoon of Saturday, July 29 (tomorrow), when the 14th successive British leg of top-tier triathlon moves a two-hour drive north of its traditional home of Leeds to start a new chapter in the country’s racing history.
Roker Beach in Sunderland is the centre of the racing action, where crowds will miss a close-up of the injured Georgia Taylor-Brown, but will have Olivia Mathias to get behind as the sole Brit in the women’s race. She will be up against a powerful-looking French line up spearheaded by WTCS Hamburg winner Cassandre Beaugrand and a resurgent German team arriving off the back of a celebratory WTCS Hamburg.
As the chase for the men’s 2023 title continues to heat up, Sunderland will see a straight shootout between New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde and Portugal’s Vasco Vilaca for who is standing on top of the rankings on Saturday evening with the Paris Test Event and Championship Series still to come.
The course begins with an anti-clockwise 750m swim in the choppy, chilly North Sea framed by Sunderland Harbour. The athletes will then head out onto a technical, five-lap 21.3km bike, each circuit with one steady climb, three quicker straights, a switchback and dead turns, before wrapping up with a 2-lap 5km run for the medals.
On Saturday July 29, the men’s elite race starts at 14:00 BST, with the elite women under way at 15:35. On Sunday July 30, the Mixed Team Relay is scheduled.