Race Preview: WTCS Montreal & Challenge Roth

Race Preview: WTCS Montreal & Challenge Roth

Race Preview: WTCS Montreal & Challenge Roth

Challenge Roth is a highlight of the summer calendar and a firm favourite of many professional and amateur athletes. Roth has seen record after record broken, and with a strong lineup, including HUUB's Anne Haug (GER), we are sure to behold another epic day of racing. This weekend also sees the Montreal round of the World Triathlon Championship Series. As we head towards the second half of the season, those in the hunt for the overall series win will be looking to stamp authority on a series still entirely open for both men and women. Montreal also features the first Mixed Relay of the year.

Challenge Roth

HUUB's Anne Haug headlines the women's field as she looks to make it three from three at Roth and three straight wins in 2023. Haug hasn't finished off the podium since 2018, and her trajectory in long-course racing has continually been on the up. Her performance at PTO Ibiza was nothing but outstanding and possibly one of the most comprehensive wins we have ever seen.

However, in such a world-class field, she will not have it all her own way, with 2022 IM World Champion Chelsea Sodaro (USA) and multiple World Champion and considered by many, GOAT of long course racing, Daniela Ryf (SUI) will present real threats for the win. It is expected to see them try to make large inroads into Haug on the bike to prevent her from running away with the win.

Magnus Ditlev (DEN) was a handful of seconds off Jan Frodeno's course record last year, and the Danish athlete only seems to have got faster. He's known as one of the strongest riders in Triathlon, now his running abilities have begun to impress, and he is one of the most consistent performers on the circuit. From PTO Tour distance through to full distance, he's always proven a safe bet for the podium.

Challenging Ditlev will be Sam Laidlow (FRA), who amazed the World with an incredible record-breaking performance at the IM World Champs last year, where he finished 2nd to Gustav Iden. Joe Skipper (GBR) and Patrick Lange (GER) will be looking to kick off their year and step up a gear after a slow start to 2023. Also in the mix will be Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) and Daniel Baekkegard (DEN), both of whom will be in contention for a podium place finish if they put together a strong race.

Montreal WTCS

HUUB's Alex Yee (GBR) ran to an emphatic victory last time out in Cagliari. However, as in Yokohama has chosen to sit out this leg of the WTCS. The same goes for Hayden Wilde (NZL). In fact, there are several absences, perhaps due to them concentrating on Olympic selection or preparation, with the test event just around the corner, or signalling confidence in their performances to come.

However, we will surely see a great race on the streets of Old Montreal. Jonny Brownlee (GBR), who has had plenty of success in Canada over the years, will look to build on a 2nd place at the European Championships the other weekend. He will be up against long-time rival Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR), who will undoubtedly try to get back to winning ways in short course racing. Also fighting for the win will be HUUB's Jelle Geens (BEL) and Jonas Schomburg (GER).

The women's race looks set to be a battle between the British and American women, with 8 of the top 10 ranked coming from either nation. HUUB's Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) and Beth Potter (GBR) have already taken victories so far in the 2023 WTCS, and both will be aiming for a second series win of the year to strengthen their chances of a World title.

19 teams will battle it out in the Mixed Relay. Great Britain is ranked number one and will be looking to build towards an Olympic title defence next summer in Paris. France, arguably the biggest threat, is not fielding a team, leaving Australia, New Zealand and Germany the ones to challenge for the win.