This weekend sees the World Triathlon Series touch down in Montreal for the fifth round of the 2019 series. Katie Zaferes (USA) leads the women's rankings at the moment while Vincent Luis (FRA) is the men's series leader. The next round of the World Paratriathlon Series will also take place, and this is the first ranking event for Tokyo Paralympic qualification.
In 2018 the elite races were contested over the Olympic distance, but this year the format has been changed to a sprint, featuring a more technical and challenging bike course as well a four-lap run which has a good chance of altering how the races will unfold.
Katie Zaferes heads into the weekend wearing the number one after three consecutive wins in Abu Dhabi, Bermuda and Yokohama, as well as second place in Leeds. It is probably HUUB's Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) who beat her in Leeds that poses her biggest challenge after her scintillating performance in all three disciplines.
HUUB's Jessica Learmonth (GBR) will wear number 3 and is expected to lead the way through the 750m swim and onto the technical bike course. Zaferes, Taylor-Brown and Learmonth have all benefitted dramatically from breakaways, and as we have seen recently, the presence of a break will largely determine the outcome of the race and who stands on the podium.
Current series leader Vincent Luis has decided to sit out this round of the WTS and instead focus on the Hamburg round the following weekend which leaves the door wide open for HUUB's Henri Schoeman who currently sits 2nd in the World rankings. The biggest challenge will come from the Spanish trio of 5-time World Champion Javier Gomez, Fernando Alarza and current World Champion Mario Mola.
Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS) will be full of confidence after his debut win in Leeds the other week, and with his turn of speed, the sprint format will undoubtedly play to his strengths. Other athletes to watch out for are Bence Bicsak (HUN), HUUB's Tom Bishop (GBR) and fellow HUUB athlete Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) - both of whom have the potential to challenge for a podium position.
We are also set to see some thrilling racing in the paratriathlon categories with a showdown between two of HUUB's longest standing ambassadors, Jetze Plat (NED) and Joe Townsend (GBR) in the PTWC category. They will also be up against Geert Schipper (NED) and Giovanni Achenza (ITA), between them they hold every title going. Jade Jones-Hall (GBR) will be challenging for the win in the women's race while George Peasgood (GBR) will be up against the world's best in the PTS5 category as he looks to add another WPS title to his illustrious career.