Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee could be threat to world title challengers

Alistair Brownlee could upset title challengers

Alistair Brownlee could upset title challengers

First published in Sport
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WITH only one round of the World Triathlon Series to go, all the big hitters are in Stockholm this weekend.

The race over the cobblestoned streets of the Swedish capital is the last chance for Bramhope's Jonny Brownlee and his rivals to score points before the Grand Final in Canada next weekend.

He is currently second in the standings with 3,337 points, 496 behind Spain's Javier Gomez, but there are 800 points available to the winner, and another 1,200 for whoever wins in Edmonton the following weekend.

Also in the mix for the overall prize are Mario Mola, also of Spain, on 3,322, with outsiders being South African Richard Murray (2,615) and Portugal's Joao Pereira (2,609) as athletes look to exchange a poor race for a better one as the WTS Threadneedle rankings only allow an athlete's best five scores.

Although Jonny sits second in the rankings, Mola (ESP) trails him by only 15 points, meaning Stockholm is crucial to both in the final rankings.

However, the Briton is the more experienced of the two, having won the race when it was a sprint event in 2012 and also finished with bronze last year to Mola’s 22nd place.

Jonny's elder brother Alistair, currently eighth on 2,066 points, is out of the race for a high finish.

However, he can certainly steal important points from other athletes and affect their year-end ranking.

Gomez has already collected four wins, meaning his score can’t improve much, but a top-three finish will see his points jump slightly, and, as he has yet to win one of the sprint races this year, the Spaniard should be firing on all cylinders as usual.

Alistair won this race in 2013 with a breakaway on the bike phase and, while his results were unusually lacklustre earlier this year, the Bingley Harrier proved he is back to winning ways with monstrous victories at the Commonwealth Games and in Hamburg.

The sprint-distance races have certainly mixed up the rankings this year, however, with Murray and Pereira making moves in the events to climb the rankings.

While Stockholm is a tough course, their speed cannot be denied. However, they need to work at the swim phase if they are to have any chance of a podium place in the Swedish capital or a top-three ranking in Edmonton.

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