Mark Robinson looks ahead to the conclusion of the men’s Dextro Energy 2010 ITU World Championship Series in Budapest this afternoon…
There’s only a couple of hours to go before the conclusion to the men’s ITU World Championship Series here in Budapest, and you can watch all the action live online for free via the official ITU website at www.triathlon.org/tv and live on the BBC via the red button.
With so much at stake, the race is likely to be full of drama. It’s been raining solidly here for the best part of two days and the athletes will have to be mindful of the slippery underfoot conditions. Risks will have to be taken, especially on the bike leg, and the hundreds of spectators who are brave enough to venture out into the downpour could be in for an action packed couple of hours.
There is British interest in the race, though none of our elite men are in with a mathematical chance of clinching the world title as they are too far behind in the standings. Alistair Brownlee will be looking to end a difficult 2010 on a high and has already expressed his ease with the conditions, while Stuart Hayes‘ victory in Kitzbuhel puts him right in the frame as well.
But as far as the World Championship Series goes, the man in the driving seat is Germany’s Jan Frodeno, who enjoys a clear lead at the top of the standings. A place on the podium will be enough for Frodeno to clinch his first ITU World Championship, and add it to the gold medal he won at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. His consistency this season (victory in Seoul, three further podium finishes) would make him a worthy winner.
His closest rival is 2008 world champion Javier Gomez, and the Spaniard can lift the title with a victory here if Frodeno fails to make the podium. Gomez is the only man to win two ITU WCS races this season and Frodeno will be well aware of the fact that he is favourite with the local bookies to win here as well. It should be a fascinating game of cat-and-mouse between the two men.
Also in with a remote chance of lifting the title is Alexander Brukhankov of Russia, who lies in third place in the standings. He can clinch the title with a victory here, though Frodeno and Gomez must both finish out of the top ten. Brad Kahlfeldt (AUS), Steven Justus (GER), Courtney Atkinson (AUS) and Jarrod Shoemaker (USA) can also leap to the top of the standings but must pray for a virtual miracle – the top three men must all finish out of the top ten here for them to have any chance.
Race starts at 12.05 BST – log on to www.triathlon.org/tv for full live coverage, or tune into the BBC red button from 11.55am.
Photo: Frank Wechsel/triathlon.org