Organisers of next year’s Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds today revealed the first definite details of the much-anticipated event’s course.
The race will begin with a 1.5km swim in Waterloo Lake in the city’s Roundhay Park, with a floating pontoon being constructed for the dive start.
Part of the bike course will also be in Roundhay Park before the athletes pedal their way to the city centre, where they will cycle six laps of just over 4km each.
The race will then end with a run that will comprise four laps of a 2.5km course, again in the city centre.
All bike and run laps will pass through Millennium Square while other landmarks such as the Headrow will also be on the route.
Taking place on Sunday, June 12, the triathlon will feature the sport’s top stars – including Leeds brothers and Olympic heroes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee.
Jonny was in Millennium Square today to give his thoughts on a route he is hoping will really capture the imagination of the Leeds public.
He told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “We want to make this a great event for Leeds and for Leeds people and what is appealing for the fans is that a lot of the course is on a small city centre lap, so through Millennium Square, onto the Headrow, there are lots of twists and turns.
“If you are a person who wants to come and watch and you come down and you stand by the barriers you will see the athletes go past 10 or 11 times and there won’t be a lot of time in between when you’re not seeing anything.
“It will be a great atmosphere for people there because it’s not like an event that goes through and that’s it, ‘I’ll see you later’.
“We’re hoping that the whole way round it will be four or five people deep and it will be a good way to celebrate triathlon and celebrate sport.”
Other cities hosting stages as part of next year’s ITU World Triathlon Series include Abu Dhabi, Cape Town, Stockholm and Hamburg.
For details of mass participation triathlon events in Leeds over the weekend of June 11 and 12, visit the leeds.triathlon.org website.
As revealed by the YEP earlier this week, Leeds is also hoping to play host to ITU World Triathlon Series stages in 2017 and 2018.
The final decision on any British host city for those two years will be taken by the International Triathlon Union, the sport’s world governing body.
Leeds City Council said earlier this week that it was hopeful a successful staging of next year’s event would sway matters in its favour.
Council leader Coun Judith Blake today said she was delighted by the “excited and enthusiastic” response from the city since the announcement of its host status for 2016.