Leeds’s status as the country’s triathlon capital is confirmed today with the announcement that the prestigious World Series event will return to the city next year.
Confirmation of the decision comes two weeks after some 80,000 people lined the streets of the city to watch the world’s best athletes swim at Roundhay Park before cycling and running in the city centre.
Olympic gold medal winner Alistair Brownlee, from Bramhope, hailed the decision as “fantastic news”.
After the success of the inaugural Leeds leg of the prestigious ITU World Triathlon Series on June 11 and 12, international officials have today confirmed that the home of the all-conquering Brownlee brothers has been chosen to host the event again next year.
The move, which had been strongly suggested due to the huge crowds who came to roar on the athletes, was announced by the International Triathlon Union (ITU) as it revealed the dates and locations of host venues around the world.
The Leeds event representing the UK will be held on the weekend of June 10-11, 2017, again as a partnership between Leeds City Council, UK Sport, the ITU and the organising team of British Triathlon and Ironman.
It means the city could see repeat of the scenes as supporters queued six deep to watch Alistair Brownlee and brother Jonathan claim a superb one-two in the men’s elite race. The women’s race was won by US star Gwen Jorgensen, with Leeds-based Vicky Holland finishing strongly in third.
Prior to the elite races, which started with a 1,500 metre swim in Roundhay Park, followed by a 42 kilometre cycle and 10,000 metre run in the city centre, thousands of amateur athletes took on triathlon events over the weekend.
Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee said: “Winning at home in Leeds is something that I’ll never forget, and I’m so grateful to everyone who came out and supported us on the day. To hear already that we have the opportunity to return next year is fantastic news.”
ITU President Marisol Casado said: “In its debut on the ITU World Triathlon Series this year, Leeds proved to be a phenomenal host, with crowds of people pouring into the streets to cheer on the world’s best triathletes.”