2019 was a standout year for several HUUB athletes most particularly Jessica Learmonth (GBR) and Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR), who not only finished 2nd and 3rd in the WTS ranking but were also 1-2 at the Olympic test event in Tokyo.
Both Henri Schoeman (RSA) and Jonny Brownlee (GBR) claimed podiums across the WTS and Superleague. Meanwhile, on the long-distance circuit, Alistair Brownlee (GBR) debuted in Kona, and the Norwegian pair of Kristian Blummenfelt and Gustav Iden dominated the 70.3 scene with a new World Record and a World Championship title. Jetze Plat (NED) also continued his phenomenal unbeaten run in the PTWC category to set him as one of the most successful para triathletes of all time.
For short course racing, the Olympics will undoubtedly be the highlight of the year with many HUUB athletes taking the trip over to Tokyo. The qualification period for the Olympic games finishes in May 2020 after Yokohama WTS meaning it is still all to play for in terms of qualification. The first three WTS races, Abu Dhabi, Bermuda and Yokohama, will be pivotal for those seeking selection so we can expect some intense racing in the early part of the year.
Tokyo will be the first time that the mixed relay will feature; this complicates selection for National Governing Bodies who will have to select their relay team from those racing the individual event. Some nations will opt to field a team focused around the super sprint format for the relay, whereas others will back those athletes racing over the Olympic distance and will hope they can double up with the relay.
HUUB athletes are set to shine in the Paralympic games with hopes lying on Jetze Plat to defend his title. George Peasgood (GBR), Jade Jones-Hall (GBR) and Joe Townsend (GBR) will also be in with a shot of a medal.
Although the Olympics will be the key focus for many athletes, the World Triathlon Series will also be of great importance. All athletes concentrating on Tokyo will need a ‘typical’ season to prepare for the games. There is a chance we might see some athletes drop away from racing after the Olympics, but the draw of a World title will still be enough to keep the racing exciting. In the Olympic downtime, athletes will also look to other formats of racing such as the Superleague and non-drafting racing. The Superleague is yet to announce all of its locations for 2020, but we can expect to see high octane racing towards the end of the season.
The long course scene will follow the same script as in previous years, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting. The three ‘big’ races - Kona IRONMAN World Championships, 70.3 IRONMAN World Championships, and Challenges The Championship will be the main aims for many long-distance athletes, alongside Continental Championships and other iconic races such as Roth and Norseman.
After the Olympic games, we will see some ITU athletes swapping their road bikes for time trial bikes and tackling half and full distance races. We know for sure that two of the most prolific ITU athletes of all time have already given the nod to Kona in 2020 after their attempt at qualifying for the Olympic Games. Alistair Brownlee and Javier Gomez (ESP) have already booked their slots for Kona after winning Western Australia IM and Malaysia IM late in 2019. The pair will have a tough ask to try and pull off a never seen before double, and some think the task is nye on impossible with such vast differences needed in training for both events.
Daniela Ryf (SUI) will be keen to take back her crown after a below-par performance in 2019, and the men’s race will arguably be the most competitive yet. The 70.3 World Championships will also feature in many athletes’ calendars as it proves to be the perfect middle-ground for ITU athletes wanting to test their feet at long-distance racing, as we saw in Nice 2019 with a win by Gustav Iden.
HUUB’s Dean Jackson and Dan Bigham (Aerodynamicist & 10x British Champion) talk about the Anemoi project which has resulted in a truly aerodynamic and effective time-saving product.
Thirty years ago, at the Ironman World Championships, Dave Scott and Mark Allen had an epic battle. Most people know the peripheral story, but no one knows the details of each of their lives in the year-long buildup to this race, or the real race story.
In recognition of the 30th anniversary of the historic race, Dave Scott and Mark Allen have collaborated on a series of ten stories with a new story released every Thursday morning on the 1989TheStory website.
The series will conclude in Kona on Thursday 10th October with an exclusive live event. 6x IRONMAN World Champion Dave Scott and 6x IRONMAN World Champion Mark Allen discuss the greatest race of all time, plus Kona rookie and two-time Olympic Gold medalist Alistair Brownlee gives his thoughts.
On Saturday 21 September, a record 6,000 swimmers are expected to take part in the UK's leading open water swimming festival - Children with Cancer UK Swim Serpentine. The iconic event takes place in and around the beautiful Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park, London.
The 2019 programme includes a half-mile, one mile and two-mile swims as well as a super six swim which involves taking on the challenge of swimming six miles over several waves. In addition to the rare opportunity to swim in the Serpentine Lake, the event offers heated changing rooms, dunk zone, pontoon start and finish, electronic timing, full water safety crew and hot tubs.
Introduced this year is a new programme of inspirational speakers and film screenings at the free Wellness Festival that will run alongside the mass participation swimming events.
HUUB is an official partner of Children with Cancer UK Swim Serpentine. If you are going to be there, come and see our friendly team at the event for wetsuit and fitting advice, as well as great deals on swim accessories. Please note that hire wetsuits cannot be returned on the day of the event.
Gareth Thomas has revealed he is HIV positive, saying he wants to "break the stigma" around the condition.
The former Wales and British Lions rugby captain said he wants to show how people with HIV are misrepresented as needing walking sticks and "close to dying".
He has also spoken about "shame" and "fear" of keeping his condition secret.
Thomas, 45, completed the Ironman triathlon in Tenby, Pembrokeshire after making the announcement - cheered on by crowds.
He finished the gruelling challenge in 12 hours and 18 minutes with high emotion along the way.
Gareth Thomas: HIV and Me will be shown on BBC One Wales on Wednesday 18 September at 21:00 BST, and on the BBC iPlayer.
Alistair Brownlee familiarises himself with the climbs and descents on the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships course and prepares his nutrition.
Alistair Brownlee at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship press conference in Nice, France.
By creating a collaborative of experts and world-class athletes, HUUB has taken product development and testing to another level; a level that has already resulted in multiple World Cup wins and world records.
Professor Huub Toussaint explains why we test using our exclusive 17 force plate M.A.D (Measurement of Active Drag) system, to determine the effect of wetsuits and swimwear with very high accuracy, and then combine it with years of research to produce the fastest products on the market.
HUUB’s founder and proud owner Dean Jackson speaks to Ben Dijkstra about his triathlon plans for the 2019 season, after a frustrating 2018. Ben talks about about his fellow GB athletes, Injury, training and the future of the sport.
In our second Ask Dave video, 6x IRONMAN™ Triathlon World Champion Dave Scott offers some great advice on offside breathing. We have worked closely with Dave Scott for many years, so we have asked him to part with some of his triathlon wisdom to make you faster and healthier.
HUUB founder and owner, Dean Jackson, talks about this unique suit, designed for the leg sinker. Even though this suit is available at a mid-level price of £400, it still delivers pro-level performance and is worn by many of the elite athletes racing the World Triathlon Series.
The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships were arguably the most competitive we have ever seen, including last year’s epic battle between Alistair Brownlee (GBR), Javier Gomez (ESP), and Jan Frodeno (GER) - three of the all-time greats of the sport.
The spectacular course in Nice attracted stars from both the ITU and long course circuit and was the perfect test for both types of athletes. Alongside the PRO men and women, thousands of Age Group athletes also headed to the south of France to try and claim a World title on a somewhat unconventional championship course.
Josh Amberger (AUS) was the first of the 67 PRO men out of the water, just behind him was HUUB’s Alistair Brownlee along with a dozen or more strong swimmers. The first 15 athletes were separated by only 15 seconds, a testament to the depth and quality of the field.
There were two distinct packs as athletes filed through transition, with some of the biggest names in long-distance racing losing a much as 3.45 to the like of Brownlee.
Out onto the bike course there was a long procession of athletes that tackled the initially flat course, at the spearhead of that was Brownlee and Ben Kanute (USA) who both knew they would benefit from an aggressive ride.
As the course headed upwards, gaps began appearing, and this was before the main ‘climb’ of the day started. As expected, it was Brownlee who applied the pressure and eventually pulled out a gap of 45 seconds to Kanute, Rudy von Burg (USA), and Gustav Iden (NOR) - the only three athletes that looked capable of trying to stay with the double Olympic Champion.
As the course headed back down the Col de Vence, von Burg along with Iden bridged up to Brownlee and took up the charge downhill. It was clear growing up in the area had its advantages, as he took no hesitations along the technical descent. All three athletes would enter T2 together with some sizeable gaps to those behind. With at least 3 minutes back to the next athlete and considerably more to those that could challenge on the run, it looked almost certain the three up front would contest the podium.
Similarly, as on the bike, it was Brownlee that attacked first as he put daylight into Von Burg and then Iden. By 6km Iden had made his way back up to the front and then began to apply pressure himself. Coming off the back of a 4th place finish at the WTS Grand Final (just the week before), Iden began to put time into Brownlee. It was clear his 10k speed was playing off over the 21km run compared to Brownlee who’s focus has been on getting ready for the Ironman World Championships in October.
Iden went on to run a 1.08 half marathon, an incredible time considering the challenging bike course. Brownlee finished second again as he did in 2018, with Von Burg in third. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) who was amongst the top 5 for nearly all the race was best of the chasers in 4th, with Sebastian Kienle overturning a 3.45 deficit on the swim to bike and run his way into fifth place.
Lucy Charles (GBR) led the way in the water and by the time she entered transition, her lead was up to one minute on the chasing pack led by Brazil’s Pamella Oliveira.
The field was fairly strung out, but the chase pack contained some very strong athletes including four time 70.3 World Champion Daniela Ryf (SUI) as well as Holly Lawrence, also a past winner. It wasn’t long into to 90km bike that some of the chasers bridged up to Charles and as they began to climb a small pack formed including Charles, Ryf, Lawrence, Amelia Watkinson (NZ), and Imogen Simmonds (SUI).
Lawrence and Simmonds looked to be putting a lot of effort into the climb trying to break up the race, but it seemed to be playing into the hands of Ryf who was looking comfortable and in control. As the race crested the top of the Col de Vence Ryf made her move, using her strength and descending skills she began to open significant gaps on the chasers.
Heading into T2 she had opened a gap of around 2.30 on Lawrence and 3 minutes on Simmonds. Further back Charles was handed a 5-minute drafting penalty, putting an end to her chances of a podium.
Onto to the run and it looked like it was Ryf’s race to lose. At first Lawrence managed to claw back some time, but her challenge was short-lived as the multiple World Champion picked up her pace and stamped her authority on the race, running her way to her 5th 70.3 World title. Lawrence announced her comeback from injury with second place while Simmonds finished in 3rd. Chelsea Sodaro (USA) ran her way through to 4th with Charles suffering from her penalty in 5th.
Yokohama WTS arguably presents the biggest challenge to athletes so far in 2019. For many national governing bodies, Yokohama will have a strong bearing on the selection of athletes for Tokyo 2020. Whether it be results this weekend providing guidelines for selection or whether certain results guarantees a place at the Olympics, it is the first race of the year that will have significant meaning for much of the field.
With a similar course and conditions to that found in Tokyo, the race, along with of course the test event present ideal indicators as to who will be able to deliver come next summer. Athletes will also be looking to move up the world ranking and gain valuable points and prize money from the third round of the World Triathlon Series.
It will be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t have Mario Mola (ESP) as race favourite, the Spaniard has won the event here in the last three occasions, however Mola comes off the back of one of the worst WTS results of his career, whether this will dent his confidence is yet to be seen.
The Spanish have a triple threat from 5-time World Champion Javier Gomez and Fernando Alarza, both of whom are capable of winning the event. The French also have a strong line up with current series leader Vincent Luis leading the charge. A relative newcomer to the series, but currently ranked in 3rd is Leo Bergere, who will be an outside bet for taking the victory.
Next up is the British contingent. Unfortunately, double Olympic medalist Jonny Brownlee is a late withdrawal from the weekend, however, flying the flag for Great Britain is HUUB’s Tom Bishop and the brands latest signing Alex Yee. Yee recorded his first ever podium at his first ever WTS start back in Abu Dhabi, only bettered by Mola in the final stages. Bishop also heads into the race after choosing to miss out on Bermuda and concentrate on Yokohama. The pair who train together should certainly be firing on all cylinders.
Finally, there is the Norwegian trio of Kristian Blummenfelt, Gustav Iden and Casper Stornes, and these three have the firepower to change the outcome of the race dramatically. The key point of the race will undoubtedly be the swim-bike. In recent years the packs have merged leaving the result down to the 10k, but it’s not to say that this will repeat as there will be athletes out there that want a lead going into the final stage of the race.
Similarly to the men, there is possibly one out and out favourite in the form of Katie Zaferes (USA) who has won the opening two races of the World Triathlon Series.
The previous editions of Yokohama WTS have been dominated by Gwen Jorgensen (USA) and Flora Duffy (BER), however with Jorgensen retired to pursue a running career and Duffy recovering from injury, the race is open to a new winner.
The American team has strength in numbers as well Taylor Spivey, Chelsea Burns, Summer Rappaport, Renee Tomlin and Tamara Gorman also starting. The biggest threat will be in the form of the British trio of Jessica Learmonth, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Non Stanford. HUUB’s Jessica Learmonth is the athlete in form at the moment with a 3rd place finish at Abu Dhabi and 2nd at Bermuda. Both results have come from breakaways alongside Zaferes so this will be certainly something both athletes will be aiming to repeat. Georgia Taylor-Brown and Non Stanford are two of the fastest runners in the sport, and they will be hoping the field is together before the start of the 10k run.
The race has the potential to be dictated by a breakaway as it has been in the past, which will suit Learmonth and Zaferes, but also a few other members of the US team as well as Lotte Miller of Norway. More than likely chasing from behind will be other favourites, Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA), Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) and Joanna Brown (CAN). Again in similarity to the men, the focus will be on the swim-bike, this will be the decisive point of the race.
Jade Hall-Jones is HUUB’s sole representative at Yokohama World Paratriathlon Series in the PTWC category. The 2018 Commonwealth Champion will probably start as favourite in the most competitive round of the WPTS. Jade comes off the back of victory in the National Duathlon Championships and will use this race as an indicator of her shape at the start of her season having chosen to sit out the first round of the WPTS in Milan.
Also this weekend is the ITU Cagliari World Cup which sees a return to ITU racing from Alistair Brownlee (GBR). The course has changed last minute, with a once very hilly and technical bike course altered to an out and back along the seafront. Arguably this is less suited to Brownlee’s strengths, but the double Olympic Champion has and can win on any course. HUUB’s Gordon Benson, Ben Dijkstra and Barclay Izzard are also on the start-list which as it stands looks to be very competitive.
In the Women’s race, HUUB’s Sophie Coldwell will be looking to build on her 4th place result at Madrid World Cup after coming back from injury. Beth Potter (GBR), is also an athlete to watch out for, having competed at Rio 2016 over 10,000m on the track.
There is also an ETU continental cup in Olsztyn, Poland where HUUB’s Sian Rainsley (GBR) will be looking to get her 2019 season underway.
On the long distance scene is Barcelona 70.3 where HUUB’s David McNamee (GBR) will go head to head with Bart Aernouts (BEL). The pair were 2nd and 3rd respectively at Kona in 2018. Elliot Smales (GBR) is also set to start. The Yorkshire athlete has been managing an injury issue in the last month or two but will be happy to get back on a start-line and hopefully he can build on his impressive 2018 season.
The unique design of HUUB's triathlon wetsuits allows the quickest exit from the wetsuit in transition, due to the innovative Breakaway Zipper design.
In this video, HUUB's Deano Jackson shows you how the Breakaway Zipper works.
January saw little racing, however, HUUB found two of the worlds best triathletes to join their ranks. Kristian Bummenfelt (NOR) joined the likes of Alistair and Jonny Brownlee (GBR), and Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) added to HUUB's impressive line up of British female talent, including Helen Jenkins and Sophie Coldwell.
In February, Alistair Brownlee absolutely dominated Dubai 70.3, the first race in the illustrious triple crown series. He led out of the water, powered away on the bike and backed it up with a blistering run. The only thing he wasn’t quickest at was the transitions, but being as he had a 6.35-minute advantage over second place, I think we can let him off!
In March, the World Triathlon Series (WTS) kicked off in Abu Dhabi, and we witnessed possibly the best individual performance of the year when HUUB’s Henri Schoeman (RSA) led from start to finish to take the victory.
Jess Learmonth (GBR), ITU’s breakout star of 2017 also joined the HUUB family. Known for her impressive swimming, Jess had turned heads the previous year as she began notching up WTS podiums. Jess is always seen at the forefront of racing and little can stop her when she teams up with Bermudan Flora Duffy. Jess marked this occasion with a second place at Abu Dhabi making it a double podium success for HUUB in the first race of the year!
The main attraction in April was the Commonwealth Games where many of HUUB’s athletes were present. Last years race saw the distance change from Olympic to Sprint. Schoeman clearly in the best shape of his life pulled off another incredible victory, holding off Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS) with Marc Austin (SCO) in third. There was also a similar result for Jess Learmonth after a promising start to the year at Abu Dhabi. Jess and Flora Duffy piled on the pressure through the swim and bike and made it a two horse race as the rest of the field fought for the final podium spot. Flora claimed victory but it was still an incredible performance for Jess who is a relative newcomer to the sport. The Gold Coast also saw victory for Joe Townsend (GBR) and Jade Jones-Hall (GBR) in the PTWC category.
May saw plenty of racing with numerous podiums for HUUB athletes. Early in the month, we saw a record-breaking performance from the Norwegian trio of Gustav Iden, Kristian Blummenfelt and Casper Stornes who completed a first-ever national clean-sweep of a men’s WTS podium.
The WTS headed to the UK with the Nottingham relays first up, where we saw HUUB’s Jonathan Brownlee and Tom Bishop help GBR to second place. The following weekend the worlds best triathletes headed to Leeds where we saw Georgia Taylor-Brown claim her first ever WTS podium, the start to an incredible year for the young athlete. The same weekend Elliot Smales (GBR) earned his first-ever Ironman 70.3 victory on home soil at Staffordshire 70.3 - another young athlete on the rise!
July started off with a medal haul at the WPTS event in Northern Italy. George Peasgood carried on a stellar year with his second victory of the season. Jetze Plat won yet again with Joe Townsend carrying on his podium streak in third.
The WTS headed to Hamburg and Jonathan Brownlee delivered a result more indicative of his ability with a fourth-place finish. The double Olympic medalist had admitted a tough start to the 2018 season, falling short of his extremely high expectations and past results.
The end of the month saw the WTS head to Canada for the first of two races. Georgia Taylor-Brown stunned again with another impressive display finishing 3rd in Edmonton. It was another return to the podium for HUUB athlete Kristian Blummenfelt who was only passed into second place by Mario Mola (ESP) with 500m to go.
In August, Jess Learmonth attempted to defend her European Title from 2017. Unfortunately, 2012’s Olympic Champion Nicola Spirig (SUI) got the better of her on the day. The men's race saw a return to racing for Alistair Brownlee after some time out with injury, and despite a self-proclaimed lack of run fitness, he finished in fouth place.
Montreal was the location of the second WTS event held in Canada for 2018. Georgia Taylor-Brown carried on her impressive display with a third podium finish of the year. It was a similar story for Kristian Blummenfelt as he was the driving seat for much of the race, it took another astonishing run display from Mario Mola to prevent the Norwegian claiming victory.
August also hosted one of the most eagerly anticipated showdowns for years... Brownlee vs Gomez vs Frodeno at the 70.3 World Championships. In the end, Jan Frodeno (GER) prevailed with Brownlee second and Gomez third, but it has only whet the appetite for fans who will hope to see similar battles in coming years. In other 70.3 news, Elliot Smales claimed his second victory of the year in Dublin.
September usually signals the closing of the triathlon season with the culmination of the WTS. The World Triathlon Series Grand Final had it all... thrills, spills and controversial decisions. Georgia Taylor-Brown topped off a great season and finished the race in 8th, and this was good enough for her to claim 3rd place overall in the WTS for 2018 - a phenomenal result for the 24-year-old! The men’s race was equally captivating, we saw Alistair's first return to WTS racing since his last victory in Leeds 2017, however, he was controversially DSQ’d after a swim buoy infringement. Blummentfelt rounded out a solid season in 5th and Schoeman was back racing after being sidelined for a lot of the season, and finished in a fine 6th place.
September finished with a HUUB 1-2-3-4 at Beijing International Triathlon with Jonny Brownlee claiming victory, Blummenfelt 2nd, Schoeman 3rd, and Alistair Brownlee 4th. Also that weekend we saw Elliot Smales claim his 3rd 70.3 victory of the year at Weymouth 70.3, and Jack Burnell (GBR) claim the gold medal at the penultimate 10km Marathon Swim World Series in 2018 by the narrowest of margins in China.
October saw the launch of HUUB Wattbike, a Derby-based track cycling team who have been turning heads all over the world with their different, non-governing body approach to track cycling. In the triathlon world the Super League was taking over with its first stop in Jersey, here Schoeman found some of his early season form to claim 2nd overall with Blummenfelt in 3rd place. The next round headed to Malta, Vincent Luis (FRA) took the honours, with Schoeman again placing an impressive 2nd overall.
In October eyes all turn to the ‘Big Island’ and Kona! In a record-breaking day where numerous course records were smashed HUUB’s David McNamme once again finished in an incredible 3rd place, establishing himself as Britains number one male long-distance athlete. HUUB Wattbike also announced their arrival with a second place at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Canada.
November saw the final stage of the Super League in Mallorca, and yet again HUUB athletes claimed podiums with Schoeman in 2nd overall and Jonny Brownlee in 3rd.