WTCS Abu Dhabi: Strong men’s field announced for first stop on the road to Paris 2024

A rundown of the start list for the men's race at WTCS Abu Dhabi.

Staff Reporter
Last updated -

Abu Dhabi will once again host the season opener of the WTCS next month on March 8-9, with strong fields set for the sprint distance event in the Middle East.

On the men’s side, the competition is set to be fierce, with all three of the men’s podium in 2023 – Alex Yee, Vasco Vilaca and Manoel Messias – set to return to race in 2024.

Whilst the start list is always subject to change, with athletes dropping off and rolling on in the weeks leading up to the race, we take a look at who is currently set to compete in the UAE.

All eyes on Yee

Despite missing out on the WTCS title last season once again, both Hayden Wilde and Alex Yee will be hoping to put any demons to bed when they line up to race in Abu Dhabi next month.

Twelve months ago, Yee had the perfect race to spring away for the win, whilst Wilde suffered through the bike with a mechanical issue and finished out of the running.

This time around, both Yee and Wilde will hope to compete against the best version of each other, with the matchup likely to serve as a sneak peek for the main battle in Paris this summer.

Other contenders who will fancy themselves to compete with the two hottest talents in the sport are the likes of Portugal’s Vasco Vilaca, who finished on the podium here last year and Australian Matt Hauser, who showed in 2023 that he is a force to be reckoned with.

Kristian Blummenfelt Paris Test Event [Photo credit: World Triathlon / Wagner Araujo]
[Photo credit: World Triathlon / Wagner Araujo]

Olympic champion Kristian Blummenfelt wasn’t at his best over the shorter distances last year, but is reported to be hitting some of his best numbers ever in pre-season training and will be a major threat, as he leads a small Norwegian team with no Gustav Iden on the start list.


Strong European contingent set to start

In Abu Dhabi there is set to be a strong contingent of top European athletes racing in the men’s field, with Germany, Spain and France bringing stacked squads to Abu Dhabi.

Reigning world champion Dorian Coninx is joined by former world champions Vincent Luis and Leo Bergere for Les Bleus, with World #22 Tom Richard also starting to round out a fearsome quartet.

Amongst the Spanish ranks is European Champion David Castro Fajardo, plus Antonio Serrat Seoane and Roberto Sanchez Mantecon, both of whom finished in the WTCS Top 20 last season.

Tim Hellwig, who finished last year with a second place finish at the Grand Final and two World Triathlon Cup victories in Chengdu and Tongyeong, leads a strong German team in the Middle East.

World Triathlon Cup Tongyeong podium featuring Tim Hellwig, Ricardo Batista and Samuel Dickinson
[Photo Credit – World Triathlon/Janos M Schmidt]

He’s joined by compatriots Lasse Luhrs, Lasse Nygaard Priester and Jonas Schomburg, plus reigning World U23 Champion Simon Henseleit.

Hungary are also bringing a strong squad lead by Joel Filliol coached Bence Bicsak, with Max Studer heading up an equally strong Swiss team as a number of countries ready themselves for a big test in the Mixed Team Relay the following day.


Veterans look to make a mark

With many athletes likely to step up to middle distance racing once this Olympic cycle comes to an end, there’s a chance that we could be seeing a number of big names race for the last time on the Yas Marina circuit.

Henri Schoeman
Photo Credit – World Triathlon

South African Olympic medalist Henri Schoeman, who has won here before, will be looking to kick off his season strongly in Abu Dhabi, as will multiple time WTCS podium finisher Jacob Birtwhistle of Australia.

Marten Van Riel, who is contracted to the T100 Triathlon World Tour this season, is chasing the Olympic dream for one more year and will look to finally get his Olympic medal this summer in Paris.

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.


In episode 1 of our new SBRX Show we sit down with ultra runners and coaches Kim and Jayson Cavill to get their take on the Barkley Marathons and triathlon & trail running gear reviews, training tips and more
Discover more
Daniela Ryf fist pump finish line Challenge Roth 2023
Best triathlons in the world: Top 10 bucket list races
Triathlon clothing through the ages: from Speedos and tank tops to ultra-aero tri suits
PRO triathlete and Challenge St Polten champion Tom Hug on the bike course
Challenge St. Pölten – PRO tips for taking on Europe’s oldest middle distance triathlon
Jonny Brownlee swim pool neom 2022 Photo Bartlomiej Zborowski Superleague Triathlon
Jonny Brownlee on the pool swimming drills to do now to get faster in open water
TRI-FIT Geo Coral women's tri suit
TRI-FIT GEO Women’s Tri Suit Review – How does it fare in our quest for the ultimate long course kit?
latest News
Youri Keulen wins Singapore t100 2024 photo credit PTO
Singapore T100 wildcard winner Youri Keulen explains his “all or nothing” approach to racing
Iestyn Harrett took the win at Challenge Gran Canaria.
British triathlete reveals tactics after taking first pro win at Challenge Mogan-Gran Canaria
Marta Lagownik (POL) takes the win at Challenge Gran Canaria.
Challenge Mogán-Gran Canaria: Harrett and Lagownik take maiden professional wins
Luke Willian (AUS) wins the Wollongong World Triathlon Cup
World Triathlon Cup Wollongong: Luke Willian delivers as rising star Tilda Mansson shines
World Triathlon Cup Miyazaki 2023 Gwen Jorgensen
WTCS Yokohama: Start lists announced for CRUCIAL Olympic Games triathlon qualifying race
triathlon on your terms
Never miss out with our triathlon alerts & digest. Get a dose of adventure & inspiration with Boundless.
Invalid email address
The SBRX Group

Proudly elevating endurance sports through content, products & services

Share to...