British Dream Team Assembled For RTP Sharks: Team Revealed

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British triathletes have been a powerhouse in the sport for more than a decade, dominating the top end of racing and boasting incredible strength in depth. Their togetherness as a team will be tested more than ever as the RTP Sharks announce a GB dream team for the 2023 Championship Series.

Michelle Dillon, herself a two-time Olympian for Great Britain, has joined forces with RTP to secure some of the finest established stars in British triathlon along with some up and coming talent.

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It’s a bold move to build a team which can be hugely unified or split by personal interest on the eve of the Paris Olympics, but Dillon believes this is the winning formula.

Here, we take a look at the 2023 Sharks, the dynamics, and the burning questions.

Meet The team

Men: Alex Yee, Jonny Brownlee, Dan Dixon, Max Stapley, Sergio Baxter Cabrera

It is rather convenient that a (nearly) all-British men’s line-up for the Sharks appears, on paper at least, to offer a pretty perfect blend for a Super League team.

You need headliners, big game players and potential race winners, and they don’t come much bigger than Alex Yee, the current star of men’s triathlon, and Jonny Brownlee, a three-time Olympic medallist.

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You want some real swim power to try and grab Short Chutes, discipline points and tactical advantages for the team. Step in Max Stapley.

And you want to have hungry young athletes, ready to light up the field, but who ideally have had a taste of Super League so they have already done some learning on the job, which is where Dan Dixon, Sergio Baxter Cabrera – Spanish but an honorary Yorkshireman – and, indeed, Stapley, all figure.

All-British, yes, pretty much, but also so strong.

Women: Beth Potter, Sophie Coldwell, Kate Waugh, Olivia Mathias, Jess Fullagar

Michelle Dillon’s female line-up has similar qualities to the men’s, only with a couple of extra caveats.

The headliners are well and truly there in Beth Potter and Sophie Coldwell. Potter’s star is truly on the rise while Coldwell has been at the top end of racing for many years, and her breakthrough to race winning always felt like a matter of time.

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Kate Waugh is among those British female athletes that have struggled to get as many chances as they may like thanks to the incredible strength in depth ahead of them, but she has done a full Super League Championship Series, has improved markedly this year, and can be a threat.

Less is known about exactly how Olivia Mathias and Jess Fullagar will fare. Both have had a taste of Super League, but neither are desperately experienced at SLT, making them an interesting side-story.

Team Dynamics

Intriguing. Could an all-British team be the most unified out there as they all know each other well and are brought together by a common bond? Or could it fracture apart as years-old rivalries come to the fore with the underlying battle for Olympic superiority splitting the team asunder?

Michelle Dillion has plenty to deal with, that is for sure. Maybe the men will be more straightforward. Brownlee and Yee are, after all, the kings. Even if the young guns are looking up to them with the aim of replicating their success, they will appreciate their place in the pecking order. And as for Brownlee and Yee, they can co-exist.

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The women are trickier. Leaving aside the unknown of Georgia Taylor-Brown’s injury recovery, Potter and Coldwell look set to go to the Olympics and are head-to-head for that second female spot in the mixed team relay.

Given Great Britain have a tremendous team and chance of collecting a medal – maybe even gold again – it’s an opportunity neither of them will want to miss out on. And every single race will count, especially super sprint and high profile events like Super League. Selectors will be watching. So, what does that do to team unity? And how about those younger athletes who may want to have their chance?

Race Dynamics

Is anybody working for Alex Yee? That’s a bit of a burning question for the men’s team. You could safely argue he doesn’t exactly need any help, but his swim has been exposed a little in Super League races in the past, and he has some real swim power on his team, and bike power as well to help bridge any gaps that do form.

Brownlee will presumably run his own race – it’s hard to imagine him doing anything else – while the younger team members will also have to fight for Short Chutes, even if they don’t benefit from them.

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Whether Potter and Coldwell can work together, or want to, is hard to call. Coldwell’s strength on the swim in particular helps cover one of Potter’s weaknesses if she can take her along with her, but that would lessen Coldwell’s chances as an individual. Maybe that job then falls to somebody else in the team, but with the risk it does little to help their unity.

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