PTO 2020 Championship pro press conference: ‘I’ve heard so very often that short course athletes will smoke longer distance athletes, but it did never happen’

Anne Haug during the PTO 2020 Championship press conference. (Picture : Triathlon Today)

It’s one of the biggest questions for the PTO 2020 Championship: which athletes do have an ‘advantage’, long course or short course athletes? If you ask Sebastian Kienle it’s clear: ”I’ve heard so very often that short course athletes will smoke longer distance athletes, but it never did happen.”

Still Kienle don’t think he will win the race himself: “If you ask me, Alistair Brownlee is favourite. He brings the short course speed and knows how it is to ride his TT bike for over 1:30 hours. The only way to make this race interesting is to don’t make it a gunfight, but make it a nuclear war.”

Brownlee is looking forward to race the PTO 2020 Championship on Sunday between what is going to be most likely the most spectacular pro field even seen in a Middle Distance. “After al the preparations for this race, of course we’ve all come here for victory. This is the most significant triathlon event of the year. I’m very lucky that I was able to achieve more than I’ve ever dreamed of, but I didn’t manage yet winning an important longer distance race already. This would be a perfect moment to do so.”

Someone to deal with for Brownlee is Vincent Luis, the Frenchman who makes his debut on the Middle Distance and aims for the 100.000 Dollar prize purse. “I thought this was a good way to make some money for Christmas”, he joked. “I just want to race a longer distance once. It’s a total different sport for me. This race will take me about 3:15 hours, so it isn’t that long. I’m kind of an adrenaline junkie and I will enjoy every minute of the race.”

At the women’s race most eyes will be on girls like Lisa Norden, Anne Haug and of course Nicola Spirig. “I’ve done a lot of Middle Distances and won the most of them” says former Olympic Champion Spirig. “I’m preparing for my fifth Olympics and didn’t want a break in my trainings, so this race is very important for me. Racing is my true passion.”

Of course racing is Lisa Norden’s passion as well. “I think this course suits me very well because it’s just straight and I love my aero position and indoor trainings. Last year I became third at Challenge Daytona while I was sick, so I hope to do even better now. Races like this, against the best athletes in the world, are the ones you learn most of.”

Current Ironman Champion Anne Haug seems to be of the best contenders as well. “The pressure will be on. I’ll do what I always do, prepare the best way I can and race as hard as possible. It’s an open secret that my hearts lies with the shorter distance because I like the speed in these races. Whatever happens, this PTO 2020 Championship is important for anyone of us.”