After a pretty tough year with many disappointments – he had to skip several races because of injuries and did not qualify for Nice – Alistair Brownlee will race this weekend’s Challenge Barcelona. Is Brownlee able to handle the pressure? Can he handle the level at all? What can we expect of Brownlee?
Obviously, Brownlee is one of the most successful triathletes of his generation. Whether he can handle the pressure; no need to worry about that. Brownlee won the Olympic Games in London (2012) and Rio de Janeiro (2016), won several world titles as well as European titles, and in addition he showed himself successful more than once on the longer distance. Dealing with the pressure is therefore not a problem: Brownlee knows better than anyone what it is like to deal with expectations and completely follow his own plan, with the goal of achieving the best possible result.
But, now the pressure may be of a different order. In recent months, Brownlee has been on the starting list for different races several times, only to cancel one or two weeks beforehand with an injury. It happened so often that he had to endure quite a few negative online comments, from “fans” who no longer believed in him and indicated that he should better end his career. Upcoming Sunday, Brownlee will do everything he can to show these people that he is still capable of top performances for sure.
The distance of Challenge Barcelona – 1.5km swim / 60km bike / 16km run – seems to favor Brownlee anyway, who will never lose his years of experience at the shorter distance. His maximum speed is high, his explosiveness impressive and his will to win perhaps even bigger than ever. Brownlee will face the likes of Aaron Royle, Cameron Wurf, Antonio Benito and Youri Keulen at Challenge Barcelona. With a prize pool of 25,000 euros, there is plenty at stake.