Britain’s Alistair Brownlee says he “can’t wait to get going” on this year’s WTS title challenge in Yokohama in two weeks’ time, after being forced to sit out the season’s first two races in Auckland and Cape Town due to injury.
Writing for the Metro, the Olympic gold medallist adds: “I didn’t expect to race at the season opener in Auckland but I really wanted to do Cape Town last weekend. However, I couldn’t force it, and I have to make sure I am in one piece for the rest of the year and the Commonwealth Games this summer.”
Alistair had previously hoped to compete in the 10,000m track event at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and was expected to race at the qualifying heats in London next weekend, but says that the timescale no longer works and his focus has to be on triathlon.
He adds that he is under no illusions about the size of the task ahead, given the form that reigning champ Javier Gomez (ESP) is currently enjoying. “He [Gomez] is as strong as ever, nothing’s changed there, and the challenges remain the same as last year – I see the title being between Gomez, Jonny and myself, although my brother has not performed anywhere near as well as he can so far. I hope we can both get better as the year goes on.”
Alistair racked up WTS wins last year in San Diego, Kitzbühel and Hamburg, plus a silver medal in Hamburg, giving him pole position on the points table going into the season’s Grand Final in London last September. Despite a strong swim and bike however, his chances were scuppered by ankle problems on the run, giving Gomez a clear run at the title against Jonny.
His one competitive race in 2014 to date has been the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, where he and Jonny dominated the short course event to cross the finish line together nearly 5mins ahead of their nearest rival.
WTS Yokohama will be held on 17-18 May, with the men’s race getting underway at 1pm local time (5am UK time) on Saturday 17 May – more info here. Live coverage can be found on the BBC Red Button service, and online at TriathlonLIVE.
(Main image: Delly Carr)