Britain’s top three triathlon medal contenders at the London Olympics are to race the GE Blenheim Triathlon in early June.
Reigning ITU World Series champions Helen Jenkins and Alistair Brownlee will be joined by Series runner-up Jonny Brownlee on the starting line at the eighth running of the celebrated UK race, held at the World Heritage site of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire from 10-11 June.
With around 50% of the 6,000 plus entrants first timers to triathlon, the two-day event (the second largest tri in the UK behind London) will expose the Brownlees and Jenkins to a legion of potential new admirers as part of their pre-Olympic PR push.
The sprint-distance event will also give Alistair some valuable race day experience before August, with the 24-year-old double world champion having sat out the opening rounds of the ITU World Triathlon Series in Sydney and San Diego after tearing his Achilles on a training run in February [see News last issue].
Jonny Brownlee also has unfinished business on the course, having been pipped by Blenheim regular Stuart Hayes back in 2009 to finish the sprint course in 1:01:15, just five seconds behind his British Triathlon teammate.
Blenheim counted Jenson Button and Pippa Middleton amongst its entrants in 2011 and is also the opening event of the five-date British Triathlon Super Series, won in 2011 by fellow British elites Jodie Stimpson and Aaron Harris.
With tickets for the Olympic Hyde Park event having long sold out (although free public viewpoints along the bike leg are available), the race will also offer triathlon fans a rare 2012 opportunity to watch the trio swim, bike and run at close quarters (advance adult spectator tickets are £9.50 until 3 June at www.theblenheimtriathlon.com).