There might be a key World Tri Series event happening this weekend in Japan, but the multisporting world will also be keeping one eye on the Sardinian capital of Cagliari. Why? Because the two-time Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee is making his first ITU World Cup start in over a decade there. But how will he fare on the sprint course after mainly racing middle-distance triathlons for the last year? And does this return mean he has Tokyo, and a third gold medal, in his sights?
Just to recap, the 31-year-old’s last three short course-triathlons appearances included a disqualification at the 2018 WTS Grand Final due to congestion in the swim at the first buoy, a fourth in the 2018 Glasgow European Championships and 10th in the 2018 Commonwealth Games. But, unsurprisingly, he’s fared better over the middle distance, where he’s focused most of his attention. Results there include a second place at the 2018 70.3 Worlds behind Jan Frodeno and ahead of Javier Gomez, in perhaps one of the greatest 70.3 battles of all time.
Back to Cagliari and, if fit, Brownlee senior should make light work of the field. Challengers include Mexico’s Rodrigo Gonzalez and Germany’s Justus Nieschlag as well as Italians Delian Stateff and Davide Uccellari.