Olympic Champion Alistair Brownlee has told the BBC that he intends to race long distance triathlon after the 2016 Rio Olympics. Brownlee, who won Gold at the London 2012 Olympics, was speaking ahead of his debut at the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon.
“I’ve done triathlon since I was 8 or 9 years old and always followed it and love watching all different types of triathlon. The Olympics were very much my passion and my dream since I was very young and I achieved that in London and want to try and do it again in Rio but after that I definitely want to have a change and try some longer distance racing as a new challenge,” Brownlee told the BBC.
Brownlee will make his debut at the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon this weekend, racing in the ‘Short’ distance event: 1.5km swim, 100km bike and 10km run. This represents a change to his traditional pre-season build-up, and that has been influenced by his historic run of early-season injuries.
“I wanted to have a different focus over the first few months of the year,” Brownlee continued in a separate BBC interview. “I’m trying to learn from the past, where I seem to get a horrific injury every January, so having a bigger focus on the bike early on is a good thing.
“Looking forward, it’s good for me to try out some longer races, and this is an easy way to do it – early in the year, so it won’t affect my chances in the World Series, and with a long bike rather than a long run, which is the element which might cause most injury issues.
“It’s a non-drafting race, meaning I’ll be time-trialling on the bike, and that’s a good challenge for me – it’s not been easy practising time-trialling in -2C in Yorkshire, but it’s also a different skill; I’m used to lots of short, sharp efforts where this is two hours of steady-state riding.”
We’ll bring you full coverage of Abu Dhabi over the weekend, and if you want to read the full interview with Alistair on the BBC click here.