From gold to gravel: Alistair Brownlee takes on Badlands

Alistair Brownlee is clearly well on the way back to full fitness after that ankle surgery, and this weekend he takes on a new challenge in the shape of the iconic Badlands gravel race in Spain.

The two-time Olympic champion made a valiant bid to reach Tokyo and keep the dream of a ‘threepeat’ alive, but had to admit defeat after his ankle problem again plagued him during WTCS Leeds in June.

After that Brownlee admitted he had undergone “three months of hell” trying to be fit for Tokyo, and underwent surgery on that troublesome ankle.

Badlands a unique race

Now that his short-course career is over, the future is over longer distances for Alistair, and this weekend should be a pretty good test of his endurance on a bike! Badlands provides a unique challenge – some 750km of terrain with deserts, mountains and 15km of climbing.

Alistair revealed his Spanish plans in an Instagram post earlier this week, and he is pretty excited about taking (a huge) step into the unknown.

He said: “Fancied a new challenge so I’m throwing myself into Badlands gravel event this weekend. 750km of mixed terrain including mountains and deserts completely self supported.

“I’ve never done anything quite like it and I have no idea how I’ll cope with a lack of good sleep but I can’t wait to see the tracks, trails and roads of southern Spain by bike.”

Brownlee goes into print

Aside from rehab, Alistair has also been busy in recent months with other projects – notably going into print with his new book ‘Relentless: Secrets Of The Sporting Elite’. In that he spent time with and interviewed a host of top sports stars about their own experiences.

Brownlee also now no longer faces a race against time to make the next IRONMAN World Championship in Kona. He had stressed he would not risk the future to be ready for the planned October 9 race. But now that of course has been rescheduled back to February 2022 due to ongoing COVID-19 issues in Hawaii.

Back to Badlands to round off, and to give an idea of the challenge Alistair faces this weekend, Australian pro cyclist Lachlan Morton won the 2020 event in 43 hours and 30 minutes, stopping for just 19 minutes in the process.

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