Alistair Brownlee will have the chance to size himself up against the reigning IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Rico Bogen for the first time next weekend, as the pair meet at Challenge Peguera-Mallorca on October 14.
Brownlee, who is on his way back after having ankle surgery to remove a bone spur this summer, is racing back-to-back weekends in Spain at Challenge Barcelona on Sunday and then Challenge Peguera-Mallorca.
With a quality field which also includes a number of other rising stars, such as IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship runner-up Frederic Funk and European Long Distance Champion Menno Koolhaas, the stage is set for a fascinating encounter between the old guard and the new crop of youngsters.
Brownlee is back
After a tough start to the year Brownlee is now back and will return to Spain hoping to secure a podium after missing out the last time he made the trip over from the UK, when he finished sixth in a star-studded field at the PTO Tour European Open.
Lining up against him in Mallorca, Bogen will race for the first time since his world championship win, as fellow countryman Funk might fancy his chances to be Brownlee’s biggest contender, having kept the ball rolling since Lahti with back-to-back wins at IRONMAN 70.3 Zell am See and Challenge Samarkand.
Margirier adds further spice
Both Bogen and Funk will be joined on the start line by Frenchman Mathis Margirier, who for so long looked as if he would claim the last spot on the podium behind the two Germans in Lahti before he was overtaken in the final kilometres. After back-to-back fourth place finishes in Lahti and the PTO Tour US Open, Margirier will be gunning for a win to close out the best year of his career.
Finally, Dutch duo Youri Keulen and Koolhaas cannot be overlooked, after both athletes finished in the top 10 in Lahti. Keulen in particular has been knocking at the door of a big podium all season and if things go his way in Mallorca, could be one of the main men to beat.