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‘It’s good to be back’ – Alistair Brownlee gives verdict on race return

Alistair Brownlee said he was happy to "race hard from the gun and get to the finish line" on his return at the PTO European Open in Ibiza.

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Alistair Brownlee says he’ll adopt a patient approach to his running following his sixth place in his comeback race at the PTO European Open in Ibiza.

We got the showdown we wanted as all the Olympic champions since 2008 – Brownlee,  Jan Frodeno and Kristian Blummenfelt – lined up against each other.

And it was London 2012 and Rio 2016 winner Brownlee who arguably did most to animate the race, racing in his trademark aggressive style.

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‘It’s good to be back’

He was in the front three after the swim alongside Frodeno and Aaron Royle and then led for chunks of the bike.

Coming out of T2 he was at the front of the run, opening up a lead of nearly half a minute in the early stages and looking smooth.

However eventual winner Max Neumann powered past approaching halfway and went on to hold off the charging Blummenfelt in the closing stages.

Alistair Brownlee finish PTO European Open 2023 Ibiza [Photo credit: PTO / Darren Wheeler]
[Photo credit: PTO / Darren Wheeler]

Brownlee would drop back to sixth but was keen to take the positives in his post-race debrief on his social channels.

He said: Happy to stand on a start line, race hard from the gun and get to the finish line today. Felt good on the swim and the bike.

“Always knew coming into the race that the run was going to be a struggle. I’m going to build my running slowly over the next few months.

“Congratulations Max Neumann on an incredible performance to take the win.

“It’s good to be back!”

Welcome return

Brownlee endured a frustrating 2022 which was blighted by injury and illness.

And his planned return this year was delayed when he missed IRONMAN South Africa in early March because of “a slightly sore hip”.

His big target this season is the first ever IRONMAN World Championship in Nice which features an up-and-down bike course which should play to his strengths as he looks to boost a full-distance record of three wins out of four.

Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  

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