Alistair Brownlee masterclass at IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai

Even injury and surgery can't stop a resurgent Alistair Brownlee, who totally dominated the racing at today's IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai

Chief Correspondent
Last updated -

Double Olympic Champion is in a different league at IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai

(Picture credit – Talbot Cox / Bahrain Endurance 13 Media)


He’s done it enough times before that we shouldn’t need proof – but Alistair Brownlee showed once again today that his ability to recover from injury is unmatched, with a comprehensive destruction of IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai.

First out of the water, he was only edged for the fastest swim split by Johann Ackermann (GER) who crossed the timing mat on dry land first, as a group on nine athletes exited the opening 1.9km swim within 14 seconds. The Swiss pair of Sven Riederer and Ruedi Wild (third last year) were in that group, along with Nick Kastelein (AUS), Maurice Clavel (GER), Eric Watson (BHR), Jesper Svensson (SWE), Filipe Azevedo (POR) and Manuel Kueng (SUI).

Brownlee quickly hit the front, solo, on the bike and by 22km was already 1:19 clear of a chase group of five (Riederer, Kueng, Ackermann, Clavel, Svensson). By the 45km turn-point that lead was 2:49, and once the 90km was complete, a 1:58:51 bike split resulted in a T2 lead of over four minutes.

For me, more impressive than the time (always subject to conditions / course measurement) and the gap built, was how he looked, position wise, on his bike.

We did an analysis/review (HERE) of Alistair’s position on his new Scott Plasma bike, shortly after delivery last year. Since then, we’d seen changes made as he worked with Dan Bigham at the Derby velodrome, and today he looked the best I’ve seen him yet. New tribars / extensions and, I think, a slightly less extreme position seemed – to my eyes at least – far more comfortable, He looked strong, balanced and relaxed. His ITU cycling (where he is almost universally regarded as the stronger rider in the field), shows he has the ability, power and strength, but that requires translating to a TT position. I feel he has made a massive improvement in this regard, which bodes well for the rest of 2018.

The run saw nothing change – other than further extending his lead. Looking strong from the start to the finish, he added the fastest run split too (1:09:34), for what has to be regard as a very complete performance – and a whopping 6:35 margin of victory. Given this was achieved in his first race after recovery from surgery which ended his 2017 campaign, lots of positives to take away for the season ahead. As dominant as it was, speaking to Bahrain Endurance 13 media, it still wasn’t perfect:

“Didn’t feel great on the swim, had a couple of bad patches on the bike but on the run I just felt great, I was in control and I actually really enjoyed the last 10-18K. I was just kind of soaking it in, enjoying the cheers. Obviously it’s so fantastic to be back after too much time spent at the gym the past six months.”

Alistair has objectives this season ranging from Mixed Relay at the Commonwealth Games through to winning the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. As Tim Don said on Wednesday, if anyone can manage all of those competing targets and skill sets, it’s Alistair.

IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai – Friday 2nd February 2018
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km


1st – Alistair Brownlee (GBR) – 3:35:30
2nd – Sven Riederer (SUI) – 3:42:05
3rd – Ruedi Wild (SUI) – 3:42:42
4th – Maurice Clavel (GER) – 3:43:38
5th – Nick Kastelein (AUS) – 3:44:19
6th – Ilia Prasolov (RUS) – 3:45:35
7th – Jesper Svensson (SWE) – 3:45:41
8th – Ronnie Schildknecht (SUI) – 3:47:08
9th – Bertrand Billard (FRA) – 3:47:10
10th – Kevin Maurel (FRA) – 3:47:53

17th – Will Clarke (GBR) – 3:53:39

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
Discover more
Beginner Triathlete Race Day Checklist
Triathlon Race Day Checklist – A Beginners Guide
Challenge Kaiserwinkl-Walchsee 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade / Challenge Walchsee 2023
How to pace a hilly half distance triathlon – Challenge Kaiserwinkl-Walchsee race day tips
sumarpo triathlon swimming wetsuit
Wetsuit buying guide – How to choose the best wetsuit for triathlon, open water swimming, SwimRun and cold water
Challenge Family Roth
Five things you need to know about the Challenge Roth bike course
Riixo Recovery compression calf sleeves sports recovery
How to relieve sore muscles and recover faster between training sessions
latest News
An emotional Sophie Coldwell wins WTCS Yokohama 2023 photo credit: World Triathlon / Tommy Zaferes
British Triathlon explain ‘difficult decision’ after Sophie Coldwell Olympic Games triathlon omission
Sophie Coldwell WTCS Cagliari 2024
Sophie Coldwell heartbroken and “angry” after missing out on Olympic Games triathlon spot at Paris 2024
Jonathan Brownlee / Jonny Brownlee - World Triathlon Cup Arzachena 2022
Olympic Games Triathlon: Jonny Brownlee reacts after missing out on Paris 2024 spot for Team GB
Team GB triathlon paris olympics 2024 yee taylor brown potter dickinson
Olympic Games triathlon: Which athletes have qualified so far for Paris 2024?
Team GB triathlon paris olympics 2024 yee taylor brown potter dickinson
The Brownlee brothers Olympic Triathlon era is OVER for Britain as Sam Dickinson gets final spot for Paris 2024
triathlon on your terms
Never miss out with our triathlon alerts & digest. Get a dose of adventure & inspiration with Boundless.
Invalid email address
The SBRX Group

Proudly elevating endurance sports through content, products & services

Share to...