2018 Beijing International Triathlon on Sunday
Something of a rarity in the modern triathlon landscape – a professional, non-drafting, Olympic distance race – the 2018 Beijing International Triathlon has attracted a stellar cast of athletes to its 2018 edition. With a $100,000 prize purse, that’s not really a surprise.
Winner in 2016, double Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee returns and this time has brother Jonathan with him. Alistair will be very familiar with the ‘stop-off’ from the Gold Coast to home, having earlier this year won IRONMAN 70.3 Liuzhou a week after the Commonwealth Games. The pair also finished first and third in Beijing in 2011 at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final. With neither producing results in line with their incredible CVs at this year’s Grand Final, both will want to get back to winning ways.
It will be quite a month of variety for Alistair, who by the end of September should have clocked up:
- IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship (non-drafting, Middle distance)
- ITU World Triathlon Grand Final (draft-legal, Olympic distance)
- Beijing International Triathlon (non-drafting, Olympic distance)
- Super League Jersey (draft-legal, Super Sprint)
If nothing else, that variety should start to shape his plans for 2019/2020, having said for the past two years that any decisions with regards to seeking a third Olympic Gold medal in Tokyo or making a more permanent move to long(er) distances would have to be made at the end of this season.
After his consistency through 2018 – combined with memories of his ability to ride a TT bike from IRONMAN 70.3 Bahrain 2017 – Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt may well start as race favourite. Commonwealth Games Gold medallist and defending Beijing champion, Henri Schoeman (RSA) and Ben Kanute (USA) are also contenders, both also using the race as a stop-off en-route to Jersey next weekend.
— Kristian Blummenfelt (@kristianblu) September 20, 2018
The defending women’s champion, Paula Findlay (CAN) returns to Beijing, but will surely face a tough challenge from Grand Final winner, Ashleigh Gentle (AUS). 2012 Olympic Silver medallist and Swedish TT champion, Lisa Norden also races and will certainly have the swim and bike speed to be pushing the pace at the front – how will her run legs be over 10km?
Great Britain’s Lucy Hall will be racing in a rare non-drafting outing. With a small field and her swim / bike ability, it will be interesting to she how she goes. She certainly won’t fear going solo if needed, having used that tactic many times with success in her draft-legal career.
We don’t get to race overseas together much anymore but mega excited to share a journey in 🇨🇳 & compete @beijing_tri next week with my most prized possession.
— Mark Buckingham (@TriBucko) September 12, 2018
Making her debut on non-drafting is Great Britain’s 2013 World Champion, Non Stanford. Third at WTS Yokohama was her best result of the season.
For more on the race, visit: www.beijinginternationaltriathlon.com