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In pictures: Alistair Brownlee’s racing return at Challenge Barcelona 2023

La Sagrada Familia and triathlon? Challenge Barcelona combined both on Sunday as city centre racing saw Alistair Brownlee back in action

Chief Correspondent
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Over the past 18 months, we’ve almost certainly written as many ‘Alistair Brownlee is out’ stories, as we have race reports featuring the double Olympic Games gold medallist. It was thus a welcome sight on Sunday – and hopefully again this coming Saturday – to see the Brit racing at Challenge Barcelona.

The Netherlands’ Youri Keulen topped the podium by pulling clear in the late stages of the run, but after so many injury struggles, this was a more than solid return to racing action, with some top tier competition trailing, Alistair himself was pretty satisfied with his effort, and looking forward to racing this weekend at Challenge Peguera-Mallorca.

Another athlete who has had her share of injuries in recent years, Imogen Simmonds, continued her fine run of form – which included bronze at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship – to be a clear winner for the Pro Women on Spain.

Following up on that report from the weekend – and with great thanks to regular contributor José Luis Hourcade (www.joseluishourcade.com) – we can now bring you the story of the race in pictures too.

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Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Alistair Brownlee checks out the swim course
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
The Pro Men hit the water
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
The Pro Women followed soon after
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Wilhelm Hirsch lead the way through the swim
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Aaron Royle and Alistair Brownlee were just seconds behind
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Eventual winner, Youri Keulen, was 14 seconds behind Alistair exiting the water
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
No surprise to see Lucy Buckingham and Sara Perez Sala leading the way in the water for the Pro Women
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Youri Keulen heading the lead pack in the early stages
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Barcelona views
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Cameron Wurf on the way to 18th
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Olivia Mitchell racing hard to get back towards the front of the race
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Brownlee did plenty of work in the lead group
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Buckingham leading the way
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Sara Perez Sala had to withdrew during the bike leg with illness
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Second at The Championship, Germany’s Caroline Pohle added another podium to her C.V.
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Plenty of history around this course
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Imogen Simmonds continued her fine run of form
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Barcelona’s iconic La Sagrada Familia
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
A small lead group reached T2 together
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Alistair Brownlee took the lead early in the run
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Keulen always had the British legend in his sights
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Hirsch proved to be strong across all disciplines
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Olivia Mitchell ran her way to fourth position
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
A Simmonds win was never in doubt on the run
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Keulen and Brownlee would battle into the final couple of kilometres
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
No stopping Youri Keulen in the final stages
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
The Men’s Challenge Barcelona 2023 podium
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Imogen Simmonds extended her winning margin to almost three minutes
Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Simmonds, Buckingham and Pohle were the Pro Women’s podium trio
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.
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