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Olympic gold medallists Brownlee and Spirig set for Challenge Gran Canaria

Midas touch? Jonathan Brownlee and Nicola Spirig to bring Olympic sparkle to April race

Chief Correspondent
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Triple Olympic medallist, Jonny Brownlee, will seek his first middle distance victory next month when he races at Anfi Challenge Mogán-Gran Canaria on 23 April.

The early Pro entries revealed today, also confirm that we should see the racing return of Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig, following her broken collarbone and ribs in a training accident in early February.

A Brownlee double?

The race is no stranger to the Brownlee name, as older brother Alistair made his middle distance debut a winning one there in 2017. The constantly rolling terrain of the coastal bike course would seemingly play to the strengths of an athlete who has spent the last 15 years training on the punchy hills of Yorkshire.

It’s not the first time Jonny has taken on the distance. He did race at IRONMAN 70.3 Cascais, Portugal in October 2021. In a great position late on in the run, he faded over the closing kilometres to finish fifth.

With Jan Frodeno having won the 2021 edition, Jonny could become the third Olympic Gold medallist to take victory at the event.

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Spirig set for title defence

While Jonny will have to call on second hand information from Alistair in preparations, London 2012 Olympic Gold medallist, Nicola Spirig, will immediately feel at home.

She raced and won – by well over five minutes – 12 months ago, exiting the swim with Spain’s Sara Pérez Sala and then taking total control of the race for the next three and a half hours. With the planned Sub7Sub8 project coming up in early June, this will be a key measure to see her progress since that early season accident.

Nicola Spirig
Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade

Pérez Sala will be back, along with the British duo of Lucy Buckingham and India Lee. Buckingham put together an impressive series of performances during 2021, while we will get a first guide on how India’s winter training has gone this week, as she will be racing at Challenge Salou.

We will of course provide an in-depth preview of the race and the full Pro field during race week.

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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