Friday, July 23, 2010

Warming up for London

It’s getting towards the business end of the season now with the last three races left on the Dextro Energy ITU World Champs series.  I’m not sure if it was my winning smile or the blueseventy t-shirt but I’m lucky enough to have got myself a sweet spot at the media briefing to grab a chance to hear the pre-race hype first hand.  Emma Moffat was running a little fashionably late (probably those damn tubes), but Javier Gomez and Alistair Brownlee are here on time to kick things off.

After the usual pre-raceEmma is introduced as having two passions – winning and shopping – the true competitive female triathlete.  She’s sounding pretty relaxed – she’s currently sitting in number 1 in the rankings.

Gomez talked about not being able to race at the start of the season but has come back feeling strong, doing some best times in training and coming off the back of his win at Hamburg he will be tough to beat.  He ran under 29.20 off the bike last week so his run fitness is sure back.  Man that is quick!

But not to be outdone on the comeback trail Brownlee has also shown that the break from racing due to a stress fracture as not dented his winning power with some convincing wins since his resurgence at Madrid.  These two heavy weights will go toe to toe for the first time this series with a win a piece each.  Gomez comes off a win last weekend at Hamburg but Brownlee chose to skip this race.

One journalist asked Gomez about the rivalry between he and Brownlee – “he’s very hard to beat.  You just try and run faster and faster each race”.  It’s scary to think how fast these guys will be off the bike by 2012!

Being an ‘insider’ today I get a few stats on media coverage that paint a pretty picture of the future of triathlon.  The event last year was covered by 35 broadcasters and reached about 1.6m viewers at peak viewing in the UK.  Showing that triathlon is still growing in it’s following, the ITU series will be screened by in – 49 international broadcasters in 146 countries.  We’ll overtake football as the most popular sport easy.  Well maybe.  Hey we can dream.

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