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Chris McCormack Breaks Down The ITU WCS London Race

  • By Courtney Baird
  • Published Aug 9, 2011
  • Updated Jun 19, 2012 at 12:18 PM UTC

Triathlete.com: Alistair Brownlee put on another incredibly dominant performance on Sunday. Now that you’ve raced him twice, could you give us some perspective on what kind of an athlete he is? Just how good is he?

Brownlee got away on the bike and easily took the victory in London. Photo: Delly Carr/Triathlon.org

McCormack: The kid is absolutely amazing. He is brilliant in both the physical and mental game of this sport, but seriously is just a born winner. That makes him special. I think athletically guys like Gomez and others are just as good. However, where he stands head and shoulders above everyone else competing is he wins in his racing style. He has absolute confidence in his abilities to attack these guys (along with his brother), and I think he draws strength from the fact that most of the guys racing nowadays don’t have that same mindset. The ITU has created a mindset amongst many of the athletes, coaches and federations that it is a running race that wins these titles. Alert guys: every time Brownlee has raced he has won on the bike, then delivered the fastest run. We were told prior to London that no one would escape on this course. RUBBISH!!!!!!! It is not the courses that allow breakaways. It is the athletes that take them. Along with his brother, they simply dictate these races and do what they want. The escape in London was perfectly executed—Jonathan rolled off the front and Alistair was gone with the Russian. Rana showed you can ride across to the breaks if you want to, but you have to commit to that. The field has a commitment issue to chasing on the bike. It’s both crazy and frustrating to see. If the world does not start seeing that it is the way both the brothers work off each other that feeds their success both in training and in racing, they will see gold and silver medals handed over to both these guys in 12 months time. They are perfect teammates. It is beautiful to watch!

PHOTOS: A Look at the Lives of the Brownlee Brothers

Alistair is riding the bike far superior than most of the guys in this field, and all of them continue to work more specifically on their runs. This will open this weakness up even further as they miss what needs to be done to give themselves a chance in these events by getting more bike-specific in their preparations, or at least having people counter these moves to bring the breaks back. Many of these guys are settling for a fifth, sixth or seventh-place finish and are happy with that. Alistair is a winner, and would be mortified with himself with anything less than that. This is the difference in the game. It is so obvious to see. He has shown all year that he will attack on the bike. He has done it in every race he has done. No one has done anything about it. Coaches, athletes and federations are going back and thinking that the sport is the same as it was last year. He has changed the game for sure. It is ride or die now. When you have a guy who is the best swimmer in the field, who is not scared to ride hard and has the fastest run on him, you need to start asking yourself some serious questions on how you’re going to take him down. Without drumming up the past, the great Simon Lessing held himself in very much the same light as Alistair does. He won four world titles with the same dominance as I see now with Alistair. He raced the same, had the same air of invincibility about his demeanor and had all of us mind-screwed for years. It took courage for guys to work out that Simon liked to control the race and not be scared to take it to him. Once the air of invincibility was broken with Simon, people started to believe again that winning was possible. Alistair has created a fear and a doubt in everyone, simply by his style and his dominance, and the biggest hurdle for most people racing him right now is really believing you can take him down. He is inspiring to watch. I love his style, his up yours attitude and the simple fact that he does it his way and has shown that if you want to take him down, you better be prepared to blow to pieces in the attempt—because he races for the win with that attitude. I cannot praise the guy enough! Bloody brilliant to watch!

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Courtney Baird

Courtney Baird

Courtney Baird is the editor-in-chief of Inside Triathlon magazine.

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