Macca's Top 10 Races to Watch

With nearly the entire world staying home over the next few months to reduce the rate of transmission of the coronavirus disease, suddenly you've got a whole bunch of athletes training indoors (or worse, turning into couch potatoes).

Some video streaming platforms have begun offering longer free trial periods to help people pass the time. Not to be outdone, TriathlonLIVE has offered a 365-day free trial for new subscribers.

I'm a self-confessed triathlon and endurance sports geek and absolutely need to get my fix, but with no live races on it got me thinking about what races are a must-watch, especially for those of you who might think triathlon began in 2017.

Here's my Top 10 list, in no particular order. Some of them are available on the abovementioned platform, and some of them you'll have to get somewhat creative to find (if you know what I mean).

Obligatory spoiler warning!

1995 Ironman World Championship

This is a great one. Plenty of drama with defending champion Paula Newby-Fraser collapsing mid-race and Thomas Hellriegl nearly running away with the win.

1992, 1995, 1996 Ironman World Championship -Women

Paula Newby-Fraser won her fifth Ironman Hawaii title in 1992 and continued to win until 1995. She then made a roaring comeback in 1996 to win her record eighth title, an achievement that hasn't been challenged since.

2007 Paris-Roubaix

This was the 105th running of the Paris–Roubaix single-day cycling race, often known as the Hell of the North. Stuart O'Grady beat out favourites Fabian Cancellara and Tom Boonen to become the first Australian to get in the Top Three and eventually win.

1997 ITU World Championships

This one is memorable not just because I won. Set on a scorching day in Perth, it was an Australian shut-out of gold and silver as Emma Carney fended off Jackie Gallagher, and I beat Hamish Carter.

2008 Olympic Games -  Men's Triathlon

Watch Jan Frodeno put in a virtuoso performance to beat out Simon Whitfield and Bevan Docherty.

2012 Olympic Games - Men's Triathlon

Alistair Brownlee and Jonathan Brownlee made a British gold-and-bronze sandwich in London, with Javier Gomez pulling off a valiant effort for silver.

2018 Super League Triathlon Jersey Men's Enduro

Swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run nonstop with eliminations if one falls behind meant every transition, every corner was critical!

2002 Commonwealth Games

This was the first year triathlon featured at the Commonwealth Games as a competition sport (it was a demonstration sport in 1990). Simon Whitfield had won the first Olympic Games triathlon gold medal two years previously and was on fire through this period leading into his second Olympics.

Any WTS Series race from 2009

This year demonstrated the emergence of Alistair Brownlee. He won 5 of the 7 races that made up the World Triathlon Series. This was also the first year the WTS started using the points system to determine year-end champion. Brownlee's dominance in the series plus his win at the Gold Coast final made him the undisputed #1 athlete in the world.

2014 WTS London - Men

Mario Mola beats Richard Murray in a sprint in the final 100 meters after coming off the bike in a group of eight with Joao Pereira, Alistair Brownlee, Jonathan Brownlee, Javier Gomez, Joao Silva, and Ryan Bailie. An absolute ripper of a race.

Bonus: 2015 WTS Grand Final London - Men

In which Javier Gomez, having been outsprinted by Alistair Brownlee in several races past, finally comes out on top.

Chris "Macca" McCormack is a four-time triathlon world champion with the biggest winning percentage in the history of the sport. He is a co-founder and partner in Super League Triathlon, CEO of the Bahrain Endurance 13 team, and founder and executive director of MX Endurance.

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