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Posted: July 4, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Triathlon: British Go Dutch

The Great Britain team travel to the Netherlands this weekend (4 and 5 July) as Beijing Olympic pairing of Alistair Brownlee and Hollie Avil lead the GB team as they hope to bring home the medals in the 2009 Holten ETU Triathlon European Championships. The Elite team will be joined by a squad of 251 Great Britain Age Group athletes including fellow Olympian and double gold medallist James Cracknell who will be making his debut for the team.

Brownlee is the man to watch having taken back to back victories in the 2009 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series. Alistair's progression has been impressive since finishing 15th in these championships last year and 12th in the Beijing Olympics. Brownlee has had success on the European stage before winning the Junior Men's ETU Triathlon European Championship in 2007.

There will also be sibling rivalry as Alistair's younger brother Jonathan Brownlee, will be looking to replicate his brothers success in 2007 and win the Junior Men's ETU Triathlon European Championship. Jonathan won gold at the Australia Youth Olympic Festival earlier this year, and will be looking to improve on last year's ETU Triathlon European Championship bronze medal.

Talking to Alistair about his appearance in the event, he commented: "I am really looking forward to the ETU Triathlon European Championships this weekend. The race is going to be very tough as the organisers have created an interesting course with some of the run off road."

Fellow Beijing Olympian Hollie Avil will be making her first appearance in the Senior ETU Triathlon European Championships. Avil has an impressive CV, winning the Junior Women’s titles at both the Hamburg BG Triathlon World Championships and the ETU Triathlon European Championships in 2007.

Avil is looking forward to the event adding: "This is the first time I have raced at the senior ETU Triathlon European Championships so it will be a great experience. There are a lot of top athletes in the field so it will be a tough race - I am really excited about the whole event."

Aaron Harris and Phil Graves join Alistair in the men's team with both athletes making their Senior International debuts. Phil Graves has been in a rich vein of form, and is the current leader of the Taut National Ranking Series and won the UK Ironman 70.3 last month.

Vicky Graves, Phil's sister will add to the family feel of the event as she will be competing in the Junior Women's race earlier in the day. Vicky won the Junior Women’s ETU Duathlon European Championships in Budapest earlier this year and will look to add another European title to her name in Holten.

Harris has also been performing well in the British Triathlon Super Series finishing second in Strathclyde Country Park and third in the Mazda Blenheim Triathlon.

Vanessa Raw who competed in the Senior 2008 ETU Triathlon European Championships will also travel to Holten and be able to add her experience to the all English team.

In the Junior event Vicky Graves will be joined by Sophie Coleman who finished second in the Australia Youth Olympic Festival in the women's race and Josh Daniels and Tom Bishop will join Jonathan in the Men's Junior race.

British Triathlon Performance Director, Heather Williams commented: "This is the second major Championship of the year and we will be looking to replicate our success from the ETU Duathlon European Championships in May and win medals in both the Age Group and Elite races in Holten."

The elite athletes will be joined by a Great British Age Group team all looking to return from Holten with medals. Last year's team won 21 European medals in the competition with two athletes Juliet Vickery (45-49) and Peter Howard (70-75) coming back to defend their titles in Holten.

Age Group race - Saturday 4 July, 11.00 GMT start time
Junior race -- Sunday 5 July, 07.15 GMT Junior Women's start time, 08.45 GMT Junior Men's start time
Elite race -- Sunday 5 July, 10.30 GMT Elite Women's start time, 13.15 GMT Elite Men's start time
2009 Holten ETU Triathlon European Championships are contested over the standard triathlon distance: 1,500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run.

About British Triathlon
British Triathlon is the National Governing Body for Triathlon, Duathlon and Aquathlon in Great Britain, responsible for leading growth and performance of the sport. At international level Great Britain boasts a strong squad of world ranked elite triathletes who regularly achieve international success and has some outstanding young talent emerging from its youth programmes. There are over 700 triathlon events conducted in Great Britain each year including the renowned Mazda London Triathlon and British Triathlon Super Series which promotes the sport through exclusive coverage on Channel 4. British Triathlon aims to promote excellence in our sport, and create opportunities for everyone to achieve their personal triathlon challenges. (

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