Looking back at the top 10 athletes from the last decade: #1

As part of firstoffthebike.com’s countdown to its merge with TriathlonWorld.com, they are counting down the top 10 athletes they have seen in the 10 years they have been covering triathlon. Here's number 1!

| February 17, 2017 | PERSONALITY

Photo >Phil Wrochna

Craig Alexander is a giant in the world of triathlon. His reputation far outweighs his physical stature and, for a time, he was the most feared competitor in the world. A 5-time world champion, Alexander made the successful transition from short course nobody to “The Man” in long course. A win at the 70.3 world title in Clearwater in 2006 signaled the start of a glorious career in the 4+ hour game. His double world title win in 2011 with the victory in Las Vegas and Kona saw a new benchmark reached. His 2011 win all the more sweeter given his “can’t ride’ tag that he was unfairly labelled with after the 2010 campaign. His course record in 2011 was the icing on a cake that is heavily decorated. Alexander also won multiple races around the world with a CV that few this decade can stack against.  Alexander’s greatest leg was his run and while he sometimes found himself out the back heading into T2 the lead was often retained on the run.

Our Take

There has been some chatter about our podium in this countdown, but few can dispute just how good Alexander has been. His consistent big time race preparation can’t be disputed, nor can the swag of wins he owns. We nicknamed Crowie the “Pro’s Pro” because you never saw him not prepared for an event. He was a brilliant media performer off the course and, not surprisingly, had the raft of sponsors to prove how well he managed that aspect of the pro life. Spend any time talking to him and he was a walking encyclopaedia of triathlon. Trust us when we say this guy knows a ton about the sport he once dominated. And even though his win production in 2016/7 is down, he still packs a punch and still draws a crowd.