Pros in long distance triathlon are the most likeable athletes I ever watched. I genuinely like them all. There is little chest bumping among them. This is perhaps because they never really know what will happen to them in any race, whether they will win or DNF. They respect the race as much as we age-groupers do. That, and the fact that they race among us, at the same time and on the same courses makes them relatable, human. Their finishing times, of course, make them super-human.
There are plenty of examples of the above claim – watch interviews with the pros, or watch them race. A great example easily at hand is Lionel Sanders’ blog post about his 2017 IM Arizona race. Read his post, then guess how he did in that race, then look up the result. How can you not like a guy like that?
By the way, his blog is here: https://lsanderstri.com Look for his post titled “IM Arizona 2017”.