Over 1,100 triathletes will descend on Belgium on Sunday 12 June and take on the famous cobblestones of Skoda Challenge Geraardsbergen in a sell-out event.
This middle distance triathlon is renowned for the Muur van Geraardsbergen, a 1km steep cobblestoned climb over 91 vertical metres and an average gradient of 7.8%, that cyclists must tackle twice over the 90km bike course.
Defending champion and local hero, Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) returns in a bid to retain his title. However, fellow countrymen, Pamphiel Pareyn and Timothy van Houtem, winner of Challenge Madrid 2018 will be providing him with some stiff competition, as will Germany’s Marc Eggeling who recently took fourth place in Kraichgau. Also in the mix could be Anthony Costes (FRA) who has a number of full and middle distance titles to his name.
The women’s field seems evenly matched on paper with Nicole Falcaro (USA), Diede Diederiks (NED) and Alexandra Tondeur (BEL) all contenders for the podium although Tondeur’s prowess on the run may give her the edge. Also in contention is Margie Santimaria (ITA) after her recent third place at Challenge Malta.
The Skoda Challenge Geraardsbergen 1.9km swim takes place in a unique lake-to-lake course. The 90km cycle leg is a mix of rolling roads through quiet rural areas and spectator hotspots with true Flemisch hills. The double passage over the infamous Muur is one of the most unforgettable experiences in all of triathlon. The 21.1km run takes athletes through the main city square surrounded by ancient heritage buildings, through City Abbey Park before reaching the incredible finish line in the heat of the city.
Skoda Challenge Geraardsbergen takes place on Sunday 12 June at 11:00am CEST. Live updates and timing can be found at www.challenge-family.live.