Almost every big name in triathlon will be on the start line at DATEV CHALLENGEROTH on 5 July. The sensational world-class pro field tops anything ever seen before in Europe’s triathlon mecca. Reigning world champions, Jan Frodeno and Anne Haug, have already confirmed their spot at the world’s largest long distance triathlon and they are joined by the complete podium from Hawaii – Timothy O’Donnell, Sebastian Kienle, Lucy Charles-Barclay and Sarah Crowley. Roth is making triathlon history.
“Exactly ten years ago my long-distance career started in Roth. Now I’m 36 and want to do races that really go off – like in Roth. I’m totally up for that!” This announcement ends the weeks-long speculation around which of the major German races Kienle will choose this summer. With DATEV Challenge Roth, it seems the 2014 Hawaii champion and 2018 DATEV Challenge Roth champion has followed his heart.
For Jan Frodeno, currently the best triathlete in the world, the confirmation of Kienle and Hawaii runner-up, Tim O’Donnell, fulfils his wish to race against the best of the best in Roth. The ultimate world-class field will provide the greatest possible motivation for Frodeno as he prepares for “a Hawaii in Germany” on a course where his 2016 world record of 7:35:39 still stands.
Last year’s Challenge winner, local Franconian Andreas Dreitz has also confirmed his place in a field he calls “gigantic”. Is the defence of his title out of reach? Not necessarily: “Of course Frodo is the firm favourite, but there may not be many chances to challenge him in the future. I’m really excited about the race and will try to make the impossible possible in my Franconian homeland.
There are plenty of other world-class hopefuls in this year’s pro field: Australians Cameron Wurf, Josh Amberger, Luke McKenzie and Matt Burton will all fight for their personal goals, as well as Canada’s Cody Beals, Joe Skipper from Great Britain and last year’s runner-up, Jesper Svensson, from Sweden.
Revenge for Hawaii in the women’s field
Anne Haug has the strongest possible competition at her premiere race in her Franconian homeland following her sensational victory in Hawaii: both last year’s DATEV Challenge Roth winner Lucy Charles-Barclay from Great Britain and Sarah Crowley (AUS) still have a big score to settle with the Bayreuth local. Both were defeated in Hawaii by Haug in an extremely exciting women’s race.
Charles-Barclay won DATEV Challenge Roth in a personal best of 8:31:09 last year: “I am going back to Challenge Roth and hopefully defend my title. I can’t wait to go back and race this stellar line up.” She finished ahead of Crowley who crossed the line in 8:38:11.
In addition to the Hawaiian podium, DATEV Challenge Roth will also feature British Laura Siddall, Canadian Rachel McBride, who finished sixth in Roth last year, and American Beth McKenzie.
On 5 July, the greatest possible excitement is in the air around both the men’s and women’s races. Once again, triathlon history will be written at DATEV Challenge Roth.