There are only a few days until over a hundred pro triathletes will line up for Challenge St. Pölten. The race is set for Sunday, May 30 at 06:30 AM (CEST) and can be followed through live updates on challenge-family.live and a broadcast by ÖRF in Austria. Looking at the long start list, we can count on some exciting battles.
Germany’s Sebastian Kienle and Austria’s Thomas Steger highlight the men’s field. Just two weeks ago Steger was impressive at Challenge Riccione, taking a strong win. He’s in great shape and, once you add the home course advantage to that, Steger stands a good chance to claim another victory. Despite the injury that Kienle struggled with at the beginning of this season, the former world champion managed to run to a third place in Riccione. We can be sure that the German will aim for gold this weekend.
Some other race favorites are Denmark’s Magnus Ditlev, who’s been putting his name out there as a great cyclist and overall strong competitor. Pieter Heemeryck hasn’t been able to show his true strength this season in racing so far, but once this Belgian athlete finds his form, he is one to watch. Some other men that have their eyes set on the prize are Pablo Gonzalez Dapena (ESP), Frederic Funk (GER), Maurice Clavel (GER) and Ruedi Wild (CHE).
Anne Haug, Imogen Simmonds, Maja Stage-Nielsen and Lisa Norden up for a battle
Germany’s Anne Haug, Switzerland’s Imogen Simmonds, Denmark’s Maja Stage-Nielsen and Sweden’s Lisa Norden are the four race favorites in the women’s race. Reigning Ironman world champion Haug – who had to miss Challenge Miami due to a positive COVID-19 test – showed during Challenge Daytona, once again, that she is a tough cookie when it comes to the run. Norden finished third at Challenge Gran Canaria last month and will have her eyes set on the highest podium spot, too.
As British athletes are not allowed to travel to Austria for the race, there are a few strong triathletes that had to pull out including Indian Lee and Lucy Hall are two of them. Other women that are in the mix for a podium spot are: Italy’s Margie Santimaria, and Germans Laura Zimmerman and Lina-Kristin Schink.