As great a battle as it was last year, there is no doubt the battle will be the same this year at Challenge Shepparton. Just one more month until the race will take place in Australia. Ellie Salthouse, last year’s winner, will in any case return to defend her title.
Last year, Salthouse took the lead during the swim, went solo on the bike and secured her victory during the run. Just like then, Salthouse will be competing against Grace Thek this year, but also, for example, the Dutch Lotte Wilms, who has been living in Australia for a long time, will be competing at the Middle Distance. Of course, more announcements will be made around the pro field in the coming weeks.
In the men’s category, Tim van Berkel, Matt Burton and Steve McKenna, among others, will compete against each other. The title of 2021-winner Max Neumann will not be defended anyway, because he is currently in Europe and will therefore not start. One thing is for sure; the professional athletes will do everything they can to claim victory at Challenge Shepparton; not only to show they are the best athletes out there, but also because a prize purse of no less than twenty thousand dollars will be divided among the first five men and first five women.
The swimming part of Challenge Shepparton traditionally takes place in Victoria Park Lake; this location is considered one of the most beautiful swimming courses in Australia. Following the single-lap swim in the beautiful Victoria Park Lake, the fast, flat bike course is two 45km laps through Shepparton’s iconic rural landscapes. The run course consists of three laps of lake, river and bush trails through the river gum forest and alongside tranquil river flats with the finish, complete with legendary Shepparton crowds, on the banks of Victoria Park Lake in the centre of town. The Challenge Shepparton courses are completely flat, so personal records are being broken very often.