Challenge Roth reduces external media motorbikes to get fairer race

No more media motors at Challenge Roth (Picture: Challenge Roth)

A reduction of media motorbikes must make Challenge Roth ‘an even fairer’ race for pro athletes. That’s what a just released message from the organization tells us. In addition, the number of officials on the bike course will increase from 35 to a minimum of 50, ‘in order to be able to intervene at the very beginning of possible violation’.

Race director Felix Walchshöfer is convinced changes are needed in triathlon to make races fairer. “The breadth in this year’s top field is higher than ever before here in Roth. We as organisers see it as our duty to ensure the fairest and safest race possible. To make this possible, we will significantly reduce the number of bikes on the course. From 2023 onwards, no external media on motorbikes will be allowed on the bike course. In real numbers, we’re talking about 40 fewer motorbikes.” 

The team around Felix Walchshöfer thinks this is necessary, as recently at some long-distance races there have been frequent discussions about questionable time penalties and the influence of motorbikes on slipstream riding. To ensure spectators and triathlon fans don’t miss anything, there will be an exception in the form of television’s motorbike cameras and drones. They will permanently accompany the race from a non-impactful angle. The camera operators will be briefed in advance by the referees to fully understand the importance of the rules and instructed precisely about the permissible scope when filming. 

Media bus for journalists

For media representatives, Challenge Roth now offers the possibility to easily reach many of the important points along the course, such as the Solarer Hill or the transition zones, in the Media Shuttle. In addition, many sections of the course, such as the Gredinger Kalvarienberg, are easy to reach from the outside.

Patrick Lange: “No other race organiser has yet taken such a measure for the benefit of the pros”

“The influence of motorbikes on racing can no longer be denied,” said Patrick Lange. “In a sport that strives for a fair assessment of sporting performance, it should be the organisers’ responsibility to eliminate such external influencing factors as much as possible. So I’m pleased the organisers of Challenge Roth have listened to the voices of the professional athletes and have taken care of the problem. By reducing the number of media motorbikes, Challenge Roth has once again taken on a pioneering role in this respect. No other race organiser has yet taken such a measure for the benefit of the pros.”