The celebration of sport that is Challenge Sanremo returns to the Italian Riviera this weekend, bringing together professional athletes, young people and amateurs on one of the circuit’s most spectacular but testing courses.
With over 40 professional athletes on the start line, the spotlight is on Bart Aernouts (BEL), vice world champion in Kona in 2018, winner of the Challenge Roth in 2017, duathlon world champion in 2010 and more recently winner of the inaugural Challenge Fréjus in May. The expert Belgian triathlete will try to repel the attacks of Frenchmen William Mennesson and Simon Viain, both on the podium of Challenge Sanremo 2022, and the Australian Caleb Noble, who has been getting familiar with the local Sanremo roads for several days and who is chasing the top spot in the Challenge Family World Bonus. Also noteworthy are Jon Breivolt (NOR), absolute protagonist of Norseman, Youri Keulen (NED), Jonathan Wayaffe (BEL) who took the title at last year’s Challenge Peguera-Mallorca and Marcel Bolbat (GER) who took third at Challenge Gdańsk earlier this year.
Among the women, in addition to the Italian Giorgia Priarone (world team silver and European champion in the duathlon and winner of the Bardolino Triathlon, first at 70.3 Maine and second at Challenge Cagnes-Sur-Mer) it is worth keeping an eye on the British champion Jodie Stimpson, who before turning to long distance was world triathlon champion (2010) and two-time gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games. South African Magda Nieuwoudt is on a winning streak with victories this season at Challenge Fréjus, Challenge Korea and Challenge Davos and a second at Challenge London. She two has a season goal of taking out the Challenge Family World Bonus and will be fighting for the win. Justine Guerard (FRA), third last year, Sarah Schoenfelder (GER), Lisa Maria Dornauer and Gabriele Maria Obmann (AUT), Megan McDonald (GBR), Charlene Clavel (FRA) and the Italian Lilli Gelmini are also all in the mix.
“We work with passion and dedication alongside local and national institutions and partners, with sports and non-sports associations, with the territory,” said Daniele Moraglia, Challenge Sanremo race director. “There are so many parts that contribute to making this event special, including the many volunteers who work behind the scenes: together with the core team, I thank all those who allow the success of the event and I wish all the athletes to have fun and enjoy these splendid days in Liguria at Challenge Sanremo”.
Athletes will enjoy two days dedicated to multisport, but also music, with the Symphony Orchestra which will perform both during the race and at the awards ceremonies, and good Ligurian food that the athletes will be able to enjoy at the post-race refreshment points. The first day of racing on Saturday 23 September is the turn of the young triathletes along with a Swimrun.