Alessandro Fabian

Fabian and Boulanger win Inaugural Challenge Cesenatico

Alessandro Fabian
Alessandro Fabian wins Challenge Cesenatico - Photo: (c) JLH José Louis Hourcade

While the event was graced by a stellar line-up of over 40 professional triathletes, today appeared to be a great day for Italian triathlon, with Alessandro Fabian (ITA) and Aurelia Boulanger (ITA) taking home the first Challenge Cesenatico titles in 4:00:39 and 4:35:12, respectively.

The first-ever Challenge Cesenatico witnessed a thrilling event as 1,400 athletes from 22 nations converged on Italy’s picturesque Adriatic Coast. It is a great result of the hard work of the team of race director Alessandro Alessandrii, the organizer of the Challenge in nearby Riccione, where the race could no longer be organized since last year, partly due to long-term maintenance of the roads in the area. The event featured a challenging 1.9km coastal swim, 92,6km hilly ride, and 21.1km multi-lap run.

With the tide low, the swim started with a unique 50-meter run into the water. Within a big lead group of six Alessandro Fabian (ITA) emerged from the swim alongside Sven Thalmann (SUI) in 23:00, followed by Ogenjen Stojanović (SRB) just five seconds behind, and Arne Leiss (GER) further two seconds back.

Early on the bike, Fabian aimed to set the pace high after his DNF due to mechanical issues at Anfi Challenge Mogán-Gran Canaria, with Arne Leiss (GER) on his heel. Despite the shifting dynamics throughout the race, Fabian ultimately asserted his dominance on the run to seize the lead and claim victory after a great battle on the run. Behind him, Ognjen Stojanović (SRB) secured second place with the time of 4:01:43, with Arne Leiss (GER) rounding out the podium in third in 4:03:01

In the women’s race, Abigail Bedwell (GBR) exited the water first in 26:02 with a clear lead of 1:30 over Marta Bernardi (ITA) and Charlotte Faivre (FRA). However, by 35km on the bike, Faivre closed the gap and took the lead. At 60km, coming from behind, Aurelia Boulanger (FRA) established a commanding lead throughout the run, securing her first professional victory. Charlotte Faivre (FRA) crossed the line in second place in 4:43:28, while runner-up Gabrielle Obmn (AUT), finishing in 4:45:14, rounded out the podium in third.

Aurelia Boulanger wins Challenge Cesenatico - Photo: (c) JLH José Louis Hourcade
Aurelia Boulanger wins Challenge Cesenatico – Photo: (c) JLH José Louis Hourcade