The defending champion from Denmark pulverises the world best time at DATEV Challenge Roth powered by hep
ROTH. Race director Felix Walchshöfer was able to announce six records at DATEV Challenge Roth powered by hep: Daniela Ryf and Magnus Ditlev set new world best times, both also new bike course records, Patrick Lange undercut the previous marathon best time in 2:30:27, and 300,000 spectators also marked a new record.
"It was a picture-perfect day of triathlon," Walchshöfer said. With a mischievous smile, he reported only one logistical problem: shortly after the record-breaking race, a queue had formed for next year's registration, which would not be open until the following day. The 3,500 individual and 650 relay starting places at the world's largest long-distance triathlon are more in demand than ever.
This also has to do with this year's contenders: as much as they are fierce competitors over the 3.8km of swimming, 180km of cycling and the final marathon, they are friends after the race. At the post-race press conference, runner-up Patrick Lange was asked by the moderator whether he also felt like a winner because of Magnus Ditlev's exceptional race. "As a winner? No. The winner is simply and solely Magnus," the 2021 Roth winner replied. "That was an absolute demonstration of his strength today. He is the king of Roth."
World best time was on the cards early on
Magnus Ditlev's new world best time was already apparent after the bike and he crossed the Roth finish line with a lead of almost six minutes ahead of Patrick Lange and American, Ben Kanute. The 25-year-old defending champion beat his own bike record set the previous year, completing the 180km in 3:57:45. In transition, Sam Laidlow of France, who later finished eighth, came out of the transition tent just ahead of Magnus Ditlev. On the run course, however, Laidlow struggled with problems in his left calf, allowing Ditlev to quickly build up a big lead.
"I feel tired but overjoyed," said Ditlev. About halfway through the 42-kilometre run, he realised he was going to win the race: "But I must never think about that, otherwise it blocks it." It was only shortly before the finish that he realised that he would actually break the world best time: "First and foremost, I ran for the win. But the fact that it turned out to be such a good time makes me all the happier." He feels very comfortable in Roth: "When I arrived in Roth this time as last year's winner, I was welcomed everywhere."
"Most injuries are hearing injuries," jokes Sebi Kienle.
This is what distinguishes the competition in the triathlon mecca: The volunteers, the locals, the spectators cheering on the athletes and support them before, during and after the race. "People have always told me 'Enjoy it! Enjoy it!", said Sebastian Kienle, who will end his professional career with his 14th place in Roth, and joked: "There were few injuries. Most of them are some kind of hearing damage." He was not entirely satisfied with his time of 8:03:49. On the bike, however, he struggled with problems with his rear tyre. "The podium was once again my dream goal today. But with this competition it would not have been possible." Nevertheless, he drew an extremely positive conclusion: "Roth has accompanied me throughout my career. Of course, that has left its mark on me."
The competition - up until T2 it was mainly Patrick Lange, 2021 Roth winner, and Sam Laidlow, Hawaii runner-up in 2022. Lange had caught up on the run, overtaking Laidlow at kilometre 24. "But I already knew with the switch to the run that I wouldn't be able to catch up with Magnus," said the 36-year-old 2017 and 2018 Hawaii winner. "It was still a mega day. I showed a good catch-up and still made it exciting at the end." He said the only pain was that he missed his target of completing the marathon in under 2:30 by 27 seconds. "That still leaves room for improvement." He also said he got punched in the eye during the swim. "I gave it everything - until the last metre. But Magnus fought back tooth and nail."
Even Ben Kanute from the USA, who came third in 7:37:01, had nothing to oppose Magnus Ditlev: "The race was absolutely incredible. I have never experienced anything like Solarer Berg before," said the 30-year-old on only his third long distance race. "Magnus and Sam really pushed hard on the bike. I tried to stay on." With 13 sub-8 finishers, his totally respectable time was only enough for third place on the podium.