World-class field at DATEV Challenge Roth
Presented the pro athletes field and further news of the DATEV Challenge Roth on July 7th 2019 at a press conference at N-ERGIE in Nuremberg: Alice Walchshöfer (CEO TEAMCHALLENGE GmbH), Claus Fesel (Head of Marketing and Communication of the title sponsor DATEV), Top-Athlet Andreas Böcherer, Top Athletin Laura Philipp, Lokalmatador Sebastian Reinwand, Heiko Linder (N-ERGIE), Kathrin Walchshöfer Helneder (CEO TEAMCHALLENGE GmbH).
Picture: Timo Reichhart
World-class field at DATEV Challenge Roth
Six top ten athletes from Hawaii in the men’s field / exciting women's duel with the world’s best time in their sights
ROTH. A first-class international pro field will race DATEV Challenge Roth on 7 July, including six of the current top ten men from Hawaii: Bart Aernouts (2nd), David McNamee (3rd), Braden Currie (5th), Matt Russell (6th), Andy Potts (8th) and Cameron Wurf (9th). In addition, there are a number of other high-calibre athletes from Germany and around the world, confirming that once again, the elite of the international triathlon scene will meet at Europe's legendary long-distance classic in Roth.
Returning to Roth following his victory in 2017 is current Hawaii runner-up, Bart Aernouts. Following his surprise DATEV Challenge Roth victory, Aernouts went on to win Ironman Hamburg before delivering a spectacular race in Hawaii to finish just four minutes behind winner Patrick Lange. The runner-up world champion, who is also a Duathlon World Champion (2010), is strong in both cycling and running, as his splits from Hawaii show (4:12:26 bike and 2:45:42 run) and this all-round talent could prove to be a strong advantage at DATEV Challenge Roth.
David McNamee (GBR) took third in Hawaii in both 2017 and 2018 and in 2018 became the third fastest ever finisher in 8:01:09. The 30-year-old Scot’s marathon time was particularly strong in 2:46:03. Debuting for EJOT Team TV Buschhütten, McNamee has only been racing long-distance since 2015 and won Ironman UK that same year.
The great triathlon nation of New Zealand is represented by Braden Currie at DATEV Challenge Roth. In June, he won Ironman Cairns with a personal best of 7:54:58 and Ironman New Zealand in 2017 and he heads to Roth fresh from a win at Challenge Wanaka. Currie is also a World Champion multi-sport athlete, winning three years in a row (2013-2015).
Two Americans who are counted in the triathlon world elite, Matt Russell and Andy Potts, are both also looking for victory at Roth. The 42-year-old Potts, who began his sporting career as a swimmer and is strong in this discipline to this day, is a seven-time Ironman winner, in October he reached eighth place in Hawaii. Two places ahead was Matt Russell, helped by his extremely strong cycling time. Russell has been a professional triathlete since 2011. In 2012, he won Ironman Canada and has since had many top three finishes. His personal best time is 8:04:24 hours.
Cycling specialist Cameron Wurf (AUS) returns to Roth after 2018. Since 2007, the 35-year-old has been successful as a cyclist, then switched to triathlon in 2015 and won his first triathlon long distance with Ironman Wales 2017. With an incredible 4:09:06 at Ironman Hawaii 2018, Wurf set a new, much noticed bike record. In the marathon, however, he struggled and could “only” finish in ninth. Since then, his training focus has been clearly on the mark making huge improvements: from a 3:01:42 in Roth 2018 and a 3:06:18 in Hawaii, he pulled off a 2:56:29 at Ironman Western Australia. He could be a force to be reckoned with at Roth this year.
Wurf’s compatriot Tim van Berkel was 12th in Hawaii in 2018 but in 2014 earned himself 7th place. He also two Challenge victories (Challenge Copenhagen 2010 and 2011) and two Ironman victories (Western Australia 2008 and Cairns 2016) on his CV.
Germany has two great hopes for this hometown race: Andreas Dreitz and Andreas Böcherer. Andi Dreitz, a Nuremburg local, took a convincing second place behind Sebastian Kienle at Roth in 2018 in a time of 7:53:06 hours in only his second long distance race. He is joined by Andreas Böcherer, racing his first DATEV Challenge Roth. Böcherer won Ironman Italy 2018, stopping Dreitz repeating his 2017 victory. His winning time of 8:01:50 was two minutes faster than that of Dreitz the previous year and is also Böcherer’s personal best time.
From Italy comes 38-year-old Alessandro Degasperi. His first long distance at Ironman Frankfurt earned him fifth place in 2014 and twice since then (2015 and 2018) he has won the Ironman Lanzarote and earned several more top three rankings. The pro-field in Roth is also reinforced by 28-year-old Canadian Cody Beals, who has already two significant wins in his short career - on his long-distance debut at Ironman Canada in Quebec and then five weeks later at Ironman Chattanooga.
A duel amongst the women?
There’s excitement in the air with the calibre of the women’s field at this year’s DATEV Challenge Roth and two names are causing it: Laura Philipp and Lucy Charles. The 31-year-old Heidelberger, Laura Philipp, is an exceptional athlete. She won all the important half-distance races in 2018 and in October, at her very first long distance triathlon in Barcelona, not only took victory with a new course record, but also beat the German record set by Daniela Sämmler (now Bleymehl) in Roth in 2018. Her time of 8:34:57 is the seventh fastest time in women's long-distance history, just 16 minutes away from Chrissie Wellington’s world record of 8:18:13, set in Roth in 2011.
And she faces a potential duel with Hawaii runner-up Lucy Charles. The Brit, who finished second in DATEV Challenge Roth in 2018, set a new personal best of 8:36:34 in Hawaii and also set a new swim record. At just 25-years-old she is unquestionably one of the best triathletes in the world. She has twice won the Challenge Family World Championships (2017, 2018), as well as taken two Ironman victories at Lanzarote (2017) and South Africa (2018). Can either of these women steal Chrissie’s crown?
Sarah Crowley (AUS) will also be at the front of the action. The 36-year-old from Adelaide won the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships in 2017 and took third in Hawaii the same year. She has also won Ironman Cairns, Ironman Germany, Ironman Hamburg and Ironman Mar del Plata.
Best known in Roth is Laura Siddall (GBR), the current European ETU Champion at Challenge Madrid. In 2018, the 38-year-old earned fourth place in Roth with a personal best time of 8:48:42 as well as won Ironman Australia for the second time and Ironman New Zealand. While she is British, Laura Siddall splits her time between New Zealand and Spain.
Another great athlete comes from the German camp: Anja Ippach (formerly Beranek) returns to DATEV Challenges Rot where she has always been a crowd-pleaser. In 2015 she was third and German champion at DATEV Challenge Roth and in 2016 she finished fifth. Two long-distance victories (Ironman Switzerland 2013, Wales 2015) are also on the 34-year-old athlete’s CV. At Ironman Hawaii 2016 she was the best-placed German in fourth.
The female pro-field is completed by Canadian Rachel McBride. After a running career, the athlete, nicknamed "Purple Tiger", began triathlon and since 2011 has been a pro athlete. In 2013 she was Canadian champion and third at the ITU World Championship over the long distance. In 2017, she also finished third at Ironman Canada and in April 2018, the now 40-year-old athlete came fourth at Ironman South Africa.