The world-famous triathlon Challenge Roth takes place tomorrow and all British eyes will be on Lucy Charles-Barclay and David McNamee.
2017 and 2018 World Ironman Championship runner up Charles will be hoping for one place better than last year’s second place. In 2018, despite setting a swim record with a time of 00:46:48, she finished just 9 seconds behind the winner Daniela Bleymehl (formerly Saemler) from Germany, in a time of 08:43:51 after an emphatic battle that went right up to the finishing line.
“Last year I was unfortunately on the wrong side of nine seconds, which is why I’m back to put that right! But in my race last year some things went awry, and I hope to improve on them this time,” she says.
But Bleymehl is racing too and will do everything in her power to defend her title. Also hoping to beat Lucy will be Sarah Crowley from Australia, who finished 3rd at Kona 2017 – could we be in for another epic battle that sees it go to the wire?
Challenge Roth is Lucy Charles-Barclay’s last major race ahead of the Ironman World Championships that take place in Kona in October.
This is McNamee’s first appearance at Challenge Roth, but with two Kona podiums under his belt he has quietly established himself as the greatest British male Ironman in history, and the third fastest ever Kona finisher with a time of 8:01:09, set last year.
He says: “I always wanted to start in Roth. Every triathlete in the world wants to come here. I like to compete against strong opponents and here I meet probably the strongest field outside of Hawaii.”
This field includes 2018 Hawaii runner up Bart Aernouts from Belgium and Australian Cameron Wurf, who set a new bike course record of 4:09:06 at Kona 2018.
The German TV channel, BR TV, will broadcast DATEV Challenge Roth for nine hours live in Germany, while those outside Germany will be able to watch it online via Challenge Roth’s live stream available atwww.challenge-roth.com