Current Hawaii champion Leanda Cave will lead the women’s field at DATEV Challenge Roth 2013 on 14 July, which features four out of the seven top finishers in Hawaii. Fellow Brit Rachel Joyce (pictured) is back to defend her last year’s title while Joanna Lawn from New Zealand will also come to Roth and is strong enough to reach a top position. Since 2003, she has won Ironman New Zealand seven times – with only one interruption in 2009.
Yvonne van Vlerken, the “flying Dutchwoman” is also returning to Roth. She has won Challenge Roth twice in 2007 and 2008, and even established a new world record of 8:45:48 in 2008, making triathlon history. Caroline Steffen is switching cities for 2013. Last year’s winner of Ironman Frankfurt, has often proved that she is part of the world’s elite – most recently with her second place in Hawaii.
And the fans of the “best old race” may look forward to two special darlings of the Roth public: double Roth winner (2003 and 2004) Nicole Leder will again take part after several years of absence – and Belinda Granger, the 2005 Challenge Roth winner from Australia who calls Roth her second home, will race her 10th and final Challenge Roth.
Timo Bracht may be picked as the favourite for but he’ll have a fight on his hands from defending champion, James Cunama (RSA).
Last year, Bracht had to acknowledge defeat to Cunnama. Now, the 37-year-old athlete, who finished sixth in Hawaii, is planning to have his revenge, taking his place on top of the winner’s podium – because a victory at Challenge Roth is still missing in his career.
Cunnama from Port Elizabeth, who is eight years younger than Bracht, will not make it easy for Bracht. With his victory at the 11th Challenge Roth in 2012, in just under the magic eight hours (7:59:59 hours), he was not only able to celebrate his second success in a long-distance race, but he also reached 14th place in the current ranking of world-record times.
Two further Olympic athletes join the field: Dirk Bockel (LUX), and was among the squad of the Olympic Games of Beijing in 2008, along with 35-year-old Maik Petzold (GER) who recently competed in the London Olympics.
Cameron Brown (NZL) could again be among the best athletes as well, after having finished fourth in last year’s Challenge Roth and he is joined by fellow Kiwi and Challenge Wanaka 2013 champion, Dylan McNeice. Lothar Leder, the “king of Roth”, will again return to the place of his greatest success. His fans in Roth will again roll out the red carpet for him.
Picture Credit: Getty Images