Following last year’s debut of Challenge Šamorín, at the multifunctional x-bionic sphere resort on the Danube in Slovakia, this year the event is hosting Challenge Family’s half distance event The Championship on 3 June 2017. Athletes can qualify for The Championship at Challenge Family events across the globe; and a 3-D aerial course preview has just been released to coincide with a list of the elite athletes taking part in the inaugural Championship event…
With the aim of expanding the reach of the event, the local organising team has confirmed that Sprint and Olympic distance racing will also accompany the main half distance championship event.
Professional athletes confirmed for The Championship in the men’s category include two-time ITU World Triathlon Series event winner Richard Murray (RSA) and local star Richard Varga (SVK) who will both debut their middle-distance career. They will go up against former world champion Sebastian Kienle (GER), European Champion Andreas Dreitz (GER) and Lionel Sanders (CAN).
Also taking part in her first middle-distance race in the women’s category is Rachel Klamer (NED). She will face competition from the likes of world number three Heather Wurtele (CAN), former ITU World Cup champion Annabel Luxford (AUS) and the winner of Challenge Melbourne 2015 Melissa Hauschildt (AUS).
The Championship 2017 will start with a 1.9km swim in the adjacent Danube River. On closed roads, the 90km bike course will offer views of Samorin and the surrounding towns and villages. Athletes will cycle south of x-bionic sphere towards the town of Gab?íkovo, where competitors will cross the river and turn right before looping around the quaint village of Vojka nad Dunajon to head back to the transition area. The 21.1km run course will start in the heart of the x-bionic sphere, directing triathletes north of the centre, along the river and back towards the picturesque finish area.
CEO of Challenge Family, Zibi Szlufcik, said “At Challenge Family we’re driven by the same mentality that drives our athletes: the passion to push limits, to perform at our best and to enjoy what we do in style. Not only does The Championship 2017 embody this philosophy, its very creation has been formed around the demands of athletes to reach our goal of setting a new standard in triathlon.”
Addressing one of the sport’s most heavily debated topics in long-distance racing, The Championship 2017 will implement a 20-metre drafting rule for all competitors on the bike course. CEO of x-bionic sphere Richard Ungerhofer said “For a fair race we feel as though it is imperative that a 20-metre rule is implemented. As far as x-bionic sphere’s relationship with the event is concerned, it is partnerships like the one we have with Challenge Family that allow us to evolve as a sports-focused resort.”
Triathletes from more than 60 nations from Canada to New Zealand will line up at the start of the inaugural The Championship 2017 race. Creator of the idea behind the x-bionic sphere Mario Hoffmann said “This event is the first ever Challenge Family The Championship 2017 with more than 40 qualifying races worldwide. We are immensely proud that x-bionic sphere will be the host of the event, capturing incredible scenes of racing, while documenting a new, exciting and fairer Championship race for all.”