Getting under way later this year, on 23 September, Challenge Madrid in Spain has taken over the hosting duties of the 2018 ETU European Triathlon Long Distance Championships from the previously confirmed destination – Challenge Regensburg in Germany.
With a start point 75 kilometres from the Spanish capital, and located in the Lozoya Valley, Challenge Madrid gets under way in the middle of Spain’s North Mountain Range (‘Sierra Norte’), and the popular tourism region of Madrid: Buitrago de Lozoya.
Challenge Family CEO, Zibi Szlufcik, said “It’s an amazing pleasure to continue the successful relationships with the European Triathlon Union and deliver another Long Distance Championship at Challenge Madrid. Spectacular course, stunning landscape and finish line; athletes will not forget [the event] until the end of their lives!”
He continued, “It will be a great festival with a number of side events for the entire family. Being myself part of a relay team last year, riding through the national park on one of the most beautiful bike courses in the world was definitely a lifetime experience that I can warmly recommend to all athletes. I would also like to thank the hosting city of Madrid, the Region and Sport Authorities as well as the European Triathlon Union and Spanish Federation for the continuous support.”
ETU President, Renato Bertrandi, expressed satisfaction that the change of event and venue was managed so early in the season so as to reduce the impact upon athletes who were training for this longest of tests. “It is of course unfortunate that for a very few people, this change [from Regensburg to Madri] may have initially created a scheduling problem for them but with the move to Madrid happening over nine months ahead of the event I am sure that there is every chance that the necessary adjustments can be made to any annual leave or work commitments so as to enable them to come to Madrid and race in September.
“I am grateful to Zibi Szlufcik and his team from Challenge Family for having acted so swiftly and for having chosen the Madrid course to focus their European Championship attention upon. The choice of Madrid will make it a real challenge and how appropriate is that!”
The 3.8K swim is situated in the Lozoya Valley in the middle of the Sierra Norte mountain range. The 171K bike course starts in the Sierra Norte and then passes through locations in the Madrilenian Sierra, following the tour of the mountain passes with big climbs at Canencia, Morcuera and Cotos.
The T2 bike-to-run transition area will be set up at Explanada del Rey in Madrid Río and this is where athletes will start the final leg of 42K on foot.
After leaving T2 at Explanada del Rey in Madrid Río, athletes head towards the river zone and a lapped course in the Madrid Rio area. A final ascent to the Cuesta de la Vega then becomes Mayor Street and athletes finally head to the Puerta del Sol and the finish.