World class field at Challenge Davos: ‘Looking forward to a spectacular race’
August 26, 2020
In a few days time – August 28th and August 29th – CHALLENGE DAVOS will be held for the fourth time in total. It’s considered the first CHALLENGE FAMILY race of the 2020 calendar and thus also the first major triathlon in Switzerland. Despite many corona-related adjustments, many international triathlon stars will not miss the opportunity to finally participate in an official race again. With Sebastian Kienle, last year’s winner Pieter Heemeryck, Laura Philipp and the Swiss Immogen Simmonds, several well-known athletes have announced their start.
The program of the multi-sport event has changed slightly compared to last year. Due to the developed hygiene standards, the Swim&Run Kids was moved from Saturday to Friday evening at 6:00pm. Afterwards the NightRun over 6km will be held for the second time as planned. On Saturday, three triathlons over the Olympic and middle distance as well as a shorter format for beginners are back on the program.
Athletes can look forward to the popular bike course, which leads up to the 2383m high Flüela Pass, which will be completely closed to traffic. New this year is the Aquabike format, where a 1.9km swim course and 54km bike course needs to be completed.
‘Do not forget a protective mask’
In times of corona, a special edition of CHALLENGE DAVOS awaits all athletes. Some parts of the program had to be replaced or cancelled due to the current situation, as gatherings of large crowds are not desirable. The briefing will therefore be held online, the EXPO must remain closed and the award ceremony can only be held virtually. In addition, in certain areas of the event site, masks are mandatory.
World elite athletes back in competition
On the Middle Distance, in addition to the national and international elite athletes, around 400 Age Group athletes will start at 10.45 am. from Lake Davos on their journey over the Flüela Pass to the finish line in the Davos stadium. Athletes have to complete a 1.9km swim, 54km bike ride and last but not least a half marathon. The organizers are very pleased to be able to present what is probably the strongest professional starting field in this class since the first edition of CHALLENGE DAVOS in 2017. The line-up is led by no less than multiple Iron-distance winner Sebastian Kienle. Besides Kienle, the men’s professional field is also very strong. The 2014 Hawaii champion will be up against last year’s winner and co-favorite Pieter Heemeryck from Belgium and the winner of the 2019 CHALLENGE ROTH, Andreas Dreitz from Germany, among others. Other international athletes such as Joe Skipper (GBR), Maurice Clavel (GER), Ronnie Schildknecht (SUI), Boris Stein (GER), Andreas Böcherer (GER), Jan van Berkel (SUI), Andreas Salvisberg (SUI) and Manuel Küng (SUI) will be at the start. A more than exciting race is also expected in the professional women’s field. The two best-known names on the starting list are Laura Philipp (GER) and Swiss hope Immogen Simmonds. Both had a successful 2019 and are among the top favorites for the victory. Besides the duo, Fenella Langride (GBR), Nina Derron (SUI) and the two German starters Lena Berlinger and Anne Reischmann are other international athletes on the starting line.
PTO increases prize money
Since CHALLENGE DAVOS will be one of the few triathlon races for professionals in 2020, the PTO (Professional Triathletes Organisation) has announced to distribute an additional 21.000 Euro in prize money. The aim of the organization is to provide financial support to professional athletes in times of little or no competition.
According to the current weather forecast, many clouds and rain will dominate the sky above the Alps during race day. In the event that safe swimming cannot be guaranteed due to difficult weather conditions, a duathlon format will be used.
The CHALLENGE DAVOS team is happy to welcome numerous athletes to a variety of races this year and to write a little bit of sports history. Despite the euphoria about the race offer, the safety of all participants and volunteers has the highest priority. For this reason, we ask you to adhere to the corona measures.