A showdown between Frommhold, Bracht, Bozzone and Skipper for the men while Ryf goes after the women's world record.
May 5, 2017 | NEWS|
Challenge Roth has long been renowned for its fast times and competitive fields and the 2017 edition promises more of the same.
Ryf goes for the record
Anyone who saw Daniela Ryf dance across the finish line at Challenge Roth last year knew she had some energy left despite the fact that she had become the second fastest woman ever over the full distance. Her time of 8:22:04 was the third fastest time ever - only Chrissie Wellington has gone faster. In July Ryf will try to surpass Wellington's 8:18:13 world best time and course record in Roth.
While all eyes will be on the Swiss world champion, there are certainly some other women in the field who will happily keep her honest throughout the day. Canadian Heather Wurtele has three straight 70.3 world championship podiums to her credit along with six Ironman titles. Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED) is a three-time Roth champion who once held the world best time, too. (She set that in 2008.) Last year's fourth-place finisher, Laura Siddall (GBR), returns as well.
Jan Frodeno might be going after the Ironman world-best time in Austria this year, but the men's race promises to be incredibly exciting with a number of potential favorites set to line up. Germany's Nils Frommhold won the event in 2015 in 7:51:28, the third fastest time ever on the course. In 2014 he was second to countryman Timo Bracht, who, at 41, is making Roth the last long-distance race of his impressive career. Last year Joe Skipper finished second to Frodeno in Roth, relegating Frommhold to third, making him another to watch in what promises to be a competitive men's race.
There's a strong contingent arriving in Roth from down under, too. New Zealand's Terenzo Bozzone, the 2008 70.3 world champion, finally had his breakthrough Ironman performance at Western Australia last December when he set a new course record of 7:51:26. His countryman Dougal Allan is a two-time Challenge Wanaka champ and just finished second at Challenge Taiwan in 8:11:23. Then there's Aussie Brad Kahlefeldt, a two-time Olympian and the 2006 Commonwealth Games champion, who is making his move up to long distance racing.