7 Takaways from the Challenge Championship

This weekend's Challenge Championship was considered a success and whetted the appetite for more. Here are a few of our takeaways.

| June 6, 2017 | RACES

Sebastian Kienle and Lionel Sanders embrace after a tough, close battle at the Championship.

Sebastian Kienle and Lionel Sanders embrace after a tough, close battle at the Championship.

Photo >Peter Jacob / spomedis

20 meter rule. The 20 meter draft rule was loved by the pros, who called it a real plus for the sport. While it highlights rule inconsistency in triathlon, the fact that the organizers makes a statement on behalf of the pros that this should be the new normal.

The new normal? And, speaking of the "new normal,"  it seems these boutique races are becoming the in thing these days. Super League and the Championship are just the starting point for the privateers. (Yes, we know we can’t call Challenge-Family a "privateer," but they don’t have a world title event to hang their hat on). These races need to be commended. As Ironman seems to have little intent to change their practices regarding high-end pro days, it is these events that will spearhead the new wave of professional practice.

The Colonel goes big. He does this time and time again. Lionel Sanders is a big-time win producer who seems to thrive in good company. And, while the field wasn’t fully loaded, there was enough talent on show to bring out his best. Sanders never seems to panic on course and has ice water flowing through his veins when he races.

Where were you Alistair? "Tough day from the first stroke of the swim. Hate not finishing, but didn't have a choice today. Great event and well done to the other guys." That was tweet from Brownlee, who came into T2 in the lead and left the course with a DNF. The ITU crew was led by first-time half-distance competitor Richard Murray, who was fifth.

Germany on top. Once again the German athletes showed a depth of class in this field. Kienle, Raelert, Dreitz, Stein and Mutterer all grabbed spots in the top 10.

A great women's race. Lucy Charles, Annabel Luxford and Heather Wurtele had a great duel out on the course with three lead changes in the last 1.7 km. While Charles won, Luxford too underlined her super consistency in this distance. Australia and Britain both had two women in the top 10 with Australia two in the top five.

Give us more! This race underlines the need for more of this type of set up. Pros need a series of showcase events with correct drafting zones and the attention to detail shown at this race. And, yes, as the fields were strong without being fully loaded, these types of event will hopefully get traction.