Dreitz thrills crowd with a win at Challenge Roth

Bavaria's own Andreas Dreitz took a huge win at Challenge Roth, blasting to the front on the bike and then hanging tough on the run to thrill the German Franconian crowd at Challenge Roth and nail the biggest win of his career.

| July 7, 2019 | NEWS

Andreas Dreitz moved up a step on the podium from last year to take the win at Challenge Roth.

Andreas Dreitz moved up a step on the podium from last year to take the win at Challenge Roth.

Photo >Nils Flieshardt / spomedis

You kind of had this feeling that Andreas Dreitz's time was coming. Second at Challenge Roth last year, he won Ironman Italy in impressive fashion last fall before testng the waters in Kona. Today he powered his way to an impressive win at Challenge Roth thanks to a super-strong bike followed by a very solid 2:51 marathon to thrill the Franconian crowd here in Roth with a "home-region" win.

It's a big deal when you're German and you win this race. When you're from Lichtenfels, the "basket city" in the northern Franconian region, and you win this race in the heart of Franconia, it's an even bigger deal.

Which no-doubt provided lots of motivation for Dreitz to improve upon his runner-up finish from a year ago, but it was certainly no easy task. The day began with Sweden's Jesper Svensson leading the non-wetsuit swim in a time of 48:27, making him the only guy to swim faster than Lucy Charles-Barclay today. Braden Currie (NZL) and Andy Potts (USA were next out after the Swede, but both were 1:53 off the pace.

Svensson managed to stay out in front through the first 40 km of the bike, but was then joined by the three Andi(y)s - Andreas Dreitz, Andreas Böcherer and Andy Potts. The Swede hung in with the cycling powerhouses for a while, but eventually came off the bike in fifth place alongside Australian Cameron Wurf, who was competing in Roth despite a broken nose and rib sustained in a bike crash a few weeks ago. Dreitz's 4:13:12 was enough to get him to T2 in first, with Böcherer right on his heels.

The early part of the run seemed to be set up for a race to the line between the two Germans, but Böcherer would drop off the pace. That set Dreitz up as the man with the target on his back and it was Svensson who seemed to make the most spirited charge to catch him. Wurf charged hard in the first 15 km, but would eventually fade a bit.

Dreitz's 2:51:11 marathon was more than enough to get him the win, setting the jam-packed stadium here in Roth to a frenzy as he came across the line in 7:59:02. Svensson posted a 2:48:43 marathon to claim second place in 8:02:20. Third went to Wurf in 8:04:08, just ahead of Belgium's Bart Aernouts, the 2017 champ, who finished in 8:04:48. David McNamee (GBR) rounded out the top five with his 8:05:50 finish thanks to a blistering 2:41:01 marathon.