Heemeryck tops Challenge Family Bonus Pool

Thanks to a pair of wins, Pieter Heemeryck sits atop the Challenge Family Bonus pool, while Radka Kahlefeldt, Sarah Haskins and Judith Corachan Vaquera top the women's standings.

| April 11, 2019 | NEWS

Pieter Heemeryck on the bike at Challenge Daytona.

Pieter Heemeryck on the bike at Challenge Daytona.

Photo >Jose Luis Hourcade

It's still crazy early in the season, but after surging to fourth in the Challenge Family World Bonus pool a year ago, Belgium's Pieter Heemeryck is making a charge for the top spot in the 2019 season. Heemeryck took Challenge Daytona last December and topped the field at Challenge Salou on the weekend to sit atop the standings with 500 points.

Thanks to his win at the Challenge Asia Pacific Championship in Taitung, Taiwan last year, Australian Luke McKenzie sits second in the standings. A tie for third goes to all the second place finishers from those three races - Max Neumann (AUS), Andrew Starykowicz (USA) and Pablo Dapena (ESP).

With his sights set on taking the Bonus Pool, Heemeryck will be very focused on the upcoming Championship event in Samorin, Slovakia, which offers double points. The four long-distance races included in the Bonus Pool standings (Roth, Madrid, Almere-Amsterdam and Taiwan) earn considerably more points, too.

"If you win a long distance, you earn three time as many points than if you win a middle distance," says Heemeryck, To be honest, I think The Championship will be a determinant race, so this one has my full attention."

Three women atop the standings

For the women there have been three different winners of the three races that have taken place so far. The Czech Republics Radka Kahlefeldt won in Taiwan, American Sarah Haskins took Challenge Daytona, while Spain's Judith Corachin Vaquera won in Salou on the weekend.

The runner-up finishers from each of those races - Mirinda Carfrae (AUS), Alicia Kaye (USA) and Daniela Blehmehl (GER) all sit in second place in the standings.

The next race in the Bonus Pool will be Challenge Gran Canaria on April 27. The Bonus Pool pays out a total of US$165,000 with the top-ranked finishers taking home $30,000.