Some of the biggest names in international triathlon are set to sizzle at CHALLENGESHEPPARTON on Sunday 13 November 2016.
CHALLENGESHEPPARTON includes a 1.9km swim in the stunning Victoria Park Lake, a two-lap 90km bike course on flat and fast roads and a three-lap 21.1km run encompassing the lake, Goulburn River and red-gum forest paths.
Both the men and women’s fields feature a blend of experienced athletes and new talents looking to make their mark in the sport.
Reigning Champion Luke Bell returns to defend the title he won in 2015. The Victorian was forced to rest for two months early in the year after breaking his pelvis in a bike accident. He has since returned to form with a second placing at Challenge Jeju and fourth at half distance Hefei in China. The Shepparton record holder has over 20 half-distance wins to his name and is at "home" on the CHALLENGESHEPPARTON course.
Bell will face off against Sam Betten, who finished second last year and will be keen to go one better in 2016. Recent Noosa Triathlon winner Dan Wilson also lines up. Wilson is making the transition from short course racing to the longer form and it looks like it will suit him down to the ground.
The powerful couple of Brad Kahlefeldt and Radka Vodickova will both return to Shepparton, having raced there successfully in the past. They will be hoping to replicate the result that they produced at half distance Hefei in China two weeks ago, where both won their respective events.
Kahlefeldt finished second at CHALLENGESHEPPARTON in 2014 and brings good form to the event this year.
Vodickova is one of the most consistent half-distance athletes on the planet and rarely misses the podium at any event she contests, including a second (2014) and third (2015) in Shepparton. The Czech athlete, who resides and trains in Australia, already boasts three wins along with six podiums in 2016 and is a great chance of adding another in Shepparton.
Annabel Luxford won the inaugural CHALLENGESHEPPARTON in 2014 and has been in great form this year. Her highlights include a sixth at the half distance World Championships and a win at half distance Japan.
Up-and-comer Ellie Salthouse has taken the sport by storm since her move to half-distance racing. The 23-year-old Australian, who is making her Shepparton debut, has raced predominantly in North America, registering victories at half distance Miami and Boulder along with a string of top-three results. Salthouse’s coach is Siri Lindley, who also coaches last year’s winner, Rebekah Keat.
On top of all of this, it was announced in July that CHALLENGESHEPPARTON would be the only World Championship Qualification Event in Victoria. “After three years establishing CHALLENGESHEPPARTON this now places our much loved race on the National and International triathlon stage,” Challenge Shepparton, Event Manager, Kelvin Maude said.
This means that CHALLENGESHEPPARTON will provide the opportunity for Elite, Under 23 and Age Group triathletes to earn points towards the 2017 ITU (International Triathlon Union) Age Group World Championships to be held in Penticton, Canada.
“A chance to win points to secure a place on the Australian ‘Green and Gold Team’ is a dream of many athletes,” Mr Maude said.
CHALLENGESHEPPARTON offers a huge weekend of family fun with options for everyone. A jam-packed program also includes McDonald’s trikids triathlon, Aqua Shop Open Water Swim, fun run and a cycling criterium.
For more information on CHALLENGESHEPPARTON www.challengeshepparton.com.au
LATEST FROM CHALLENGE ASIA-PACIFIC
Challenge Asia Pacific has seen much growth over the last 12 months, after adding Malaysia, Vietnam, Korea, Thailand and the half event at Wanaka to the calendar. This brings the total to ten events within the Asia-Pacific region. “The implementation of the regional Championships in Melbourne is something we are extremely excited and proud to have on the 9th April 2018”, Challenge Asia-Pacific CEO Marcus Altmann said.
Challenge Family is also proud to have The Championship event in Samorin/Slovakia June 3rd 2017, which CHALLENGESHEPPARTON and all Challenge events globally have qualification slots for. We at Challenge family wish all athletes across all events the very best for the weekend.
Media Contact: Liz Connick, Challenge Shepparton – 0409 967 711.
Male Field Female Field
Luke Bell (AUS) Annabel Luxford (AUS)
Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS) Radka Vodickova (CZE)
Sam Betten (AUS) Ellie Salthouse (AUS)
Dan Wilson (AUS) Amanda Wilson (AUS)
Brad Wauer (AUS) Andrea Forrest (AUS)
Sam Tebeck (AUS) Katey Gibb (AUS)
Jeff Symonds (CAN) Rachael Paxton (AUS)
Brian Hrynkow (CAN) Stephanie Demestichas (AUS)
Levi Maxwell (AUS) Bonnie Van Wilgenburg (UK)
Lachlan Kerin (AUS) Georgia Stott (AUS)
Alexander Polizzi (AUS) Lauren Parker (AUS)
Rudgley Adam (AUS)
Nuru Somi (AUS)
Benjamin Williams (USA)
Mitchell Kibby (AUS)
Matt Burton (AUS)
Nathan Miller (AUS)
Matthew Pellow (AUS)