Spain has the honour of hosting the next meeting of the Challenge Family, in the privileged setting of the spectacular circuit on the Maresme Coast. Some of the biggest names on the international triathlon scene have already confirmed their presence at the Challenge Barcelona-Maresme 2012, which this year will also be the venue for the Spanish LD Triathlon Championship.
Top triathletes have already confirmed their presence at an event that that won the Spanish Triathlon Federation’s award for the “Best Organisation of 2010 and 2011” and that was recently named as the venue for the European Middle Distance Triathlon Championship 2013.
The race consists of a 3,800 metre swimming section, 180 kilometres of cycling and finally a 42 kilometre run, with the new feature this year of the circuit passing through as many as fifteen towns and villages in the Catalan county of Maresme, from Santa Susanna to Montgat. The running section involves four totally flat laps between Callella and Santa Susana, with each lap passing through the finishing area, which guarantees a spectacular and fantastically competitive race.
The most relevant triathletes competing on September 30 at the Challenge Barcelona include some of the biggest names in the long distance world, including in the men’s category Per Bitner (Winner of the Half Challenge 2012 and 2nd in Challenge 2011), Stephen Bayliss (Winner of Half Challenge Vichy, and Winner of Challenge Henley and 2nd in Ironman de Lanzarote), Stanislav Krylov (2nd in Half Challenge 2012), Stefen Riesen, Paul Hawkis, Lotar Leder and Andreas Nidrig. In the women’s category, the biggest favourites for the podium places will include Bella Bayliss, Isabelle Ferrer, Nicole Leder, Mirjam Weerd, Juila Bohn and Nicole Wosch, among many other international recognised triathletes.
In addition, this year Challenge Barcelona is hosting the Spanish Triathlon Championship, which guarantees the presence of the best triathletes in the country, who will not only be looking to win the race but also the title of Spanish Champion in the sport.
Gurutze Frades is a clear favourite to win an event in which he’ll be looking to repeat his success as Spanish LD Champion 2011, as will Raul Amatriain, who will need to beat the Catalan Mikel Blanchart (European LD Champion 2011), and the local man won’t be making things easy for his rival from Navarra.
In the men’s race, the triathletes will not only be battling for the podium places, but will also be aiming to break the event record, which is currently in the hands of Clemente Alonso, who in 2011 set the best time of 08:15:25, only a few seconds less than the time achieved by Marcel Zamora in 2009. In the women’s race, the time to beat is the 09:08:01 set by Sofie Goss Atriac in 2009
With more than 1,400 entrants, an unbeatable setting and a top quality entry list, Challenge Barcelona-Maresme is one of the most attractive events on the international schedule, and the 2012 edition is sure to leave people with a lot to talk about.