2016 Challenge Wanaka images

Over 1,600 athletes competed in the 2016 Challenge Wanaka in New Zealand and here are some pro images from this very scenic and stunning race course.

The pros are lined up and are awaiting the start for a long day of pain and suffering.

Dylan McNeice was first out of the water of the shortened swim section in 43:40.

German Maik Twelsiek lost about 5 minutes to McNeice, but more importantly had a solid advantage over Dougal Allan and Matthew Russell. Per Bittner on the other hand was just a minute behind.

The front group of women came out of the water in 54:30 and Matt Russell was right in the midst of them.

Defending champion Dylan McNeice had the lead for a long time, but he could hear that someone was closing in on him.

Maik Twelsiek put on a show and at about 100k took over the lead. His 4:37:57 bike split was excellent but only second best today.

Graham O'Grady swam the 3.8k in a very solid 45:43, then biked 5:14:05 before pulling out.

American Brad Williams also came out of the water around 54:30 and that meant chasing all day on the bike. His bike split was 5:17:43.

Dougal Allan also had catching up to do after a swim near 54:30 but his race best 4:36:06 bike split put him in podium position at the end of the bike segment.

Brit Joe Skipper had problems with his bike and ended up pulling out. Word has it that he is very angry with the airline who handled his bike transport poorly.

Matt Russell on his distinctive ride rode 4:48:55 to stay in contention.

Yvonne van Vlerken was strong all day, but had a tough battle to deal with.

British Laura Siddall challenged for the lead all day and her 5:12:29 was race best among the female field.

Defending champion Gina Crawford did not have the day she hoped for and ended up not finishing.

Dylan McNeice stayed focused but up front Twelsiek and Allan put on a show.

Allan reeled in Twelsiek and looked good all day.

Matt Russell charged past McNeice to take over the third place, but Twelsiek one spot ahead stayed out of reach.

Dougal Allan was clearly thrilled with his day and the big win at home.

A big hug from Yvonne van Vlerken for runner-up Laura Siddall.

All images © Getty Images