Nils Frommhold pulled away on the bike with a 4:09:30 and won Challenge Roth with a total time of 7:51:28, about 5 minutes ahead of defending champion Timo Bracht. Third place finisher and late entry David Dellow also managed to stay sub-8. Yvonne Van Vlerken's 4:47:43 bike split helped her grab the women's title, but she had to get it done on the run, reeling in long time leader Anja Beranek. Carrie Lester had a great day and managed to get past Beranek to grab second place, relegating Beranek to third.
Nils Frommhold pulled away from Andrew Starykowicz and Timo Bracht on the bike to reach T2 alone with a nice advantage, and with a bike split that broke Andreas Raelert's old course record. Starykowicz ended up going even faster with a 4:09:13, and although the American struggled during the run he hung on to finish.
"I felt great in the water and great on the bike, kind of similar to last year, but this time I had a larger advantage and that meant that Timo [Bracht] and I swapped the top two podium spots," said Frommhold.
“Nils [Frommhold] did an unbelievable race today and I knew with a lead of more than 7 or 8 minutes it would be very difficult,” said Timo Bracht. “David Dellow passed me at 31k and I had to find something special to get him back in the last 10k.”
“With a quarter million people watching it was such a buzz and a great experience,” said David Dellow. “It is very cool to get under 8 hours by just a few seconds.”
Van Vlerken ran down race leader Anja Beranek to take the lead and eventually the win, but she needed the race-best bike split to come back from a 54:46 swim.
"I am just very happy that I could put it together even though the circumstances were not perfect," said 3-time champion Van Vlerken. "I got a bee sting or something like it and had fever a few days before the race."
"I really couldn't wait to get to the finish line," said runner-up Carrie Lester. "I just tried to keep my head strong and usually the body follows. But it was not until the last few kilometers where I finally felt that I got this."
"It was quite tough especially during the second loop," said third place finisher Anja Beranek.
New this year was a 1k penalty loop for athletes receiving a drafting penalty, to be served at the 28k mark of the run. The 1k penalty had to be served in addition to the 5 minutes athletes had to spend in the penalty tent. Athletes apparently took notice as only 89 drafting penalties were issued today, about half the number of the previous year.
2015 Challenge Roth
Roth, Germany / July 12, 2015
3.8k swim / 180k bike / 42k run
1. Nils Frommhold (GER) 7:51:28
2. Timo Bracht (GER) 7:56:31
3. David Dellow (AUS) 7:59:28
4. Per Bittner (GER) 8:04:29
5. Stefan Schmid (GER) 8:11:04
1. Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED) 8:50:53
2. Carrie Lester (AUS) 8:53:09
3. Anja Beranek (GER) 8:55:19
4. Gina Crawford (NZL) 9:04:45
5. Daniela Sämmler (GER) 9:09:33
The fastest time recorded at Challenge Roth however was by a relay. Team Guttenberger+Partner6 managed a very fast 7:26:26 and recorded race best numbers in each discipline. Felix Richtsfeld swam 45:22, Tobias Erler biked 4:03:40 and Marcel Bräutigam ran a 2:34 for a total time of 7:26:26. Team Arndt consisting of Peter Renner, Tobias Wybierek and Tamas Kovacs were next in 7:45:47, and the 3rd place team of Rothsee Connection (Christian Röckelein, Simon Hofmockel, Zacharias Wedel) needed 8:34:22 to get to the finish in Roth.
Tobias Erler of the winning relay went sub 4 hours in 2009 but he said the wind conditions were more favorable then. He rode an Airstreem Super TT bike with a Lightweight disc in the rear and the Lightweight Fernweg 60mm front, and he averaged 330 watts, struggling towards the end. He also was impressed with the bike splits of the triathletes.
"To go 4:09 on this course is very impressive," said Erler to slowtwitch. "One thing is for sure, I could not have run a marathon after this bike effort."