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Magnus Ditlev took an all-in approach to Challenge Roth this year, and paid off in a big way. The 24 year-old Danish pro won the men’s race with a course-record bike split of 4:01:56 and overall time of 7:35:48 – only nine seconds off German Jan Frodeno’s course record from 2016.
“I can’t believe this happened!” said Ditlev after the race. “It doesn’t make sense, I’m just out of words. I can’t believe what happened. Everything went according to plan, and that very rarely happens.”
A “bittersweet” DNF for Frodeno – what’s next?
Ditlev also took the time to acknowledge that it was “a bit of a bummer” to not have a “good battle” against Frodeno, who dropped out of the race less than two miles into the run leg. Roth was hoped to be the comeback race for Frodeno, who suffered an Achilles injury earlier in the year. Frodeno looked to be in fine form as he led the race out of the swim, and led the race alongside Ditlev on the bike. As they exited T2 seconds apart, it looked as if Ditlev would get his wish for a throwdown on the run. However, Frodeno’s Achilles thought otherwise, forcing the Olympian and three-time Ironman World Champion to make an emotional withdrawal from the race.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Frodeno said in an interview after the race. “Two-thirds of the race went really, really well. And I actually felt fantastic for 3 kilometers as well on the run, but it was just inevitable that the tendon was going to give me some grief.”
When asked about the next steps, an emotional Frodeno said, “I think I’m going to see my surgeon at six o’clock tomorrow morning and we’re going to have a look at some hard facts and see how bad it actually it is…other than that we dream for 14 weeks from now. I have to take the positives that legs, heart, and everything else are pretty good. So I’m just hoping to build enough shape to be ready for Kona and if I get anything else, that’s a bonus.”
After Frodeno’s withdrawal from the race, Ditlev forged ahead, never fading as he built his lead over the remaining competition. Defending champion Patrick Lange of Germany was second in 7:44:52, while Reinaldo Colucci from Brazil was third in 7:52:36, also well under the eight-hour mark.
Haug battles for the win
Anne Haug of Germany defended her title at Roth, but it didn’t come easily for the world champion. After exiting the swim more than seven minutes down from the lead pack, Haug then had to contend with a hard-charging Fenella Langridge (GBR), who threw down a 4:35:51 bike split to lead the race by more than 5 minutes at T2. But Haug charged harder, unleashing a 2:46:04 marathon to not only overtake Langridge at the halfway point of the run, but build a lead of almost nine minutes to break the tape with a time of 8:22:42.
“Long distance is always tough, and I really had to fight today,” said Haug after the race. “I didn’t have the swim I would have wished for, so I had to push on the bike and the run was really hard. I felt OK, but I had a bee sting which was tough. but in the end I was super happy. You never know what will happen as you can’t influence others, only yourself. I focused on myself and tried to stay as relaxed as possible, and I was super happy to see the finish line.”
Langridge held on to second place, finishing in 8:31:41, while Judith Corachàn from Spain crossed the finish line in in third place in 8:46:29.
Challenge Roth 2022 Results
July 3, 2022
1. Magnus Ditlev (DEN) 7:35:48
2. Patrick Lange (GER) 7:44:52
3. Reinaldo Colucci (BRA) 7:52:36
4. Bradley Weiss (RSA) 7:53:56
5. Robert Kallin (SWE) 7:59:35
1. Anne Haug (GER) 8:22:42
2. Fenella Langridge (GBR) 8:31:41
3. Judith Corachan Vacquera (ESP) 8:46:29
4. Laura Siddall (GBR) 8:53:31
5. Rebecca Clarke (NZL) 9:08:37
For full results, visit the Challenge Roth website.