This weekend sees the start of the Challenge Triple Crown race series in the United Arab Emirates with Challenge Dubai on Friday, Feb. 27. The series has a $1 million up for grabs if a professional athlete manages to win all three rounds (the following races are at Challenge Oman and Challenge Bahrain).
With such a big prize purse on offer it’s not surprising some of the best athletes in the sport have arrived in Dubai to do battle. See a few of the quotes from the press conference below.
Javier Gomez (ESP)
“Sure $1 million is a big draw and the series is a major goal for the year, but I have been following Challenge for a while and I like what they are doing for the sport of triathlon.”
Michael Raelert (GER)
“It’s an honor to race against Javier. He’s the guy with the target on his back and I’ve never seen Javier have a bad race. I reckon Javier is fit and he’s the man to beat.”Tim Reed (AUS)
“We do have a nice edge coming into this. With Michael and Javier coming in off a break it will be interesting to see how fresh they are. Racing these guys, and all the other pros here, is so motivating.”
Helle Frederiksen (DEN)
“This is a strong field like in Bahrain. In terms of tactics I am usually a person who reads the race from within the race and remain a tactical player. I will go as hard as I can where necessary. Coming from an ITU background you learn how to race smart.”
Daniela Ryf (SUI)
“After a good break I’ve been training for three to four months and I am excited about getting back to racing. It’s my first race of the season and I want to test my legs and see what I can do.”
Jodie Swallow (GBR)
“I usually like to race hard from the start, but I am planning to race tactfully and not do lots of work at the front. That’s the plan in theory, but once I’m out there it could be a different story.”