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See the complete announcement from the Challenge Series below:
After quite a long break, Timo Bracht will return to the “triathlon dream factory” in Roth. He has won seven Ironman races and finished fifth in the latest Hawaii event and says: “Apart from Ironman Hawaii in summer, my plan this year is to take part again in a big German long-distance race. For a long time, I have not been quite sure whether I should participate, and so I asked the fans to help me make a decision. The vote was clear, so I decided to try and win Challenge Roth! I am looking forward to a great race course, unique atmosphere and maybe the best triathlon fans in the world in Roth! I want to be part of the Challenge Family and I want to leave my footprints there as a race winner. Roth is a cult event, just legendary”.
The field of female participants seems to be even stronger, since this year Sonja Tajsich from Regensburg (best German female triathlete in 2011 Ironman Hawaii, seventh place) will compete against the current long-distance World Champion Rachel Joyce (GB) and last year’s second-place finisher of the Challenge Roth, Julia Gajer (née Wagner).
Sonja Tajsich is definitely among the world’s triathlon elite. Her great career started at the 2002 Challenge Roth, where she instantly finished eighth in her very first long-distance race. In 2006 she won her first long-distance triathlon at the Ironman Malaysia. 2010 was Sonja Tajsich’s best season so far, with two victories at the Ironman races in South Africa and in her home town of Regensburg. Rachel Joyce from Great Britain is just as strong: In May 2011 she won her first Ironman race in Lanzarote, and in November she won the official ITU long-distance World Championship in Henderson, Nev., so she is nothing less than the official long-distance World Champion. Her latest success was the 2nd place in the first edition of the Ironman Melbourne in March this year. Julia Wagner started taking part in international triathlon competitions only in 2008. She had her international break-through in long-distance triathlon last year at the 10th Challenge Roth, where she was able to reach a fantastic second place right after Chrissie Wellington. With her breathtaking finishing time of less than nine hours (8:56:23) she even relegated serial Challenge winner Rebekah Keat to third place. So the fans can look forward to a new extraordinary performance of the young German athlete, who is a very strong runner. Of course, Rebekah Keat will be a fierce competitor, as she will surely do everything for her first victory at the Challenge Roth (apart from many other top rankings, Keat reached the second place in 2009 and 2010 Challenge Roth; 3rd place in 2011 Challenge Roth;1st place in 2010 and 2011 Challenge Copenhagen; first place in 2011 Challenge Cairns). But none of the afore-mentioned athletes should reckon without the successful Czech triathlete and participant of the Olympic Games Lucie Zelenková-Reed (first place 2010 Challenge Barcelona; first place 2009 Ironman South Africa, second place 2011 Ironman Germany). Since she married in 2011, the exceptional athlete has been living in South Africa, and there is only one thing she wants to do in Roth this year: win the race.
Triathlon fans will also be happy to see Nicole Leder again, and of course also darling of the public Belinda Granger. In addition, Michelle Bremer from New Zealand (winner of 2011 Ironman Western Australia) and the two British athletes Joanna Carritt (fourth place in 2011 Ironman Great Britain and Challenge Wanaka) and Yvette Grice (winner of the 2011 Challenge Henley and third in 2011 Ironman Great Britain) will take part.