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Andreas Raelert and Julia Gajer were crowned European Long Distance Champions on home soil after a fantastic race in Kraichgau, Germany.
In perfect racing conditions the duo both set new course records as Raelert defended his title from 2011.
The German finished ahead of Sylvain Sudrie (FRA) and local hero Sebastian Kienle (GER).
Gajer led home Line Jensen (DEN) and Delphine Pelletier (FRA).
In this first European Triathlon Union/Challenge Family race there were a record number of athletes competing as well as record spectators who lined the course and the swim start.
Race director Bjoern Steinmetz was delighted: “Once again we proved Challenge Kraichgau a milestone in the region and Germany.”
Raelert was in the thick of the front pack from the start. He left the water with the lead group and controlled the race on the bike.
Frenchman Sudrie and Konstantin Bachor (GER) pushed the pace on the bike and opened a gap to a group of 10 chasers.
Once on the run, Raelert pushed ahead of Sudrie at the 5K mark and never looked in danger of surrendering the lead.
Kienle, who was not able to break the first group on the bike, made great progress on the run and pushed himself up into second position with just a few kilometers to go.
But a determined Sudrie fought back, and in an amazing finish, pipped Kienle to second place just before the finish line.
Women’s Race Recap
The women’s competition was equally exciting and dramatic. It was Denmark’s Line Jensen who exited the water first and she was quick out of transition onto the bike.
Jensen maintained a lead on the bike but a chasing pack formed under the leadership of Gajer ready to pounce.
Five athletes entered T2 in quick succession including Jensen, Gajer, Pelletier (FRA), Pedersen (DEN) and Crawford (NZ).
Onto the run Gajer caught and eventually overtook Jensen to win the European title. But Jensen battled strongly and maintained her focus and concentration to finish in second place ahead of Pelletier.