Emma Pallant, Pablo Dapena secure Challenge Cape Town wins

The debut of Challenge Cape Town saw two British athletes on the podium, headed by another successful day for Emma Pallant

Chief Correspondent
Last updated -

Another 2019 victory for Emma Pallant

Last weekend South Africa dominated the Rugby World Cup final, but on home soil today, the inaugural Challenge Cape Town triathlon saw the podiums topped by Great Britain and Spain.


Dapena, Pallant Win Inaugural CHALLENGECAPETOWN

Pablo Dapena took the crown in the inaugural CHALLENGECAPETOWN on Sunday, when he sprinted to the finish in a time of 3:46:48.

The Spaniard finished approx. 90 seconds ahead of Steven McKenna (AUS) in second place, with Matt Trautman (RSA) coming in third. First out of the water after a strong swim, Dapena formed part of a six-man bunch that dominated most of the 90km cycle from Big Bay into the Company’s Garden.  But it was on the run where he showed his strength, and he quickly set the pace in front, together with McKenna, with Trautman following close behind.

Dapena was ecstatic about his victory. “The conditions were amazing. I had a great swim and enjoyed the flat and fast bike. The run was a little windy at times and that hill was a challenge, but I loved racing in Cape Town, and I hope to be back next year!”

Challenge Cape Town 2019 / Pablo Dapena Gonzalez
Photo credit: Chris Hitchcock

The women’s race belonged to Emma Pallant (GBR), who took a convincing win in 4:14:51 – seven minutes faster than Annah Watkinson (SA), and almost 10 minutes ahead of British pro Laura Siddall.

“I loved the swim and the run was tough,” noted Pallant. “The flat and fast bike made for an awesome day, and I had great fun on the course.”

This was an historic day for the race organisers, who successfully staged the first middle distance triathlon in the City of Cape Town.

The 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21km run showcased the Mother City in a way that no mass participation event athlete has seen it before.

The day dawned to a misty but wind-free Big Bay, and the race opened with ideal swim conditions and water temperatures reaching 15.5 °c. The cycle followed, which comprised three spectacularly scenic loops along Otto du Plessis Drive with its uninterrupted ocean views, followed by a ride into the City, and a final sprint along Adderley Street and Government Avenue in the Company’s Garden. This was the first time that a cycle race went through the historic Garden.

The 21km run through the Zonnebloem and District Six precinct showcased many of the City’s most historically significant landmarks, including Parliament, City Hall, and the Castle of Good Hope. Three 7km laps completed the run, which included a brutal climb from the Castle all the way up to the M3.

“We couldn’t have asked for better conditions to stage this inaugural event,” said race director Gary Marescia. “The nature of the course made it possible for pros and age groupers to put themselves to the test.”

“A middle distance triathlon in the City of Cape Town has been a long time coming, and I am thrilled that we could show local and international triathletes that the Mother City is ready for an event of this calibre.”

CHALLENGECAPETOWN attracted participants from 20 countries across the globe, with women making up 27% of the field. Top age grouper finishers each earned a slot to participate in THECHAMPIONSHIP in Samorin, Slovakia, in May 2020.

Pro Men

  1. Pablo Dapena (ESP): 3:46:48
  2. Steven McKenna (AUS): 3:48:14
  3. Matt Trautman (RSA): 3:49:44
  4. Kyle Buckingham (RSA): 3:52:12
  5. Tim Don (GBR): 3:55:49
  6. Bradley Weiss (RSA): 3:56:31
Challenge Cape Town 2019
Photo credit: Chris Hitchcock

Pro Women

  1. Emma Pallant (GBR): 4:14:51
  2. Annah Watkinson (RSA): 4:21:20
  3. Laura Siddall (GBR): 4:24:23
  4. Gillian Sanders (RSA): 4:38:20
  5. Lauren Cannon (RSA): 4:39:59
  6. Vicky van der Merwe (RSA): 4:43:20
Challenge Cape Town 2019
Photo credit: Chris Hitchcock
John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
Discover more
T100 Singapore Age Group bike course
Ultimate sightseeing – the must-do city centre triathlons
TRI-FIT Geo Coral women's tri suit
TRI-FIT GEO Women’s Tri Suit Review – How does it fare in our quest for the ultimate long course kit?
Jonny Brownlee swim pool neom 2022 Photo Bartlomiej Zborowski Superleague Triathlon
Jonny Brownlee on the pool swimming drills to do now to get faster in open water
sebastien kienle at challenge st polten
Let’s race… Challenge St Pölten
Fanni Szalai Arena Games Sursee 2023 photo credit Darren Wheeler That Cameraman SLT
supertri E next gen talent – meet the 6 future superstars to watch in London
latest News
Challenge Salou 2022: Kristian Hogenhaug leading the run
Challenge Mogán-Gran Canaria: Start time, preview and how to follow live
Kat Matthews ticker tape IRONMAN Texas 2023 [Photo credit: Kyle Rivas / Getty Images for IRONMAN]
Stars revealed for first full distance race of the IRONMAN Pro Series in Texas
Hayden Wilde wins SLT Malibu 2023 photo credit Darren Wheeler / Super League
Major US cities included in 2024 supertri League Calendar as race venues and dates announced
Youri Keulen on floor finish line Singapore t100 2024 photo credit PTO
T100 Triathlon World Tour: Youri Keulen leads the rankings after wondrous wildcard win
Ashleigh Gentle Lucy Charles Barclay t100 Singapore 2024 run finish photo credit PTO
T100 Triathlon World Tour: Lucy Charles-Barclay reigns supreme at the top of the standings
triathlon on your terms
Never miss out with our triathlon alerts & digest. Get a dose of adventure & inspiration with Boundless.
Invalid email address
The SBRX Group

Proudly elevating endurance sports through content, products & services

Share to...