This was our preview of Challenge London 2023 – you can click here for full results and report on how Fenella Langridge and Sam Laidlow claimed victories in the pro races.
This weekend a strong contingent of professional middle-distance athlete will head to the UK capital to take on the first edition of Challenge London, the world’s biggest city centre triathlon.
A number of big names, including IRONMAN World Championship runner-up Sam Laidlow and local favourite Fenella Langridge will line up on Sunday for the half-distance event.
We have everything you need to know, including start times, how to follow and a complete preview for the professional men and women’s races.
Start times and how to follow live
Taking place on Sunday August 6, the professional men will get things underway at 06:30 local time, which corresponds to 07:30 CET and 01:30 on the East Coast (22:30 PST Saturday). Starting five minutes later, the women will go off at 06:35 local time, 07:35 CET and 01:35 Eastern.
There is no live streaming of the event, but the Challenge Family Twitter account will put out live updates throughout the swim, bike and run, accessible here. After the racing is done, updated results will be available under the ‘Results’ area of the official race website.
Pro Men – Laidlow the big draw
In the men’s race, Frenchman Laidlow is the favourite on paper, but after a rocky start to the year, questions marks remain over his fitness – especially after he sustained a calf injury during a tough day out at Challenge Roth in June.
If he is in form and has managed to get back into some good shape, the battle for the win and the podium will still be fierce. After taking his first middle-distance win at the beginning of the year at Challenge Gran Canaria against a competitive start list, Laidlow will face an equally strong field in London.
PTO World #40 Matt Trautman of South Africa will be a threat and coming off the back of a win at Challenge Vansbro and an excellent third place finish at the World Long Distance Championships in Ibiza, has the momentum needed to take down a big name.
Domestically, IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire winner James Teagle, along with Challenge Wales podium finisher Harry Palmer and the likes of Kieran Lindars and Thomas Davis will all hope to get on the podium on home soil, with the door certainly open for one of them to challenge the more established names.
Australian duo Charlie Quin and Caleb Noble, who have been performing well at Challenge Family events so far this season, also have the quality to get on the podium, with the battle for the top three positions looking likely to cause some upsets in the capital.
Pro Women – Fenella drops back in distance
Amongst the women’s field, Britain’s Langridge leads the way, with the PTO World #12 the strongest in the field. Having focused primarily on the long-distance events so far this season, it will be interesting to see how she tackles the race in London, given she is likely to lead out of the water.
Dutchwoman Els Visser may be her biggest rival in the capital, with the 33-year-old a strong bike-runner who will keep the pressure on Langridge throughout the race, with an exciting cat-and-mouse chase on the run a possibility if the Brit can’t get enough of a buffer on the swim and bike.
Two more Brits, Susie Cheetham and Meg McDonald, are also on the start list and capable of being in contention for the podium, with Aussie Renee Riley, third at Challenge Wales, another athlete who will be looking to take one of the podium steps and a slice of the prize purse.
Prize Money: What’s on the line?
Athletes will be racing for a total prize purse of $19,000, payable six deep as follows:
- 1st – €3,500
- 2nd – €2,100
- 3rd – €1,400
- 4th – €1,150
- 5th – €850
- 6th – €500
As a Challenge Family event, there’s also a second potential source of earnings for athletes too, courtesy of the Challenge Family World Bonus!
Challenge Family offers a $125,000 bonus pot, which is paid out as $25k / $16.5k / $12k / $6k / $3k to the top five ranked male and female athletes across the Challenge Family/CLASH Endurance race season.