Challenge Roma 753 debut: Laura Siddall wins

The debut of Challenge Roma 753 chucked distance conventions in the bin - but didn't stop another great performance from Great Britain's Laura Siddall

Chief Correspondent
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T100 Triathlon World Tour
Redefining triathlon

No Roth hangover for Laura Siddall at the inaugural Challenge Roma 753


The consistent ‘Brit Abroad’ wins the first Challenge Family event in Rome

753? Well, the foundation of Rome in the year 753 BC was the inspiration for this event – which makes a detour from the usual ‘half’ distances, utilising the ‘753’ figures:

  • 1,753 metres swim
  • 75.31 km cycling
  • 17.53 km running

Overall then, it’s a ‘short half distance’. It’s actually something of a ‘back to the future’ approach to triathlon (old person anecdote alert!), when triathlon courses and distances were, well, whatever distance happened to fit the circumstances and location they were held in. They worked out ok too!

If you’ve ever been to Rome (and if not, do take the opportunity if it ever arises, it is stunning), you’ll quickly realise that trying to host a triathlon there surely can’t be the easiest – so kudos to the organisers for trying something different.

Just two weeks on a from a fantastic second place at Challenge Roth, Great Britain’s Laura Siddall added another victory to her early season title at IRONMAN Australia. Few athletes race more than Laura – and certainly few are able to race at such a high level, so consistently. The former multiple Age-Group World Champion is now truly a top tier world class triathlete – reflected in her current world ranking of number five. She’s still improving and October will see her first crack at the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona. A top-10 finish their is a realistic goal.

Young Brit, Elliot Smales, continued his first season of Pro racing with a sixth place finish in a race won by the Swiss veteran and Olympic medallist, Sven Riederer. His swim and run legs are up there with the best, with his biggest gains looking set to come on the bike. As a young athlete, that is a good position to be in. I think we can expect to see Elliot improving steadily over the next few seasons to be serious podium contender.

Challenge Roma 753 – Sunday 23rd July 2017
1.753km / 75.3km / 17.53km


1st – Laura Siddall (GBR) – 3:20:11
2nd – Sofie Goos (BEL) – 3:24:29
3rd – Erika Csomor (HUN) – 3:27:04
4th – Line Thams (DEN) – 3:29:00
5th – Sarah Lester (AUS) – 3:45:37


1st – Sven Riederer (SUI) – 2:55:06
2nd – Giulio Molinari (ITA) – 2:56:12
3rd – Dylan McNiece (NZL) – 2:58:16
4th – Verdejo Baldellou (ESP) – 2:59:39
5th – Thomas Strange (DEN) – 3:00:29
6th – Elliot Smales (GBR) – 3:03:14

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.
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