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In pictures: Challenge St. Pölten 2024

A staple of their European summer schedule, Challenge St. Pölten delivered both a repeat winner and a first time Challenge Family champion

Chief Correspondent
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The city of St. Pölten, the capital of the State of Lower Austria has been hosting major international triathlon events for two decades now.

On Sunday, the fourth edition of Challenge St. Pölten took place, a race which saw a repeat winner from 2023 in the men’s race, Tom Hug, joined by five first-time visitors to a Challenge Family professional podium.

Germany’s Laura Zimmermann took the title for the Pro Women in what was a very tight battle, just holding off Great Britain’s Chloe Sparrow, who was making only her second professional start. She wasn’t the only Brit who reached the podium either… check out how it all played out below.

A regular on these pages, photographer José Luis Hourcade (www.joseluishourcade.com) was on hand to capture the race in pictures, as well as some of the amazing scenery that this region has to offer

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Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
Pre-race focus
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
The Pro Women start the day off in St. Pölten
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
Early battles in this ‘two lake’ swim course
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
The Pro Men start 20 minutes later
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
This is NOT transition! Athletes run 200m between the Viehofner See and Ratzersdorfer See as part of this ‘two lake’ course
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
Diving in for the second part of the swim
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
Chloe Sparrow (GBR) and Hannes Butters (GER) built big leads during the opening discipline, leaving their chasers with plenty of work to do
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
The bike course starts with a flat and fast motorway section
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
Defending champion, Tom Hug (GER) had to overcome a bike crash this year, losing most of his nutrition in the process
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
Germany’s Maurice Clavel was initially part of the chasing group
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
Athletes were soon off of the motorway and into some amazing surrounds
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
Passing through one of the many wineries and vineyards of the region
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
Two minutes up after the swim, Hannes Butters started to catch the Pro Women out on the 90km bike course
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
Chloe Sparrow maintained her swim lead throughout the bike leg, reaching T2 around half a minute clear
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
Laura Zimmerman in chase of Great Britain’s Chloe Sparrow
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
Sarah Schönfelder (GER) was the fastest on the bike, reducing that gap to the Brit and moving into second place at T2
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
Much of the bike course is with the World Heritage are of Wachau
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
Defending champion Daniela Kleiser would take fourth place this time around
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
Tom Hug quickly passed Hannes Butters to take a decisive lead early in the run
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
Ondrej Kubo (SVK) ran his was to second place
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
After 11th (2022) and 5th (2023) here previously, Will Draper ran strongly to a first career Challenge Family podium finish
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
The two-lap run course takes athletes past the finish straight and transition area
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
It took until later in the run for Laura Zimmermann to finally pass Chloe Sparrow who almost went gun-to-tape
Challenge St, Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
Chloe Sparrow ran strongly to hold second place at the finish
Challenge St .Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
Back-to-back Challenge St .Pölten titles for Tom Hug
Challenge St .Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
A first challenge family victory for Zimmermann – her winning margin was just 30 seconds over Sparrow

Challenge St. Pölten Results 2024

Sunday 26 May 2024 – 1.9 km / 92 km / 21.1 km

ELITE WOMEN

  • 1. Laura Zimmermann (GER) – 4:27:06
  • 2. Chloe Sparrow (GBR) – 4:27:46
  • 3. Sarah Schönfelder (GER) – 4:28:57
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
Women’s Pro Podium

ELITE MEN

  • 1. Tom Hug (GER) – 3:52:48
  • 2. Ondrej Kubo (SVK) – 3:54:59
  • 3. Will Draper (GBR) – 3:55:28
Challenge St. Pölten 2024 - image credit Jose Luis Hourcade / Challenge Family
Men’s Pro Podium
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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