Pro Start List for The Championship announced by Challenge Family

Challenge Family Announces First-Rate Pro Athlete Start List Ahead Of The Championship 2017

CHALLENGE​FAMILY ​is delighted to announce a premium list of professional triathlon contenders who will line up at the start of the inaugural ​THE CHAMPIONSHIP 2017​.

Taking place​ ​on the 3rd June at the epic x​-​bionic​® sphere​ centre in Samorin, Slovakia, the world-class team behind the event expect ​THE CHAMPIONSHIP 2017​ to set a new standard in triathlon.

Professional athletes confirmed in the men’s category include two-time World Triathlon Series champion Richard Murray (RSA) and local star Richard Varga (SLO) who will debut their middle-distance career. They will go up against the former world champion Sebastian Kienle (GER), European Champion Andreas Dreitz (GER) and Lionel Sanders (CAN).

Also taking part in her first middle-distance race in the women’s category is Rachel Klamer (NED). She will face competition from the likes of world number three Heather Wurtele (CAN), former ITU World Cup champion Annabel Luxford (AUS) and the winner of CHALLENGE​MELBOURNE​ 2015 Melissa Hauschildt (AUS).

Promising an unforgettable experience for professional athletes, age-groupers and spectators alike, the incredible x​-​bionic​® sphere​ centre, covering a total of 1 million square metres, will provide a spectacular backdrop to the event.

THE CHAMPIONSHIP 2017​ will start with a 1.9km swim in the adjacent Danube River. On closed roads, the 90km bike course will offer unparalleled views of Samorin and the surrounding towns and villages. Athletes will cycle south of the x​-​bionic​® sphere towards the stunning town of Gabčíkovo, where competitors will cross the river and turn right before looping around the quaint village of Vojka nad Dunajon to head back to the transition area. The 21.1km run course will start in the heart of the ​x​-​bionic​® sphere, directing triathletes north of the centre, along the river and back towards the picturesque finish area.

YouTube video

With a comprehensive list of professional athletes all racing to claim their share of the 150,000 euro prize pot, the stakes to win ​THE CHAMPIONSHIP 2017​ have been set deliberately high.

CEO of CHALLENGE​FAMILY, ​Zibi Szlufcik, explains: “At ​CHALLENGEFAMILY​ we’re driven by the same mentality that drives our athletes: the passion to push limits, to perform at our best and to enjoy what we do in style. Not only does ​THE CHAMPIONSHIP 2017 embody this philosophy, its very creation has been formed around the demands of athletes to reach our goal of setting a new standard in triathlon.”

Addressing one of the sport’s most heavily debated topics in long-distance racing, ​THE CHAMPIONSHIP 2017​ ​will implement a 20-metre drafting rule for all competitors on the bike course. Head of ​THE CHAMPIONSHIP 2017​ ​and CEO of x​-​bionic​® sphere​ Richard Ungerhofer explains: “For a fair race we feel as though it is imperative that a 20-metre rule is implemented. As far as x​-​bionic​® sphere’s relationship with the event is concerned, ​i​t is partnerships like the one we have with ​CHALLENGE​FAMILY​ that allow us to evolve as a sports-focused resort.”

x-bionic Sphere - The Championship

Triathletes from more than 60 nations from Canada to New Zealand will line up at the start of the inaugural ​THE CHAMPIONSHIP 2017​ ​race​.

Creator of the idea behind the x​-​bionic​® sphere​ ​Mario Hoffmann said: “​This event​ is the first ever ​CHALLENGE​FAMILYTHE CHAMPIONSHIP 2017​ with more than 40 qualifying races worldwide. We are immensely proud that ​x​-​bionic​® sphere​ will be the host of the event, capturing incredible scenes of racing, while documenting a new, exciting and fairer Championship race for all.”

For more information on the race, the course, the full start list please visit:

John Levison
Article by
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in the sport for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages. While his passion is triathlon, you'll also find him watching Boxing, Darts or at the theatre enjoying a good musical...