TRI247
Search
shop

The Championship: Our analysis and predictions for the professional races in Šamorín

Our predictions for The Championship, which takes place this weekend in Slovakia and is the crown jewel of the Challenge Family middle distance calendar.

Staff Reporter
Last updated -
SHOP

This weekend, a world class field will assemble in Slovakia for The Championship, which will host its seventh annual edition of the event at the x-bionic sphere in Šamorín.

The race, pitting top athletes head-to-head for bragging rights, Challenge Family World Bonus points and a slice of the €100,000 prize purse, has become a staple in the European middle distance calendar.

In our pre-race analysis below, we look at who to watch out for and when, before making our predictions for the professional podium in both the men and women’s races.

Advertisement

Pro Women

In the women’s race, its easy to forget that India Lee suffered from a mechanical on the bike last year, and given how comfortably she ended up winning in 2023, it will be hard to look past the defending champion this weekend.

India Lee wins the Challenge Championship in Samorin 2023 [Photo credit: Activimages / Challenge Family]
[Photo credit: Activimages / Challenge Family]

Lee has the ability to come out of the water within 30 seconds of the leaders, who will most likely be Spaniard Marta Sanchez and Britain’s Fenella Langridge, before bridging that gap through transition or early on in the bike.

Having set the course record on the bike last year, the PTO World #12 has the power necessary to make a break on two wheels. Sanchez and Langridge will be hard to drop, and Denmark’s Laura Madsen will be trying to close from behind, but Lee does have what it takes in her locker.

If she bikes off the front, the 35-year-old demonstrated last year and this season at the Miami T100 that she is a brilliant runner, with only Dutch pro Els Visser possibly having the edge over her in this discipline.

Marta Sanchez wins 2024 IRONMAN African Championship / IRONMAN South Africa
Photo Credit: Richard Pearce for IRONMAN

Across the board, Lee in my opinion is too strong for the rest of the field, and will defend her title on Sunday. Visser will pick up her seventh consecutive podium of the season with a strong bike-run, with the in-form Sanchez rounding out the podium.

Podium Prediction:

  1. India Lee (GBR)
  2. Els Visser (NED)
  3. Marta Sanchez (ESP)
SBRX

Your monthly dose of endurance sports geekery - from gear reviews to hot tips & takes.
WATCH MORE
ELEVATING ENDURANCE WITH PREMIUM GEAR & SERVICES
SHOP ONLINE

Pro Men

In the men’s race, I am confident that we will see a German on the top step of the podium, but picking between Jan Stratmann, Frederic Funk and Rico Bogen is proving to be incredibly difficult.

Men's podium at the 2023 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships
[Photo Credit – Nigel Roddis Getty Images for IRONMAN]

With such great swimmers in the field, not making the front pack in Šamorín could be devastating, with the podium in 2023 all coming from the breakaway group of Funk, Mathis Margirier, Tom Bishop and Aaron Royle.

The aforementioned German trio, Bishop, American Marc Dubrick, Kiwi Kyle Smith and Britain’s Joshua Lewis are all likely to make that front pack this weekend, and with such bike firepower in their midsts, may well enter T2 with a huge lead.

Whilst athletes such as Pieter Heemeryck and James Teagle, who will most likely be in the chase pack, are brilliant runners, a three minute deficit off the bike was too much for Heemeryck, who finished in fourth.

James Teagle wins IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire
Photo Credit – Z70 Photography

If the leaders come off the bike with a similar buffer on Sunday, I am backing Stratmann for the win, as the 2023 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship third place finisher comes into this race off the back of some solid results in Valencia and Mallorca.

Dubrick, who recently won St. Anthony’s Triathlon, is my pick for second, with Smith rounding out the podium with a strong run on a challenging course, and Heemeryck coming up just short in fourth in a thrilling finish.

Podium Prediction:

  1. Jan Stratmann (GER)
  2. Marc Dubrick (USA)
  3. Kyle Smith (NZL)
Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
Discover more
Beginner Triathlete Race Day Checklist
Triathlon Race Day Checklist – A Beginners Guide
Challenge Kaiserwinkl-Walchsee 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade / Challenge Walchsee 2023
How to pace a hilly half distance triathlon – Challenge Kaiserwinkl-Walchsee race day tips
sumarpo triathlon swimming wetsuit
Wetsuit buying guide – How to choose the best wetsuit for triathlon, open water swimming, SwimRun and cold water
Challenge Family Roth
Five things you need to know about the Challenge Roth bike course
Riixo Recovery compression calf sleeves sports recovery
How to relieve sore muscles and recover faster between training sessions
latest News
Bet Potter Paris Test Event 2023 swim
Olympic Games Triathlon: Seine water quality ‘NOT GOOD ENOUGH’ for swimming, just weeks ahead of Paris 2024
Blummenfelt Sanders Currie Kona press conf 2022 photo credit Donald Miralle for IRONMAN
Lionel Sanders shares injury update as he prepares for big race return this weekend
Olympic Games Triathlon Paris Test Event August 2023
‘Under Paris’ film review: We watched this triathlon shark attack movie on Netflix, so you don’t have to
Georgia Taylor-Brown wins WTCS Cagliari 2023
Olympic Games Triathlon: Georgia Taylor-Brown says “light will always win” as she opens up on her tumultuous road to Paris 2024
Spanish triathlete Susana Rodriguez with her Barbie doll.
Paralympic triathlon champion celebrated by Barbie as she gets her own one-of-a-kind doll
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

SBRX
RUN247
GET RACE READY - SHOP WITH SBRX
GET RACE READY - BUY WITH SBRX
Share to...