Challenge Roth 2011 – Predictions (Main Post)

As per usual, you can find additional information on the participants in the detail post.

Previous Results

Challenge Roth calls itself “the best of the old races”. It’s been an official IM race until the mid-2000s and managed to survive even after going out on their own. It’s a really fast course with a course rating of 18:54 and has been the site of the just-broken world record time.

It always attracts quite a few really good, strong athletes – mainly from Germany and Europe, so some names may not be that well known in the US. Last year’s race was won by Rasmus Henning in a fantastic time of 7:52 – but even going that fast he had to battle long-distance rookie Sebastian Kienle who posted a 7:59 in his first IM-distance race.

On the women’s side, Chrissie Wellington annihilated the world record with an unbelievable 8:19. (I’d rather avoid the WTC-speak of a “world best at another long distance race in Germany”.)

Male Participants

Sebastian Kienle is back for his second IM-distance race – and he’s going to battle it out with Andreas Raelert:

Rank Name Nation Expected Time Rating Rank
1 Sebastian Kienle GER 07:58:29 (08:16:17)
2 Andreas Raelert GER 08:00:25 08:18:17 1
3 Juergen Zaeck GER 08:22:25 08:41:06 27
4 Andriy Yastrebov UKR 08:28:18 08:47:13 48
5 James Cunnama ZAF 08:28:34 08:47:29 50
6 Christian Ritter GER 08:31:12 08:50:13 67
7 Clemens Coenen GER 08:36:16 08:55:28 88
8 Keegan Williams NZL 08:37:04 08:56:18 95
9 Bernd Eichhorn GER 08:41:22 09:00:46 117
10 Andreas Niedrig GER 08:45:34 09:05:07 136
11 Bernd Hagen GER 08:50:37 09:10:21 164
12 Lothar Leder GER 08:50:56 09:10:41 166
13 Gilad Rotem ISR 08:56:51 09:16:49 212
14 Margus Tamm EST 08:57:48 09:17:48 222
15 Justin Granger AUS 08:58:24 09:18:26 228
16 Andreas Fuchs 09:03:07 09:23:19 266
17 Andreas Borch 09:10:32 09:31:01 310
18 Daniel Wells CAN 09:12:22 09:32:55 323
19 Dion Harrison GBR 09:14:00 09:34:36 331
20 Tim Sheeper USA 09:16:08 09:36:49 348
21 Nicholas Kinsey GBR 09:37:26 09:58:55 494
22 Benjamin Sanson FRA 09:45:08 10:06:54 541
23 Manuel Wyss 09:45:24 10:07:11 543
24 Jan Strangmuller USA 09:45:41 10:07:28 546

Sebastian has just one race result so no “official” rating as of now – it’ll be very interesting to see if he can go as fast as last year! Given his race tactics (usually going out pretty quick on the bike), it’ll be great to follow. There’s been some smack talk on the web and in the German press, underlining the fact that this race appears to be as important as Kona for these German athletes. (An interesting side note: As far as I know, Andreas still has to do an official IM to validate his Kona spot. He doesn’t have much time left, especially if he’s going to race Roth quite hard!)

After these two, there is a bit of a gap. Jürgen Zäck is an “old” athlete coming back for another race, his rating (from one race six years back) is probably not a true reflection of what he’s able to do right now – I’ve got to update the methodology for these rare cases. James Cunnama and Keegan Williams are probably for a fast time – one more thing to watch what these upcoming athletes are going to be able to do.

Female Participants

I don’t think you’ll find anyone willing to beat against Chrissie:

Rank Name Nation Expected Time Rating Rank
1 Chrissie Wellington GBR 08:37:24 08:56:39 1
2 Rebekah Keat AUS 09:08:14 09:28:38 9
3 Belinda Granger AUS 09:23:51 09:44:49 43
4 Sonja Jaarsveld Net 09:30:15 09:51:28 57
5 Heather Gollnick USA 09:32:04 09:53:21 59
6 Belinda Harper NZL 10:07:25 10:30:01 171
7 Celia Kuch NZL 10:10:46 10:33:29 179
8 Helen Buley ZAF 10:15:33 10:38:27 187
9 Alma Sarapuu EST 10:21:46 10:44:54 202
10 Heike Priess 10:22:16 10:45:25 206
11 Zeljka Saban 11:22:15 11:47:38 267

My guess is that she will try to put another quick result in, but I think she’ll not go all out as last year (and try to avoid “weakening” for her Kona prep). Bek Keat and Belinda Granger have raced in Roth a couple of times before and seem to love this race. But they won’t be a match for Chrissie …

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