World/Olympic/European Champions focusing on Challenge Peguera-Mallorca, world-class field getting ready for exciting race

There is more than enough for triathlon fans to enjoy in the coming weeks, because with Challenge Barcelona, Challenge Vieux Bouceau and Challenge Peguera-Mallorca, three races are scheduled in which almost insanely strong fields of participants will take part. On the Spanish island of Mallorca, a race awaits next week (October 14) that may be unprecedented.

Even though Challenge Peguera-Mallorca is joined every year not only by many, but by some of the best professional athletes as well, this year the line-up is like something we almost have never seen before. First of all, two world champions are getting ready for a battle: Alistair Brownlee (Olympic Champion as well, ed.) and Rico Bogen are seen as perhaps the two biggest favorites for victory, and with the two of them alone they almost guarantee a race of the highest level.

But there is much more to look forward to. Frederic Funk, for example: the German, who is experiencing a more than impressive season, fully specialized in the Middle Distance and recently winner of Challenge Samarkand among other races, will certainly have a shot at victory. The same, of course, goes for Jonathan Wayaffe: the Belgian may not be the biggest favorite on paper, but is the defending champion and knows exactly what it takes to win a tough race like Challenge Peguera-Mallorca.

Dutchman Youri Keulen, perhaps the most successful Middle Distance athlete from the Netherlands, has every interest in also having a shot at victory. Last year, Keulen experienced his serious breakthrough on the Middle Distance and numerous spectacular results followed. Two weeks ago, Keulen experienced bad luck during Challenge Sanremo, so next week he will be even more eager to win at Mallorca. Keulen will be joined by compatriot Menno Koolhaas: on paper Koolhaas may be a slightly weaker athlete on the Middle Distance, but on the other hand Koolhaas crowned himself European Champion Long Distance at Challenge Almere-Amsterdam three weeks ago. There he finished in a time of 7:36, the eighth fastest time ever recorded at a Long Distance, so it seems clear that Koolhaas is not only strong, but also lightning fast.

As if it were not enough, Mathis Margirier, Ruben Zepuntke, Simon Viain, Pablo Gonzalez Dapena and William Mennesson are also heading to Challenge Peguera-Mallorca, all of whom are seen as contenders for victory or at least a podium finish. In addition, there are dozens of other outsiders worth considering next week.

In the women’s race is a slightly narrower, but at least as impressive starting field getting ready for Challenge Peguera-Mallorca. Biggest favorite is defending champion Imogen Simmonds. The Swiss won last year’s race on the Spanish island in convincing fashion and will be fully focused to prolong her title this year. Lucy Buckingham seems to be the biggest competitor in that regard; the British athlete is actually always strong at Challenge Family races, regularly finishes on the podium and will also ask the utmost of herself next week to resist Simmonds, and all the other women racing Challenge Challenge Peguera-Mallorca.

Italy’s Margie Santimaria can be counted among one of the the dangerous outsiders. The same is true for Diede Diederiks; the Dutch triathlete has not been competing at the highest level for very long, but has already achieved an impressive amount of success over the past two years, including victory at Challenge Geraardsbergen and a second place at ANFI Challenge Gran-Canaria. Diederiks can handle both flat courses and climbs, so Challenge Peguera-Mallorca seems like it was made for her.

Challenge Peguera-Mallorca will take place on Saturday, October 14.