With a double climb of the world-famous Flüela Pass featuring 1,770m of vertical, Challenge Davos on 26 August is one of the toughest and most iconic races on the Challenge Family calendar.
After the 1.9km swim, athletes first climb the Flüela Pass from Davos: an ascent of more than 13km, overcoming no less than 829m of vertical with an average gradient of 6.4 percent, but with peaks of up to 10 percent on the steepest sections. After a descent to the town of Susch, the Flüela Pass is climbed from the other side before descending back towards Davos, giving the bike course, which is just 54km due to the tough climbs, a total of almost 1,800m of vertical gain. In contrast, the 21.1km run is flat through the centre of Davos and along the Landwasser River.
Within the pro field, an exciting and spectacular battle is expected with athletes from 15 nations lining up for Europe’s highest triathlon. Caleb Noble (AUS) and Magda Nieuwoudt (RSA) are looking like the top seeds, but anything can happen in the Swiss Alps.
Noble, currently ranked second in the Challenge Family Pro Athlete World Bonus, went straight to Davos after Challenge London and the Australian athlete is considered the biggest favourite for victory. Of course, he will not get the victory for free; a lot can be expected from Reinaldo Colucci (BRA), among others. Far from home, Colucci always manages to perform well plus there’s Sven Thalmann (SUI) who can be seen as a dangerous outsider, especially with the home advantage.
In the women’s race, Magda Nieuwoudt seems to be on the hunt for victory: the South African athlete – trained by Yvonne van Vlerken – has already had many successes this year, including most recently a second place at Challenge London. Due to the various top rankings at different Challenge Family races around the globe, Nieuwoudt is also ranked second in the Challenge Family World Bonus and has made clear her goal to go for overall victory and the lion’s share of the US$125k prize purse.
For Nieuwoudt also, victory will certainly not come as a gift at Challenge Davos. Local athlete, Svenja Thoes (SUI) knows the country like no other and therefore knows what is expected of her to claim victory. Daniela Bleymehl (DEU) is also seen as a serious title contender; within the field she has the most experience and on a tough course like Challenge Davos that will see her well.
After a break last year, Challenge Davos will now take place every two years and this year, athletes will again have the opportunity to take part in a wide variety of endurance competitions. The focus on Saturday will be on the three triathlon formats for all performance levels (short, Olympic, middle distance). In addition to the triathlon events, a NightRun, a roller ski race, an aqua bike race and a Kids Swim & Run will round off the multi-sport festival.
The start gun for the Challenge Davos pro race will go off at 10:43am CEST on Saturday 26 August.