Aernouts and Nieuwoudt Take Inaugural Titles at Ekoï Challenge Fréjus

Monday 15 May 2023

The French Riviera delivered world-class racing today at the inaugural Ekoï Challenge Fréjus with Bart Aernouts (BEL) and Magda Nieuwoudt (RSA) taking out the inaugural titles in 4:06:24 and 4:46:13 respectively.

The day dawned with perfect race conditions, and it was Ognjen Stojanovic (SER) who led out of the two-lap swim in the Mediterranean, just two seconds ahead of Australian newcomer, Charlie Quin with Baptiste Neveu (FRA), five seconds further back in third. One minute back was Cyril Viennot (FRA) leading the next group out of the water and then two minutes from the lead were Sebatian Kienle (GER), Aernouts and Thomas Davies (GBR).

The race made the most of the spectacular cycling terrain in the foothills overlooking the Gulf of St Tropez with a 101km course, pushing the athletes to their limits with the extra distance. Quin quickly took charge, holding off any threats to his lead for the majority of the bike. However, behind him the German powerhouse of Kienle was slowly but surely picking off athletes, bringing with him Viennot and Aernouts. At the final aid station at 77km, he pounced, taking the lead and working hard to put time into the followers. As the leaders hit the fastest and most technical part of the course, experience won through with Quin dropping off the pace while Kienle, Viennot and Aernouts tackled the technical downhills at speeds of up to 70kph. But then disaster struck Kienle when, on arrival into T2 alongside Aernouts and Viennot, he had to sit out an unexpected five-minute penalty and he could only watch as the others disappeared off onto the run. From that point on, it was Aernouts’ race to lose as he consistently increased his lead over the four laps with Viennot never a threat. He took the win in 4:06:24 with Viennot 4:40 behind in 4:11:04 and Stojanovic rounding off the podium in 4:11:27.

"I’m really happy to finish a race like this, and to win the race. For me it started in the swim, sometimes I really struggle in the swim, especially in the last years but today was good for me. I was I think about two minutes behind, together with Sebi and a few others. On the bike, it was a really hard course and bit longer than other races at 101km and it took out quite a lot of energy from the legs! I was together with Sebi the whole bike. He was really strong and really pushing and unfortunately he got a penalty in the beginning, it was not fair but there is nothing you can do. It’s bummer as I’d have been really happy to battle with him on the run. I was trying to run really solid from the beginning and not look back too much and it was enough for the win, I’m really happy!"

In the women’s race, Julie Iemmolo (FRA) led out of the water together with Lilli Gelmini (ITA), a clear two minutes ahead of Nieuwoudt in third. Iemmolo retained her lead for more than half the bike with Neiuwoudt just biding her time but then at about 10km before the climbs, Nieuwoudt decided to attack and try to make a gap which worked out well for her. She came into T2 with just over a minute’s lead which by the halfway point of the run was five minutes and by the time she crossed the finish line to take the win in 4:46:13, she did so nine minutes clear of Aurélia Boulanger (FRA) in second in 4:55:14 with Iemmolo taking third place in 4:56:17.

"I was super impressed by the views out there, it’s my first time racing in France and the swim was beautiful and much smoother than I’m used to! I absolutely enjoyed the bike it was good climbs but just enough to not tire you too much. It was a bit technical out there so had to really focus. I liked the four-lap run, it’s the first time I’ve done four laps and it’s a bit different, you just tick them off one by one which was good for the mind – it was just a perfect day and the spectators our there were really good too! This race has huge potential to grow really big!"

MALE PRO:
1 AERNOUTS, Bart 04:06:24     
2 VIENNOT, Cyril 04:11:04     
3 STOJANOVIC, Ognjen 04:11:27     
4 KIENLE, Sebastian 04:12:38     
5 MAUREL, Kevin 04:16:40    

FEMALE PRO:
1 NIEUWOUDT, Magda 04:46:13     
2 BOULANGER, Aurélia 04:55:14     
3 IEMMOLO, Julie 04:56:17
4 PASKIEWIEZ, Nikita 04:56:46    
5 MAZAT, Aurélie 05:13:01

CHALLENGE Family (Photo: Activimages - BouklaF)


Coming Triathlon Events View all

AlpsMan

Annecy, France

Website Google Map YouTube

Pirene Xtreme

Cellers, Lleida, Spain

Website Google Map YouTube

Challenge Gunsan Saemangeum

Gunsan, Korea, Republic of

Website Google Map YouTube

Epicman

Ullswater, United Kingdom

Website Google Map

Diablak Extreme

Silesian and Zywiec Beskids, Poland

Website Google Map

Cheaha Extreme

Alabama, United States

Website Google Map

Celtman

Torridon, Scotland, United Kingdom

Website Google Map

Schloss Triathlon Moritzburg

Moritzburg, Germany

Website Google Map YouTube

Mont Blanc International

Passy, France

Website Google Map YouTube

OpenLakes Champagne

Champagne, France

Website Google Map

Ironman Hamburg

Hamburg, Germany

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman Philippines

Subic Bay, Philippines

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman Cairns

Cairns, Australia

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman Austria

Klagenfurt, Austria

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman France

Nice, France

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman Switzerland

Thun, Switzerland

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman Vitoria Gasteiz

Vitoria Gasteiz, Spain

Website Google Map

Ironman Lake Placid

Lake Placid, United States

Website Google Map

Ironman Ireland

Cork, Ireland

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman Kalmar Sweden

Kalmar, Sweden

Website Google Map YouTube

Czechman

Lake Hradek, Czech Republic

Website Google Map YouTube

OnondagaMan

Jamesville NY, United States

Website Google Map

Challenge Gallipoli

Gallipoli, Turkey

Website Google Map

International Obernai Benfeld

Obernai, France

Website Google Map

Grafman

Grafham Water, United Kingdom

Website Google Map

Half du Lauragais

Nailloux, France

Website Google Map YouTube

Garmin Iron Tri Slesin

Slesin, Poland

Website Google Map YouTube

Berlin Triathlon

Berlin, Germany

Website Google Map YouTube

Cotswold113

Cotswold, United Kingdom

Website Google Map

Challenge Salou

Salou, Spain

Website Google Map YouTube

70.3 Hawaii

Kohala Coast, Hawaii, United States

Website Google Map

70.3 Switzerland

Lake of Zurich, Switzerland

Website Google Map YouTube

70.3 Durban

Durban, South Africa

Website Google Map YouTube

70.3 Boulder

Boulder, Colorado, United States

Website Google Map

70.3 Eagleman

Cambridge, Maryland, United States

Website Google Map

70.3 Subic Bay

Subic Bay, Philippines

Website Google Map YouTube

70.3 Warsaw

Warsaw, Poland

Website Google Map YouTube

70.3 Western Massachusetts

Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Website Google Map

70.3 Goseong

Goseong, Korea, Republic of

Website Google Map

70.3 Nice

Nice, France

Website Google Map

Triathlon News & Media Blogs View all

Hug & Zimmermann Win CHALLENGE St Polten

Hug & Zimmermann Win CHALLENGE St Polten

Sunday 26 May 2024 [Triathlon News]

A thrilling finish in the women’s race and a successful title defense in the men’s marked Challenge St Pölten 2024 with Tom Hug (GER) taking the win in 3:52:48, and Laura Zimmermann (GER) securing victory in 4:27:06. Unique to Challenge St Pölten, the race started with the pro females, who took to the water 20 minutes ahead of the pro men. more

70.3 Kraichgau Germany Pro Line Up

70.3 Kraichgau Germany Pro Line Up

Friday 24 May 2024 [Triathlon News]

Known as the land of 1,000 hills, the Kraichgau region offers beautiful scenery, a challenging course, and a deep triathlon culture. The landscape's constantly changing scenery from woodlands, to vineyards and orchards create a peaceful contrast to the thousands of spectators along the course at this energetic race. more

CHALLENGE St Polten AUT Pro Start List

CHALLENGE St Polten AUT Pro Start List

Friday 24 May 2024 [Triathlon News]

Over 1,700 athletes from 36 nations will line up at Challenge St Pölten this weekend, including an 80-strong pro field who will race not only with Challenge Family’s 20m drafting rule enforced, but also with anti-drafting technology, Race Ranger. In the men’s pro field, two former winners will race. Thomas Hug (GER) will return with the goal to defend his 2023 title with one win under his belt already this season. more

Iconic IRONMAN Lake Placid Extended Through 2027

Iconic IRONMAN Lake Placid Extended Through 2027

Tuesday 21 May 2024 [Triathlon News]

IRONMAN and the Village of Lake Placid, the Town of North Elba and the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) have agreed to a three-year partnership renewal to keep the iconic and longstanding Athletic Brewing IRONMAN® Lake Placid triathlon in the Adirondacks through 2027. The agreement will benefit communities, event participants, businesses, and nonprofits in the region. more

Matt Hanson, Emma Pallant Brown Win IRONMAN Pro Series 70.3 Chattanooga

Matt Hanson, Emma Pallant Brown Win IRONMAN Pro Series 70.3 Chattanooga

Sunday 19 May 2024 [Triathlon News]

Top professional triathletes from around the world converged in southeastern Tennessee today for the fifth race in the IROMAN Pro Series™ at the 2024 Qatar Airways IRONMAN® 70.3® Chattanooga triathlon. Matt Hanson (USA) took the win in the men’s race, overcoming a four-minute deficit on the run to earn his first IRONMAN Pro Series victory, securing maximum points, and taking the overall lead in series. In the women’s professional race Emma Pallant-Browne (GBR) earned back-to-back wins with a win more

Facebook


YouTube


Sign up for FREE NEWSLETTER:

We will never share your email address or spam you.