Bækkegard, Visser Take Inaugural Wins at Challenge Canberra

Sunday 26 November 2023

Australia’s capital city played host to some of the biggest names in the sport this weekend with Daniel Bækkegard (DEN) and Els Visser (NED) taking the inaugural Challenge Canberra wins in a thrilling day of racing.

Set against the backdrop of Parliament House, the swim saw Michael Boult (AUS) exit the water in the lead in 24:28 with the three athletes who would become the main players of the day just seconds behind him – Kurt McDonald (AUS), Bækkegard and Caleb Noble. McDonald took an early lead on the bike with Noble and Bækkegard in hot pursuit. At the top of the National Arboretum climb, Bækkegard’s race nearly ended when a fogged visor coupled with a fast tight turn resulted in him crashing. Fortunately he was able to get straight back into the race with nothing lost but a couple of minutes. Ahead of him Noble had caught McDonald and the first lap they switched back and forth, both looking strong and both hungry for victory, Noble with the Challenge Family World Bonus win in his sights. By half way through the second of three laps Bækkegard caught the leaders and took the lead. A wrong turn by Noble at the end of the bike meant it was a running race between McDonald and Bækkegard, running neck and neck until the halfway point when Bækkegard made his move and never looked back, crossing the line in 3:54:04 to take the inaugural win with McDonald 1:59 behind him in second in 3:56:04. Noble rounded out the podium in 3:58:28 finishing his season in second place in the Challenge Family Pro World Bonus.

"It was good to blow off a few cobwebs today!," said Bækkegard. "I didn’t have a great swim and a terrible transition, then I had a crash going downhill in the Arboretum but after checking nothing was broken I jumped back on the bike and tried to keep as calm as possible. Then I just had to chase the front group and Kurt and Caleb did an amazing job on the front, really pushing the pace. When I caught them I kept charging. It was amazing to race Kurt on the run, he’s one of the young guns and it was awesome to race and see how eager he was to go out there and leave everything on the race course. It was beautiful scenery and a great course!"

While the men’s race drama was at the beginning, the women left it until the run! Fenella Langridge (GBR) lead out the water as expected, just two seconds ahead of Chloe Hartnett (AUS) and Radka Kahlefeldt (AUS) with Visser 3:08 down in sixth. Langridge quickly broke away on the bike with Hartnett and Kahlefeldt in pursuit. Behind the Visser was slowly but surely gaining and by the 60km point she had reduced the deficit to 1:39 and had ridden up into second. Langridge came into T2 30 seconds ahead of Visser and they both set off at a blistering pace. At the end of the first of three lap, Visser was just six seconds down and for the next two laps they raced neck and neck, neither able to shake the other. As they approached the last small hill just metres from the finish line, there was still nothing in it, but it was Visser who used the hill to her advantage to get ahead, both sprinting down the finish chute with Visser taking the win in 4:20:48. Langridge was just eight seconds behind in second while Kahlefeldt rounded out the podium in third in 4:26:58.

"That was one hell of a finish!", said Visser. "It’s a really challenging bike course so I just thought be patient but try to push hard and I was getting closer and closer. It took me the first lap of the run to close the gap to Fenella and we were pretty much running side by side and it became a mental game. I gave my absolute best and I’m super pleased to take the win. It’s such an amazing event, it couldn’t have been any better, a big congratulations to the organising team!"

MALE PRO:
1 Daniel Baekkegard DEN 3:54:04
2 Kurt McDonald AUS +2:00
3 Caleb Noble AUS +4:24
4 Jarrod Osborne AUS +5:40
5 Ben Hill AUS +7:22

FEMALE PRO:
1 Els Visser NED 4:20:48
2 Fenella Langridge GBR +0:08
3 Radka Kahlefeldt CZE +6:10
4 Penny Slater AUS +10:26
5 Chloe Hartnett AUS +16:56

CHALLENGE Family


Coming Triathlon Events View all

Challenge Israman

Eilat, Israel

Website Google Map YouTube

Strongman

Miyakojima, Okinawa, Japan

Website Google Map

Challenge Taiwan

Taitung City, Taiwan, China

Website Google Map YouTube

FrenchMan

Carcans, France

Website Google Map YouTube

Himalayan Xtreme

Pokhara, Nepal

Website Google Map YouTube

Grizzlyman Xtri

Beskydy, Czech Republic

Website Google Map

Mediterranean Epic

Oropesa del Mar, Spain

Website Google Map YouTube

Tradeinn International

Platja d’Aro, Spain

Website Google Map YouTube

AlpsMan

Annecy, France

Website Google Map YouTube

Pirene Xtreme

Cellers, Lleida, Spain

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman New Zealand

Taupo, New Zealand

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman African Championship

Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman Texas

The Woodlands, Texas, United States

Website Google Map

Ironman Australia

Port Macquarie, Australia

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman Lanzarote

Canary Islands, Spain

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman Florianopolis

Florianopolis, Brazil

Website Google Map

Ironman Hamburg

Hamburg, Germany

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman Philippines

Subic Bay, Philippines

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman France

Nice, France

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman Austria

Klagenfurt, Austria

Website Google Map YouTube

Husky Long Course

Huskisson, NSW, Australia

Website Google Map YouTube

Coles Bay Half

Coles Bay, TAS, Australia

Website Google Map

Challenge Malaysia

Forest City, Johor, Malaysia

Website Google Map

Challenge Puerto Varas

Puerto Varas, Chile

Website Google Map

Ayia Napa Triathlon

Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Website Google Map

Hell of the West

Goondiwindi, QLD, Australia

Website Google Map YouTube

Alpha Win Ocala

Ocala, FL, United States

Website Google Map YouTube

Alpha Win Napa Valley

Napa Valley, CA, United States

Website Google Map YouTube

Tri Tour Deltebre

Deltebre, Spain

Website Google Map YouTube

Setubal Triathlon

Setubal, Portugal

Website Google Map

70.3 Panama

Panama City, Panama

Website Google Map YouTube

70.3 New Zealand

Taupo, New Zealand

Website Google Map YouTube

70.3 Punta del Este

Maldonado, Uruguay

Website Google Map

70.3 Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Website Google Map

70.3 Geelong

Geelong, Australia

Website Google Map YouTube

70.3 Oceanside

Oceanside, California, United States

Website Google Map

70.3 Texas

Galveston Island, Texas, United States

Website Google Map

70.3 San Juan

San Juan, Argentina

Website Google Map YouTube

70.3 Monterrey

Monterrey, Mexico

Website Google Map YouTube

70.3 Florianopolis

Florianopolis, Brazil

Website Google Map

Triathlon News & Media Blogs View all

T100 Tri Tour Adds Escape from Alcatraz to Schedule

T100 Tri Tour Adds Escape from Alcatraz to Schedule

Monday 19 Feb 2024 [Triathlon News]

The Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) and World Triathlon are pleased to announce that the California leg of its new T100 Triathlon World Tour will take place in San Francisco at the iconic Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon on 8-9 June, in a partnership with IMG. Known as the San Francisco T100, the 100km race (2km swim, 80km bike, 18km run) will be set in the stunning San Francisco Bay area more

Els Visser, Kyle Smith Win CHALLENGE Wanaka NZL

Els Visser, Kyle Smith Win CHALLENGE Wanaka NZL

Saturday 17 Feb 2024 [Triathlon News]

Two convincing victories were earned today at Challenge Wanaka by Kyle Smith (NZL) and Els Visser (NED) as they took the first Challenge Family titles of 2024. Smith led from the start with a lead that never looked under threat, taking the win in 3:53:08 while Visser showed her domination on the bike, giving her a comfortable lead into the testing Wanaka run, crossing the line in 4:34:46. more

Pro Athlete Line Up for Challenge Wanaka NZL

Pro Athlete Line Up for Challenge Wanaka NZL

Friday 16 Feb 2024 [Triathlon News]

Reigning champions Jack Moody (NZL) and Grace Thek (AUS) are set to defend their titles at the highly anticipated 2024 Integrity Homes Challenge Wanaka, showcasing an impressive lineup for the pro race on Saturday 17 February which will also feature latest anti-drafting technology, Race Ranger. Since turning professional in 2018, Grace Thek from Australia has achieved remarkable success, podiuming in 20 out of 36 middle-distance races. In 2023, she secured three victories. more

IRONMAN announced 70.3 Canada Penticton

IRONMAN announced 70.3 Canada Penticton

Wednesday 14 Feb 2024 [Triathlon News]

IRONMAN announced today the return of the IRONMAN® 70.3® Canada triathlon which will be added in Penticton, British Columbia, providing additional racing in 2024. The IRONMAN 70.3 Canada half-distance race, which first took place from 2016-2019 in Whistler, British Columbia, is scheduled to return on Sunday, Aug. 25 in conjunction with the full-distance IRONMAN Canada triathlon. more

Sodaro & Thompson Claim Victory At 70.3 Tasmania

Sodaro & Thompson Claim Victory At 70.3 Tasmania

Sunday 04 Feb 2024 [Triathlon News]

Nick Thompson and Chelsea Sodaro have claimed victory at IRONMAN 70.3 Tasmania on a wet and wild day in Hobart. Thompson claimed his second IRONMAN 70.3 victory on Sunday, while for Sodaro it was her first win since taking out the 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship. Thompson crossed the line in 3:54:10, almost four minutes ahead of Mitch Kibby, with hometown hero Cameron Wurf rounding out the podium. more

Facebook


YouTube


Sign up for FREE NEWSLETTER:

We will never share your email address or spam you.