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Challenge Dubai Draws Million-dollar Field


The focus turns to the Middle East this weekend for the inaugural Challenge Dubai on Friday, February 27th and the event has drawn out a million dollar field and triathlon royalty.

As the first race in the Triple Crown Series encompassing Challenge Dubai, Challenge Oman and Challenge Bahrain, which is offering the male and female athlete that wins all three events a guaranteed USD 1 million dollars.

Spain's Javier Gomez has lodged notice of his intention to become triathlon's first million-dollar man but the names standing in his way are plenty.

The powerhouse German Michael Raelert is just one of the players that could unhinge the world champion's plans as could his countryman Ivan Rana.

"I've been in training camp at Fuerteventura and prepared well for Dubai, I am looking forward to the race and what I can do," said Raelert.

The Australian's are coming in force and although Luke McKenzie, Pete Jacobs are more suited to the long distance are still chances along with the half specialists Tim Reed, Leon Griffin and Brad Kahlefeldt. If former world champion Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) can find his best form will make himself known.

In all 75 professional men will line up in Dubai for their chance at triathlon glory and some of USD 300k in prize money.

The women's field is just as impressive with 70.3 World Champion Daniela Ryf making her bid to become the first million-dollar triathlon baby.

Ryf has spent the last month preparing in the Gran Canaria and Challenge Dubai will be her first race for 2015.

"February is an early start for me, but I'm happy to be here and looking forward to test my form. "I'm exited to race here. It's my first Challenge race and the experience in Dubai has been great so far. "For me it will be a good test to see if I'm able to TT a flat 90km. For sure it will be a fast course, so it's always fun to see how fast we can go.

It's my first time in Dubai, I always wanted to visit Dubai and now I can combine it with training and racing," said Ryf.

Challenge Bahrain champion Helle Frederiksen has her sights firmly set on the Triple Crown prize and after the win in Bahrain will go in with confidence and a solid preparation.

"I was a little concerned where I would be only committing to racing the event in December. Now we are almost here I am very happy with where my form is, I'll be bringing a good level of fitness to the Dubai event," said Frederiksen.

Frederiksen knows she faces a tough ask to repeat in the Middle East up against some of the world's best women.

"I'm expecting a very fierce race, just like Bahrain. Jodie Swallow, Daniela Ryf, Alicia Kaye, Meredith Kessler, Heather Wurtele and so many others are just world class, I expect them to bring their best and I'm glad to be in a position where I can bring mine.

"I'm fully expecting Ryf and Kaye to be a factor in the race from the beginning especially the bike leg. They are exceptionally strong riders, arguably two of the best and the race dynamics will be effected by this," said Frederiksen.

Both fields will ensure epic racing held under the 20m drafting rule that was implemented at Challenge Bahrain.

You can catch all the live action from 6.30am GST at www.challengedubai.com? In addition race updates will be provided through Twitter
@challenge_dubai and #ChallengeDubai.

Challenge Dubai takes place on Friday, February 27th. For further information, visit www.challenge-dubai.com.

Challenge Dubai Men's Pro Start List

Race No Name Surname Country
1 Michael Raelert DEU
3 Tim Reed AUS
4 James Cunnama RSA
5 Eneko Llanos ESP
6 Massimo Cigana ITA
8 Javier Gomez ESP
10 Terenzo Bozzone NZL
11 Luke McKenzie AUS
12 Andy Potts USA
13 Pete Jacobs AUS
14 Bart Aernouts BEL
15 Leon Griffin AUS
16 Brad Kahlefeldt AUS
17 Ritchie Nicholls GBR
18 Rasmus Petræus DEN
19 Paul Ambrose AUS
20 Till Schramm AUT
21 Michael Weiss AUT
23 Per Bittner DEU
24 Domenico Passuello ITA
26 Markus Fachbach DEU
27 Filip Ospaly CZE
28 Horst Reichel DEU
29 Ruedi Wild SUI
31 Joe Gambles AUS
32 Maurice Clavel DEU
33 Trevor Wurtele CAN
34 Giulio Molinari ITA
36 Mauro Baertsch SUI
37 Hervé Banti MON
38 Niels Brandt-Jørgensen DEN
39 Fraser Cartmell GBR
40 Balazs Csoke HUN
41 Robert Duncan USA
42 Nicolas Fernandez FRA
43 Olivier Godart LUX
44 Daniel Halksworth GBR
45 Mikita Hryhoryeu POL
46 Martin Jensen DEN
48 Matthias Knossalla DEU
49 Manuel Küng SUI
50 Patrick Lange DEU
51 Markus Liebelt DEU
52 David McNamee GBR
53 Michael Murphy AUS
54 Evgeniy Nikitin RUS
55 Gilian Oriet SUI
56 David Pleše SVK
57 Josh Rix AUS
58 Michael Ruenz DEU
60 Joe Skipper GBR
62 Jan Van Berkel SUI
63 Eric Watson AUS
64 Lukasz Wojt POL
65 Rafael Wyss SUI
66 Ivan Rana ESP
67 Paul Matthews AUS
68 Richie Cunningham AUS
69 Victor Del Corral ESP
110 Igor Amorelli BRA
111 Allan Steen Olesen DEN
112 Matt Franklin NZL
113 Jens Petersen-Bach DEN
114 Milosz Sowinski POL
115 Will Clarke GBR
117 Jonathan Ciavatella ITA
118 Ben Collins USA
119 Jonas Bergkvist SWE

Challenge Dubai Women's Pro Start List

Race No Name Surname Country
70 Helle Frederiksen DEN
71 Jodie Swallow GBR
72 Annabel Luxford AUS
75 Camilla Pederson DEN
76 Meredith Kessler USA
77 Daniela Ryf SUI
79 Yvonne van Vlerken NED
80 Leanda Cave GBR
81 Michelle Vesterby DEN
82 Heather Wurtele CAN
83 Anja Beranek DEU
84 Eva Wutti DEU
85 Deirdre Casey IRL
87 Svenja Bazlen DEU
88 Svetlana Blazevic SRB
89 Lauren Brandon USA
91 Susie Cheetham GBR
92 Dimity-Lee Duke AUS
93 Caio Ferreira BRA
94 Alice Hector GBR
95 Alicia Kaye USA
96 Jenny Nilsson SWE
97 Daniela Saemmler DEU
98 Alena Stevens GBR
102 Indre Barkute LTU