Sebastian Kienle: erstes "Bucket List" Rennen in Neuseeland

It will be over at the end of 2023 - Sebastian Kienle had already announced this at the beginning of last year. However, while 2022 was once again the focus of mandatory races and placements, the freestyle for the 2014 world champion will now follow. In his "retirement season", Sebastian Kienle primarily wants to compete in his "bucket list races", i.e. those competitions that have always been an affair of the heart , but never really fitted into the season plan. The first of these races is now Challenge Wanaka (New Zealand) on the list on February 18th.

“I've done a lot of races throughout my career, but it's usually always been on the same schedule. But every year in February I got itchy: I looked at all the great pictures from Wanaka and thought: I'll break out and go there one day. But it was always too far away on the other side of the world," said Kienle . "Well the years have flown by and now it's my last year in the sport and it's time to fulfill some dreams, which I still have in the sport. Racing Challenge Wanaka is at the top of that list!

Most scenic triathlon in the world

The Challenge Wanaka course undoubtedly favors those who are strong on the hills, both on the bike, which has over 490m of elevation gain, and on the course, which is entirely off-road on the trails of the Bike Glendhu mountain bike park and 368 m above the altitude leads two-lap course. Known as the world's most scenic triathlon, Challenge Wanaka takes place in New Zealand's spectacular Southern Alps on the edge of the Te Wahi Pounamu World Heritage Area and, as part of Integrity, draws nearly 3,000 athletes in a series of events for all ages and abilities Homes Challenge Wanaka Triathlon Festival from February 17-18, 2023.

Joining Kienle is a mostly Australian-New Zealand field on the starting line, including Matt Burton, who recently finished third at IM Western Australia, a race he won the year before, and he was second at Wanaka in 2020 and third in 2019 Mix's Jack Moody fresh from his win in Taupo, Caleb Noble who had three podium finishes in 2022 including a second at Challenge St Pölten and a third at Challenge Malta and the rising Sam Osbourne plus Matt Kerr, one of the top AG athletes in the world turning pro in 2023.

The women's field is led by Rebecca Clarke, who is based in Wanaka for much of the year, giving her a strong hometown advantage. She's also been in the form of her career in 2022, including a win at Tauranga, a second at IM Australia and most recently a third-place finish in the Taupo 70.3, as well as solid performances at Roth and Hawaii. Her main rival will come from Australia, Grace Thek, who had no less than five podiums in 2022, including a second at Challenge St. Pölten. They are joined by Courtney Gilifan and Samantha Kingsford, both of whom are also aiming for a podium finish.

Season start 2023


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