Testing win for Chris McCormack at inaugural Challenge Rimini

26 MAY 2103 – A thrilling finish and testing conditions made up the inaugural Challenge Rimini at the weekend which saw Chris McCormack (AUS) and Erika Csomor (HUN) take top honours.

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Chris McCormack celebrates a great win at the inaugural Challenge Rimini – Photo Creidt: Charlie Crowhurst / Challenge Family

High winds, strong currents and daunting surf met the athletes on race morning resulting in the swim course being moved and shortened to allow the race to continue.

Thomas Steiner (GER) led out of the water in 18:02, followed by a group of five, led by McCormack in 18:13 and from this stage, the race was neck and neck between McCormack, Daniel Fontana (ITA) who would take second and Alessandro Degasperi (ITA) in third.

Once out of the water the conditions improved and the pack soon caught Steiner on the tough bike course with the many technical downhills suiting the Italian riders. The fastest bike split of the day went to former professional cyclist, Massimo Cigana (ITA) but it was the three-man pack of McCormack, Fontana and Degasperi who would battle it out on the run course in front of a crowd of thousand’s along Rimini’s famous promenade.

In the end it came down to a thrilling sprint finish just 100m from the line when McCormack broke away from Fontanta, taking victory in 4:01:57, with just three seconds to spare. Degaspari took third in 4:03:41.

In the women’s race it was Lucy Zelenkova Reed (CZE) who led out of the water in 19:36 but Csomor showed her strength on the bike, posting the fastest split of the day in 2:48:48, setting her self up nicely for a 1:24:15 half marathon and victory in 4:39:34.

For Diana Riesler (GER) in second place it was happy result in her first race since a major bike accident at Challenge Copenhagen last August. Two operations later, Rimini was her comeback race and she was delighted with her second place in 4:41:36. Camilla Lindholm (SWE) rounded out the podium in 4:44:32.

For further results visit www.challenge-rimini.com

Pos Athlete Country Total Swim Bike Run
1 CHRIS MC CORMACK AUS 01:57.8 0:18:13 2:28:48 1:12:06
2 DANIEL FONTANA ITA 02:00.7 0:18:19 2:28:32 1:12:09
3 ALESSANDRO DEGASPERI ITA 03:41.4 0:18:14 2:28:28 1:13:49
4 MASSIMO CIGANA ITA 07:26.3 0:20:06 2:26:20 1:17:33
5 ERIK SIMON STRIJK SWE 10:24.6 0:19:28 2:32:14 1:14:56
6 JONAS DJURBACK SWE 13:38.7 0:18:18 2:34:00 1:18:08
7 MICHAEL RUENZ GER 17:15.9 0:20:47 2:34:48 1:18:13
8 ANTHONY PANNIER FRA 18:17.8 0:18:14 2:28:41 1:28:18
9 IGOR NASTIC SUI 19:31.1 0:18:24 2:35:50 1:21:56
10 ALESSIO PICCO ITA 21:55.7 0:19:35 2:41:04 1:17:45
11 MARKUS HORMANN GER 22:11.1 0:20:11 2:39:31 1:18:50
12 SEBASTIAN BLEISTEINER GER 23:19.8 0:18:34 2:41:20 1:19:22
13 MATTEO ANNOVAZZI ITA 23:30.9 0:20:10 2:39:43 1:20:10
14 MASSIMILIANO SANSONE ITA 23:55.7 0:21:54 2:40:05 1:18:05
15 THOMAS STEINER ITA 26:01.2 0:18:02 2:39:34 1:21:53


The Challenge Family celebrates the sport of triathlon through its global series of long distance events and festivals that are changing the face of long distance racing around the world with its focus on athlete experience. Featuring spectacular courses in iconic destinations, Challenge Family events focus on delivering the race of a lifetime to every athlete, and creating a memorable spectator experience that captures all the excitement and emotion of this inspirational sport. The Challenge Family series currently features 21 events around the world including the world’s largest long distance triathlon, Challenge Roth in Germany. Other Challenge Family races take place in Germany, Holland, Austria, Canada, UK, France, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Taiwan.

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Karl Hayes

Head of Rest and Recovery

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.