Boris Stein and Yvonne van Vlerken win Sparkasse Challenge Kraichgau 2013

Challenge Family: 9 JUNE 2013 – Boris Stein (GER) and Yvonne van Vlerken (NED were today crowned the champions of Sparkasse Challenge Kraichgau presented by KraichgauEnergie with Stein also taking out the German National Half Distance Championship title.

The day started with an hour’s delay due to bad weather and wasn’t without its drama. Challenge Wanaka champion, Dylan McNeice (NZL) was second out of the water but a tumble just two kilometres into the bike effectively put an end to his race although he did finish. In the women’s the same happened to women’s leader Danielle Sämmler (GER) who crashed at the first roundabout with the resulting mechanical damaging taking her out of the race.

With Stein leading throughout the bike and the run before winning in 3:53:07, it was Maik Petzold (GER) who took second place in 3:56:26 on his debut over this distance and in the process, outrunning race favourite Timo Bracht (GER) who had to settle with third in 3:58:43. Other race favourite, Andreas Raelert (GER) was unable to keep the pace of the leading athletes following major dental surgery earlier in the week.

In the women’s race Julia Gajer (GER) took second place in 4:27:12 only really threatening van Vlerken’s  lead at the beginning of the cycle, after which van Vlerken took the lead and never gave it away, taking the title in 4:26:35. Gajer was crowned German National Champion as the highest placed German. In third place was Jenny Schulz (GER) in 4:28:21.

Despite the bad start, the usual excellent Kraichgau triathlon weather soon emerged during the day. Around 3,000 age grouper athletes were spurred on by more than 50,000 spectators, enjoying the traditional Challenge Kraichgau atmosphere of Europe’s largest half distance race.

Björn Steinmetz, Challenge Kraichgau race director said, “It was an exciting race in both the men’s and women’s. Above all, my thanks go out to all the volunteesr, who made the apparently impossible possible in pouring rain this morning.”

For further information and full results, visit

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Top Five Men

1 Boris Stein GER 25:29 2:10:42 1:15:01 3:53:07
2 Maik Petzold GER 22:38 2:15:04 1:15:40 3:56:26
3 Timo Bracht GER 24:44 2:13:26 1:18:24 3:58:43
4 Sebastian Neef GER 25:18 2:20:07 1:21:21 4:09:23
5 Patrick Jaberg GER 25:53 2:19:41 1:21:22 4:09:42


Top Five Women

1 Yvonne van Vlerken NED 28:23 2:29:21 1:26:01 4:26:35
2 Julia Gajer GER 27:19 2:33:02 1:24:22 4:27:12
3 Jenny Schulz GER 31:45 2:32:39 1:21:32 4:28:21
4 Natascha Schmitt GER 27:28 2:38:55 1:25:30 4:34:32
5 Laura Philipp GER 27:54 2:36:24 1:31:59 4:38:49
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.