Finallizing this years XTERRA racing series, the Vogtland Challenge took place last Saturday at the Zeulenrodaer Meer. The best German cross-triathletes accepted the invitation to the Challenge and started in the competition XTERRA Vogtland. Including the leaders after the fourth race of the XTERRA German Tour, Thomas Kerner and Frauke Kielblock.
As the first discipline the participants expected a 4.1 km long run. The run replaced the actually first sub-discipline, swimming, which had to be canceled due to a recommendation of the health department a week earlier. This benefited the running specialists among the triathletes like the Bavarian cross duathlon champion Martin Gebhard from TSV Altenfurt. As fastest, he completed the first run, closely followed by Jens Roth from Trier. The German champion, who had started as a favorite and had already won the Challenge two years earlier, was expected to be stronger on the 35 km long mountain bike route. Nevertheless, the Bavarian champion remained in the lead after the two MTB rounds. Jens Roth fell behind and had to give up his second place to Thomas Kerner (TV Burglengenfeld). With a good two-minute lead Martin Gebhard moved to the final three running rounds of a total of 9.6 km and defended his lead to the finish. Thomas Kerner, who set the fastest time on the running track, secured second place in the Challenge and also with this his first time win in the overall ranking of the XTERRA German Tour.
Frauke Kielblock from the club Nonplusultra Esslingen also became a premiere tour winner 2018. She arrived to the Vogtland Challenge as leader, but in the course of the competition the overall standing got very close. Already at the beginning of the race she lost almost four minutes to the first, Juliane Mähr from HSV Weimar Triathlon. Juliane Mähr, who already won twice over the shorter distances at the Vogtland Challenge, was also unbeatable for the other pursuers this time. After 2:54.26 hours she finished the XTERRA Vogtland as the winner. The second place went to Maria Döring (SV Aufbau Kodersdorf 1951) in front of the third placed Birgit Jüngst-Dauber (VFL 1860 Marburg Triathlon). Both were on the same pace after the first part of the race, but on the MTB, Maria Döring came second and made sure that there was enough excitement in the XTERRA German Tour classification. Frauke Kielblock finally won fourth place at the Challenge and defended her lead in the Tour classification with only three points advantage.