Michael Raelert takes inaugural Challenge Bahrain win
Two-time 70.3 Ironman world champion, Michael Raelert set the pace on the 1.9km swim, leading out Kiwi Dylan McNeice and former IM world champ Pete Jacobs into and out of T1. British hopes were firmly pinned on Tim Don, who had a solid swim to exit the first transition in the top 10.
Reigning world champ Sebastian Kienle, meanwhile, had a day to forget, with a less than stellar swim before a mechanical early on in the bike put pay to a big win in Bahrain.
Another big name to DNF was Dirk Bockel, who pulled to the side 40km into the bike due to increasing pain in his hip.
In Kienle’s absence, fellow German Andreas Dreitz destroyed the 90k bike leg to enter T2 with a several minute cushion over Raelert and Australia’s Tim ‘two-‘piece’ Reed.
Don meanwhile continued to make his way through the field, as Jacobs quickly fell off the pace.
Two thirds of the way through the 21.1km run, Raelert passed a flagging Dreitz for the lead, which he would retain to the line, crossing the tape in 3:36hrs.