Challenge St. Pölten 2022: Start time, live stream and preview – Elite News

This is a preview of the 2022 St. Pölten Challenge – you can read our full race reports on how Nicolas Mann made his mark in the men’s race while Lucy Buckingham survived a late scare to win the Women’s Pro title.

The Austrian town of St. Pölten has hosted major triathlon events for many years. Historically linked to the M-Dot banner, the first St. Pölten Challenge took place 12 months ago.

It was a race that saw Anne Haug (GER) overtake Imogen Simmonds (SUI) in the very last stages of the race. In the men’s race, Frederic Funk (GER) blew through the peloton on his bike to win by almost five minutes.

Start time and how to follow live

The Challenge St. Pölten will take place on Sunday, May 29, 2022.

The race start time is 06:30 local time. This corresponds to 0530 in the UK and 0030 Eastern time.

The race will be streamed live (embedded below), and also accessible via the Challenge Family website under the Live tab, with a timing/tracker link.

The race begins with a 1.9km swim lap, but with a twist. Starting at Vienhofer See, athletes will exit after approximately 1km, then run approximately 200m to a second lake, Ratzersdorfer See, to complete the opening discipline before arriving at T1.

The bike course is also a ride, mostly flat and fast for the first half, before some decent uphills and downhills through the Wachau World Heritage area.

The race course includes two 10.55 km laps in the historic town of St. Pölten.


No Frederic Funk this year (he will run at home at 70.3 Kraichgau), but third since last year, Maurice Clavel (GER), returns.

A member of the hep sports team, Clavel, 34, achieved the biggest success of his career in November 2021 when he won the IRONMAN Africa Championship in Port Elizabeth. He recently warmed up at the iconic Buschhutten Triathlon in Germany (eighth), but this will be his first long-distance race of the year. [UPDATE – Apparently Maurice will not be starting due to illness].

Maurice Clavel
Maurice Clavel

As expected, many German and Austrian names are set to race on Sunday. Notable among them include Andreas Bocherer (in his retirement season) and Nils Frommhold. They won the previous IRONMAN 70.3 event here in 2015 and 2016 (Böcherer) and 2017 (Frommhold).

Andi Boecher
Andi Böcherer winner of the IRONMAN Lanzarote in 2021

Other names trying to overthrow the Germans will be Giulio Molinari (ITA), third in 2018 and Tokyo Olympian, Lucas Hollaus (AUT), who finished second at the IRONMAN 70.3 Zell am See last year.

While on the start list, Tom Davis opted to skip the race after his strong championship performance last weekend in order to focus on his preparations for Challenge Roth.

PRO Women

Barely a week after The Championship, Great Britain Lucy Buckingham will be looking to extend the form she has shown there in Austria – and a podium finish in the process. No Sara Perez Sala this week, so all indications are that it’s probably going to be a lonely day…hopefully to the finish line, from her perspective. With, at the time of writing, modest temperatures predicted, conditions also look good for Lucy.

Lucy Buckingham / The 2022 Championship
Photo credit: José Luis Hourcade

Having gotten COVID just before the Championship, we’re going to assume that Amelie Watkinson (NZL) won’t be able to start here either, especially since she should be one of Nicola Spirig’s pacemakers in the Sub8 project very soon. Horrible timing, heal Amelia quickly.

Grace Thek (AUS) was eighth at Samorin, but if Watkinson can’t start then you have to make Buckingham the favorite to win this one – a result that would see them climb to second place in the Challenge Family World Bonus rankings.

You can click here for the full start list.

Prize money: what’s at stake?

The scholarship on offer this weekend is €19,000 – with each of the winners taking a €3,500 share of that total

Total funds will be paid out in six depths, as follows:

  1. €3,500
  2. €2,100
  3. €1,400
  4. €1,150
  5. 850 €
  6. 500 €

Of course, thanks to training from the Professional Triathlete Organization, the financial rewards for performance don’t just come from day-to-day performances.

The PTO Global Ranking will see a total of $2 million awarded at the end of 2022, based on the final ranking of these point tables. The rewards can be substantial, with moving up or down the ranking system potentially earning you more than any individual event.

Race For The Rankings Prize Scholarship 2021 PTO

As a Challenge Family event, there is also a third potential revenue stream for athletes, through the Challenge the family world bonus!

Challenge Family is offering a bonus pot of $125,000, which is paid out in the form of $25,000 / $16.5,000 / $12,000 / $6,000 / $3,000 to the top five ranked male and female athletes over the course of the Challenge Family / CLASH Endurance racing season.

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