Participants of the third edition of the world series of triathlon competitions LOTTO Challenge Gdańsk competed over the weekend in the waters of the Gulf of Gdańsk, on the cycling route running, among others, tunnel under the Martwa Wisła, ending the running stage at the pier in Gdańsk Brzeźno. The Sunday competition of professionals on the most prestigious middle distance was won by Kacper Stępniak, who swam 1.9 km, cycled 90 km and ran 21.1 km in 3 hours, 44 minutes and 25 seconds. Among women, Anne Reischmann from Germany (4:12:58) won over the same distance, and Agnieszka Jerzyk from Poland (4:14:32) came in second.
– This year, in addition to the Trefl Aquathlon for children and youth, we added a charity run for women, Challenge Women by Brooks, to the programme. From the first edition of LOTTO Challenge Gdańsk, we care about the highest standards of competition organization, but it is also extremely important to ensure a friendly, family atmosphere of the event. The competitors appreciate it very much and come back to us every year. And this is the best recommendation – assures Adam Greczyło, director and organizer of LOTTO Challenge Gdańsk.
The culminating point of the LOTTO Challenge Gdańsk program was the Sunday competition of female and male PRO competitors at the Middle distance. Among the men, Kacper Stępniak won in great style, ahead of the Serbian Ognjen Stojanovic by 46 seconds and the German Marcel Bolbat by 53 seconds.
– Strong runners take part in the competition, so from the beginning I saw my chances in escaping on a bicycle. This was achieved after the first 15 kilometers of fierce competition. I went to the transition zone with a big advantage and I managed to keep it until the end, although the end of the race was nervous. I have competed in LOTTO Challenge Gdańsk for the third time, it is one of my favorite events in Poland. This experience helped me especially on the bike stage, where thanks to the knowledge of the route I knew how to behave around the bends around the stadium. Two years ago I was seventh, and last year third, so I hope that next year I will be able to keep the first place – assures Kacper Stępniak, the winner of the middle distance.
– I really like the route in Gdańsk. It is fast and we felt it today – said O. Stojanovic at the finish line. – Everyone wanted to win today, but we lost too much on the bike. It seemed that working with Marcel we would catch up with Kacper in the run, but on the last lap we felt the chase and we had to be content with second and third place – added the Serb.
The German Bolbat at the finish gave his best and even more, recovering for a long time. But once he regained his strength, he started praising the event. – The competition was well organized, the judges – full of professionalism. A revelation – Marcel emphasized.
The competition in Gdańsk was watched over the weekend by the CEO of Challenge Family, the Dutchman Jort Vlam:
– It was an amazing, exciting race! The competition of the first three was even until the very end, but Kacper is in great shape and did not let the victory be taken away from him. Congratulations on your compatriot’s victory.
An extremely fierce fight was fought between each other on the middle distance by PRO competitors from Poland and Germany. In the end, Anne Reischmann, a representative of Polish’s western neighbors, turned out to be the best, ahead of Agnieszka Jerzyk and her compatriot Daniela Kleiser (a sensational running section). The fourth place was taken by Marta Łagownik from Gdańsk.
– I wasn’t entirely happy with my swimming today. As Anne rode past me on her bike, I decided I’d just ride my own. In the last loop run, I had to speed up because I saw Daniela running amazingly and getting closer. I am very happy to be on the podium again, especially since the last time I took part in the middle distance was in 2019. Then there was Covid, pregnancy, two fractures, but I’m coming back and I’m very happy about it – said Agnieszka Jerzyk.
Sunday’s results can be found HERE