Desert duel: Can Raelert stop Gomez?

Javier Gomez and Michael Raelert haven’t raced one another for over five years and Germany’s Challenge Bahrain champion couldn’t even recall the last set-to, a non-drafting race in 2009 in Los Angeles where the four-time ITU world champion came out on top.


The rare head-to-head of the two foremost middle distance triathletes in the world is one of the most intriguing aspects of Friday’s inaugural Challenge Dubai, the first of a Triple Crown of events that Challenge CEO Zibi Szlufcik today confirmed would pay $1,000,000 to anyone who wins the lot.

The prize purse for this first instalment is a guaranteed $300,000 and that’s the type of carrot that brings 65 professional men, including Britain’s Ritchie Nicholls, Fraser Cartmell, Dan Halksworth, David McNamee, Joe Skipper and Will Clarke to the Middle East. More planned to follow, but a field of this size always sees drop-outs, with the notable ones being Raelert’s countrymen Andreas Dreitz (Bahrain runner-up) and 2008 Olympic champion Jan Frodeno.