It’s special and above all very cool news: none other than Yvonne van Vlerken will be at the start of CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM this year. It’s special because at the end of last year Van Vlerken announced that she would not be doing any Long Distances this year, because she needed a break and some rest until next year, when the World Championships Long Distance will be held in Almere. It’s amazing news because Van Vlerken – who won the race for the last two years in a row and is also the race record holder (8:51:13) – can be seen as one of the strongest women at the starting line, having a big chance to win the race and also the European title. But also because everyone in Almere can witness her last performance as a pro now.
Van Vlerken – who is already in Almere at this moment and is joining our press conference tonight – has announced that she will use the European Championship at CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM to say goodbye to her life as a professional triathlete. She will once again shine and compete for the win, but afterwards she will fully focus on coaching and guiding other athletes.
During CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM, Van Vlerken can expect a lot of competition from among others the Germans Astrid Stienen, Lina-Kristin Schink and Kathrin Walther, the Dutch Sarissa de Vries, the Czech Simona Krivankova and French Camille Deligny.
The men also have a strong field of triatletes at the start of CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM. Kristian Hogenhaug (DEN), Matt Trautman (ZAF), Thomas Renc (CZE), Morten Brammer Olesen (DEN) and Evert Scheltinga (NED): these are just a few of the strong participants who will give it their all for the European title this year. Everyone will try to break the magic 8 hours or even the race record that was set at 7:55:53 by Jaroslav Kovacic.