Frank Wechsel / tri-mag.de
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6. Dec 2014

Challenge Bahrain

Micha crowns his season

Sensational win and a great performance – Tough fight with a world-class pro field and hard conditions – “I’m totally happy and absolutely over the moon”

Bahrain. Michael Raelert has crowned Raelert-Brothers’ season 2014 with a magnificent race at the Challenge Bahrain. The 34-year old won the first edition of the middle-distance event in the Kingdom of Bahrain on Santa Claus day in 3:36:04 hours. Michael Raelert took the win ahead of his fellow countryman Andreas Dreitz (3:38:23 hours) and Australian Tim Reed (3:39:26 hours). "I'm totally happy," said Michael Raelert after the race, "I’m absolutely over the moon. This is a fantastic end of the season. When you win a race, it always feels good, but if you can even win a big race like this one, it's just overwhelming. And the most important thing is: I'm back after my injury."

In the past few weeks there have been many rumors about the new event in Bahrain. It was not only the flat race course which promised a superb race, but especially a stellar pro field. "If you read all these names, you are anything else but cool when you start into such a race," said Michael Raelert after the finish on the Formula 1 circuit of Manama. He came down the finish line with a huge smile, but in the hours before he had been facing a tough fight. "The race was extremely hard,” he said after a fast, windy and warm race, “but the last few meters made me forget everything."

Already during the 1.9 km swim, a high-speed train formed at the top. Michael Raelert was setting the pace together with New Zealander Dylan McNeice and former Ironman world champion Pete Jacobs from Australia. In 21:16 minutes Michael Raelert was third out of the water, only four seconds behind Dylan McNeice and two seconds behind Pete Jacobs. In T1 Michael Raelert then took over the lead and pushed the pace early on the bike. "I knew that I had to hit the gas on the bike right from the start, if I want to have a chance to win," he explained later. "In the last three races my tactics had been similar. This probably has been the key for racing Bahrain." Already at Ironman 70.3 Miami, Ironman 70.3 Mandurah and Ironman 70.3 Ballarat, Michael Raelert had attacked for the win early on the bike.

In Bahrain, a colleague from the team ERDINGER Alkoholfrei team had the best bike performance of the day: Andreas Dreitz. "Maybe, Andi has not been on everyone’s list before the race," said Michael Raelert, "but he's just brutally good, especially on the bike." In the water, Andreas Dreitz was about 90 seconds slower than Michael Raelert, but he speeded up extremely on the 90 kilometer bike course with an outstanding split of 1:57:21 hours. After a little more than a third of the bike the 25-year-old caught up with Michael Raelert and passed him. "He was just sensational on the bike," said the Rostockian, who had a great performance as well with a split of 2:01:40 hours. When he reached T2, Michael Raelert was 2:34 minutes behind Andreas Dreitz. Only 1:25 minutes behind the Rostockian, Australian Tim Reed led an outstanding chase group into transition, including former Olympic-distance World Champion Tim Don from Great Britain. "I knew I had to make myself going," said Michael Raelert. He ran the best half marathon of the day in 1:10:19 hours and caught up with Andreas Dreitz after 15 kilometers. He passed him and made his way to a great final of the season.

 

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