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Dapena, Pallant victorious at inaugural Challenge Cape Town

Spaniard Pablo Dapena Gonzalez won a close men's race while Great Britain's Emma Pallant dominated the women's field as the Challenge series made its debut in Cape Town, South Africa.

Pablo Dapena Gonzalez and Emma Pallant took the wins at the inaugural Challenge Cape Town triathlon, the first Challenge Family event ever held in Africa. The half-distance event consisted of a 1.9 km swim, 90 km bike and 21.1 km run.

Emma Pallant at the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championship.

Spain’s Dapena, the 2018 ITU long distance world champion, took the men’s race in a quick time of 3:46:48, edging out Australian Steven McKenna and local South African Matt Trautman. After leading by a minute out of the water, Dapena came off the bike with a group of six that included McKenna and Trautman, along with South Africans Kyle Buckingham, Bradley Weiss and former ITU world champion Tim Don.

Dapena then ran 1:11:23 to pull away for the victory, while McKenna clocked in at 1:12:52 to solidify second place in 3:48:13. Trautman rounded out the podium in 3:49:43.

Men’s results

  1. Pablo Dapena Gonzalez, ESP, 3:46:48
  2. Steven McKenna, AUS, 3:48:13
  3. Matt Trautman, ZAF, 3:49:43
  4. Kyle Buckingham, ZAF, 3:52:11
  5. Tim Don, GBR, 3:55:48

In the women’s race, Great Britain’s Pallant came off the bike in the lead alongside South Africa’s Annah Watkinson, but quickly asserted herself with a dominant run. A former track athlete and two-time world duathlon champion, Pallant put together a 1:20:48 half marathon to finish in a time of 4:14:50, over six minutes clear of Watkinson.

Watkinson took second in 4:21:19, while Pallant’s countrywoman Laura Siddall, who had the fastest bike split in the field at 2:19:54, was third in 4:24:22.

Women’s results

  1. Emma Pallant, GBR, 4:14:50
  2. Annah Watkinson, ZAF, 4:21:19
  3. Laura Siddall, GBR, 4:24:22
  4. Gillian Sanders, ZAF, 4:38:19
  5. Lauren Cannon, ZAF, 4:39:58