While duathlon is on the rise in North America, it’s been a popular mainstay on the European endurance scene for years, producing exceptionally talented bike/ run specialists. This weekend marks the first big international duathlon of the season; the European Championship Long Distance Duathlon and European Championship Sprint Distance Duathlon at the Powerman Holland Duathlon, April 12 and 13.
The events take place in Horst aan de Maas, in the northern part of the province of Limburg, Netherlands. The European Duathlon Championships have been held in conjunction with this event since 2004, and last year, 2013, the European Sprint Championships was added.
Belgian Rob Woestenborghs is the favourite in the mens’ Elite Long Distance Duathlon. The versatile 37-year old won the sprint title in the World Games in Cali and was first at the 2013 Zofingen ITU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championships. Woestenborghs also won five Powerman races in 2013. On the women’s side, Nicole Klingler of Liechtenstein is the one to beat in the Elite Long Distance race. She took bronze at Zofingen. She will likely be challenged by Susanne Svendson from Denmark. There will be over 170 Age Group athletes competing across 26 categories to become European Long Distance Duathlon Champs.
About Powerman: Powerman is the biggest duathlon series in the world. The International Powerman Association (IPA) works with the International Triathlon Union in the development and growth of the duathlon as a sport in general, and the long distance duathlon in particular.