The Raelert-Brothers are looking forward to the first big competition of the 2018 triathlon season. This Sunday, Michael Raelert will head into the Ironman 70.3 St. Poelten in Lower Austria which means the first important start signal for the two brothers. Racing this traditional Ironman 70.3, the reigning Ironman 70.3 European champion belongs to the co-favorites. "I can’t wait to race this Sunday since I could not hit the start line in St. George recently," says Michael Raelert, who had to withdraw from the Ironman 70.3 North American Championship in Utah due to calf issues. "The race in St. Poelten is fast and hard. That's just the right test for me." One week later, Michael Raelert will take part at the Challenge Championship Samorin where he ranked third last year.
In recent weeks, Michael Raelert has specifically prepared for the competition on Sunday. He laid the basis of his form in Lanzarote in the beginning of the year and worked on his shape in the North of Germany in the past few weeks. Now, it’s time for the first big test. "It's always hard to say what you can exactly expect in the first competition of the season. But I really want to bring out the best of me. I was well prepared for the North American Pro Championship St. George, and I do think I can build on that form now both for St. Poelten and Samorin."
In St. Poelten, Michael Raelert faces some strong athletes who will keep the pace high right from the start. "I think that Lukasz Wojt will try to drop us early," says Michael Raelert with a look at the elite swimmer from Germany who occasionally jumps into triathlon races. "It will certainly be very fast." Also expected at the front can be Swiss Ruedi Wild, the two Germans Johann Ackermann and Christian Kramer, Will Clarke (Great Britain), the Italian Giulio Molinari and as well Paul Reitmayer from Austria whose compatriots Thomas Steger and Michael Weiss are supposed to push the pace on bike. On the run course, Russia’s Artem Parienko should be another fast athlete. "For sure, this one will not be a slow race," says Michael Raelert – although another strong competitor will not start in St. Poelten. Andreas Raelert will take part in his first international competition of the year in June after two successful regional races in the North of Germany.
"Finally, the season starts," says Michael Raelert. "I'm very excited. I think I'm at a high level in swimming and I should have a good position when it comes down to the bike. My shape is good. But training and competition at the highest level are always two different things. We will see what happens." The Rostockian will do his best on Sunday to highlight the start of the 2018 season for the Raelert-Brothers with a good result.