Ironman world champions Jan Frodeno and Daniela Ryf toe the line this weekend at Challenge Roth. While Frodeno had long announced his intention to attempt to break the full distance world record set in Roth, Ryf’s last-minute entry makes this the first time since Kona that both current world champions are racing the same event. Both now enter the race as favorites, although last year’s winners Nils Frommhold and Yvonne van Vlerken will certainly have the benefit of experience over the two who are making their maiden appearance at the legendary race.

“It’s always been a dream to race here and that I have the opportunity now is exciting,” says Ryf. “I heard so many great things about this race and I’m looking forward to experience the atmosphere.”

Frodeno agrees. “I’m excited to be back racing in Germany. There is a real fan culture here and the vibe will be amazing — I’m looking to use that for a good result and a quick time.”

Ben Hoffman will switch gears at the XTERRA Mountain Championships after last week’s Ironman 70.3 Vineman. He says, “I’ve been second many times, so I’m looking to go one better, although the main objective to is to finish unscathed and punch my ticket for XTERRA Worlds in Maui later this year if I choose to race it. The high-altitude course dishes out some serious pain, and it will be interesting to back up less than a week after my half-ironman in California, but I will give everything I have on the day.”