Rudy Project Sponsored Athlete Update: Yvonne van Vlerken

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Excitement at its best – female top-class starters line up.
Yvonne van Vlerken (Endurance Team Austria) co-favourite in battle for European title with Caroline Steffen, Sonja Tajsich & Co.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the ‘Frankfurter Sparkasse Ironman European Championship’ the host city Frankfurt welcomes triathletes from 55 nations in the region of the Rhein-Main on the 24th July 2011. More than 2.350 athletes will honour this mega event, whereas managing director Kai Walter is quiet proud to present 70 top athletes from all over the world to battle for the title.

The battle for the female crown of the “European Ironman Championship” guarantees special excitement. After a second and a third place within the last two years Yvonne van Vlerken (NED) is hungry for the only place she never stand on at the end of the race, the top place on the podium. She knows that the way to the top isn’t easy, especially if she risks a look at her strong rivals in the starter field. “Never be too early at your individual peak form” that’s what she learned from all her years of sport experience. Regarding the upcoming event in Frankfurt she claims to fulfil this purpose. Yvonne didn’t take part in any long-distance or Ironman-competition since the beginning of this year. This could give her fitter legs and probably the all-dominant joker when last year second woman Caroline Steffen (SUI) or local hero Sonja Tajsich (GER) are going to search the direct battle with her. Steffen won the Ironman Australia and currently holds the 2nd position in the official ‘Kona Pro-Ranking’ list. But there are major other names in the field world which are all willing to go high at this significant event in Germany

Others to mention are Tine Deckers (BEL) or Desiree Fickers (USA).

Only sad things to mention is that titleholder Sandra Wallenhorst will not participate in the thrilling fight because of a major knee-injury.

Nevertheless, excitement on a high sport level is guaranteed. Due to Sonja Tajsich the field of women participants is “the best of the whole year, straight after Kona”. But none of the top athletes could irritate this matter. They are all looking at their individual performance. And Yvonne is giving us the hint to look at her improvement in swimming. Originally coming from the duathlon discipline it seems as if she really has fun and creates passion within her long-year weakest discipline swimming: „I am feeling pretty comfortable in the water at the moment and I have a time in my head for Sunday. Another goal is to leave the water under an hour in October, at the Ironman World Championship“. Yvonne doesn´t seem to run out of new goals, either on ambition or discipline. But regarding the big challenge in Frankfurt she leaves all the rest to the numerous spectators alongside the race, her pushing competitors and the predicted, for her ideal weather.

After Michael Raelert announced his surprising withdraw form the race Faris Al Sultan (GER), 2005 ironman world champion, counts as the favourites aside Patrick Vernay (FRA) and the 10 times Ironman Australia winner Cameron Brown (AUS).

Media/Live Coverage:
German TV-station will broadcast the race live from 10.15am to 4.30pm. Additionally a live-stream will be available already from 6.30am on

As usual you can get written updates and track athletes on:


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