Powerman Zofingen is one of eight top sporting events in the canton of Aargau. This is one of the reasons why the bike course will now mainly lead through the canton of Aargau. Another reason for the innovation is the new licensing practice in the canton of Lucerne. The new route first has a fast, flat “15 km loop west” and then a very couped and demanding “35 km loop east”. Two of the numerous highlights are the ascent and descent “Wiliberg” with a magnificent view of the Swiss Alps. New in Zofingen city centre is the adapted running track.
On September 2, 2018 the ITU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championships will again be held in Zofingen. The fact that the ITU (International Triathlon Union) and the IPA (International Powerman Association) are now awarding these to Zofingen for the eleventh time after 1997, 1998, 1999, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, and for the eighth time in a row, is unique for triathlon and duathlon. A new challenge awaits the athletes from around 40 participating nations. The bike course will be new and even more challenging. In addition, both the cycling and running routes pass through the picturesque city centre of Zofingen for the first time.
New licensing practice
The change in route was triggered by the new licensing practice of the Lucerne police. “Their obligation to allow a race only with a complete track closure has not produced a track worthy of the World Championship in the space of the previous track”, regrets Stefan Ruf, OC President of Powerman Zofingen. All variants had to be discarded, so that in spring the OC had to abandon the previous course, which had been run since the 3rd edition in 1991. “Thanks to the support of the Aargau authorities, however, a new bike course worthy of the World Cup can now be offered by a large majority through the Canton of Aargau. The character of the track remains unchanged, 50 kilometres per lap with almost exactly the same difference in altitude of 650 m per lap as before. In the World Championship race, the lap leading from Zofingen first to the west will again be driven three times. While the Vordemwald section was the last part so far, it will now be used in exactly the opposite direction and the “loop” will bring a first small turning point before it goes back from Vordemwald via Rothrist to the Zofingen area in the direction of Mühlethal on the eastern part of the loop. Ruf: “This one was already partly used in 2006. The technical highlight will certainly be the climb via Reitnau and the Williberg exit before returning to Zofingen via Reiden”.
The relocation to Aargau, in time for the 30-year event, offers the event many new opportunities. Ruf:”Important communities such as Rothrist or Schöftland are now part of the route. In addition to the Wiggertal, the Ürketal and Suhre valleys are now also being crossed. With Mühlethal and Reitnau-Williberg, two of the most beautiful crossings in the western part of the canton are crossed, thus also creating opportunities for new nests of atmosphere”. The OC is doing everything in its power to ensure optimal track safety and comprehensive information for local residents, so that the athletes are given an accident-free race and the local residents the least possible restrictions, and at the same time it would like to thank all the communities that are now being used for the first time and also the previous ones for their understanding and support.
Running course adapted
Due to the new bike course, the second running course can now also be run through the old town of Zofingen, as planned for some time. “For many years it was two laps and last year even four because of the storm damage, but now three laps are being run on a 5 km long turning point track”, says Ruf. After leaving the Powerman-Arena we first go to turning point 1 at Thutplatz and then again through the arena to turning point 2 on the Heitere. Back in the arena the first 10 of a total of 30 km are completed. “Only marginal changes have been made to the first run, which at 9.5 km is now 300 m longer than before, thanks to a new separate start zone. According to Ruf, the new routes also represent a new capital in the history of Powerman Zofingen. “We are pleased to be able to offer the participants from around 40 nations a route that remains very demanding and yet fast, thus maintaining and even improving the chances of winning the World Championship in the future.
Powerman Zofingen is one of eight top sporting events in Aargau. “This is one of the reasons why the bike course will now mainly lead through Canton Aargau instead of Lucerne,” says Oliver Imfeld, Secretary General of Powerman Zofingen. The new route first has a fast, flat “15 km loop west” and then a “35 km loop east”, which is very coupiert and demanding. “Two of the numerous highlights are the ascent and descent Wiliberg with a wonderful view of the Swiss Alps”, says it and takes us straight to the new bike course.
The Pavés became famous for French cycling classics such as Paris-Roubaix. But even the world’s best duathletes will soon get to know the Zofingen paving stones. “For the 30th anniversary of Powerman Zofingen, we will drive across historic Thutplatz.” The bike route then leads via Strengelbach and Vordemwald to Rothrist, where you pass the colourfully decorated roundabout at Restaurant Rössli. Via Bernstrasse and Sägetstrasse you return to Zofingen via Strengelbach on the flat 15 kilometre loop, past the headquarters of media partner Zofinger Tagblatt and via Henzmann roundabout and railway underpass towards Mühlethal. Here begins a 35-kilometre loop, which is couped and will really challenge the athletes. Quasi on the Mühlethal Pass above waits another highlight. “Here the athletes drive past the beautiful Lindenplatz, where after a few hundred metres a rapid descent to Uerkheim follows.
Wiliberg instead of Bodenberg
Imfeld then follows the Obermattenstrasse towards the A1 motorway, but turns shortly before to Holziken and reaches another highlight of the new cycle route via Schöftland, Staffelbach, Attelwil and Reitnau. Reitnau is best known for the mountain race of the same name, which takes place at the beginning of July. “The Powerman participants drive up the race track with their two-wheeled machines to the culmination point on the Wiliberg at 680 metres above sea level. This ascent, which is about four kilometres long, requires 280 metres of altitude difference,” says Imfeld. “Here you can enjoy a magnificent view of the mountains before a curvy descent on a brand new surface leads down to Moosersagi.” The 50-kilometre long jubilee cycle track runs about 5 kilometres through the canton of Lucerne. A rough climb leads from Moosersagi to Reiden. There it goes on a narrow side road past the open-air swimming pool Reiden and then on the flat cantonal road back to Zofingen. “The new bike course is more difficult than the old one,” says Imfeld. “She’s less fluid, has more technical descents, ups and downs, more rhythm breakers. The good cyclists may rejoice!”
Last starting places
You can still register for the 30th Powerman Zofingen from 31 August to 2 September 2018. The entry portal for the long distance was closed in mid-August, for the short distance you can still
register in the week before the competition if there are still starting places. www.powerman.ch
Text and photos: Raphael Galliker
1a) The new 50 km long bike course leads right through the heart of the city of Zofingen, across Thutplatz, where Oliver Imfeld, the new Secretary General of Powerman Zofingen, welcomes us for a tour of the bike course. . Fotos: Raphael Galliker
2a) The Rössli roundabout in Rothrist is the turning point of the first flat “15 km loop west”.
4c) The view of Lindenplatz in Mühlethal above must be worked out by the athletes via hard ascent.
7b.) This is the new Powerman cycle track: Above the church Reitnau the cars start for the traditional mountain race.
9b.) The Wiliberg replaces the former culmination point Bodenberg on the new bike course.
Alle Bilder und Videos auf flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/powerman-zofingen/sets/72157698038353391/
Video 9: .