New Zealand's rising long-distance triathlon star Dylan McNeice is finding out what his back to back wins in Challenge events earlier this year have done for his career as he prepares for his first tilt at the famous Challenge Roth race in Germany this weekend.

Renowned for its fast times, Roth welcomes a stellar field that includes McNeice as one of the headliners after his incredible performances in winning his first two starts over the full distance (3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42.2km run) in Wanaka and Taiwan earlier this year.

As the small Bavarian town of Roth prepares for the influx of athletes and over 200,000 spectators, increasing its regular population ten-fold, at today's media conference the stars of the race gave their comments, predictions and why Challenge Roth has been held in such high regard throughout the triathlon world for so long.

McNeice spoke about his quest to focus only on his own race, and not on those around him.

"From 12 months ago when I was going to retire from triathlon, this is a whole new world for me. It's a good feeling, it's taken me a long time to get here, I'm happy to be sitting up here and have pressure on me. There are so many good guys racing, it's going to be really fast and hopefully a sub eight for a Kiwi male. Cameron Brown and I are both chasing it. But I'm going to stick to my own race plan, put the blinkers on and race my own race. I'll aim for that eight-hour barrier and if I get close to that, regardless of my position in the race, I'll be happy."

McNeice is coached by Tri NZ Talent Development Coach Tim Brazier, who spoke of the prospect of a sub 8 hour race for his charge.

"It is a great opportunity for Dylan to race against the world's best, on a day that could unfold very differently for him to his previous wins. With other fast swimmers racing such as Maik Petzold (Germany) the dynamics of the race will be very different to Wanaka and Taiwan when he was out on his own early. I am confident however that Dylan will still make great decisions out there as his "race intelligence" is such a strength, and is a big part of why he has accelerated so fast into Iron distance racing.

"If the conditions and race dynamics play their part, I think there is every opportunity that Dylan could go a sub eight hour race, and that would be something really special for him to achieve in his first year as an Iron distance pro, I know I'll be pulling an all-nighter to watch it unfold!"

McNeice is in the unusual position of relegating legendary Kiwi Cameron Brown to support-star status, although 40 year old Brown is also well capable of a podium finish as he backs up from a 4th place finish at Roth last year. Brown is enjoying a wide variety of races and venues in 2013, already with Fiji and the Philippines on his CV this year; he will be a podium threat in Roth once again.

New Zealand is represented in the strong women's field with the evergreen Joanna Lawn on the start line. Lawn is a 7 time winner of Ironman NZ since 2003 and has been enjoying a year of 'different' races in 2013, choosing her schedule more on personal preference than previous years. Lawn is a previous winner at Roth, taking out the 2006 event.

All the action from DATEV Challenge Roth can be watched live online at from 4.00pm NZT on Sunday 14 July.

The Challenge Family celebrates the sport of triathlon through its global series of long distance events and festivals that are changing the face of long distance racing around the world with its focus on athlete experience. Featuring spectacular courses in iconic destinations, Challenge Family events focus on delivering the race of a lifetime to every athlete, and creating a memorable spectator experience that captures all the excitement and emotion of this inspirational sport. The Challenge Family series currently features 21 events around the world including the world's largest long distance triathlon, Challenge Roth in Germany. Other Challenge Family races take place in Germany, Holland, Austria, Canada, UK, France, Spain, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Taiwan.