The battle at the Sparkasse IRONMAN 70.3 Kraichgau in Germany, powered by KraichgauEnergie was just a taste of what might come up at the World Championships in Hawaii, come October.
At this year’s race, the 2015 and 2016 IRONMAN World Champion Jan Frodeno early opened up a thrilling competition with reigning champ Patrick Lange. Frodeno’s tactics were brilliant: Once the race was on, he hammered away with his Aussie training partner and long-time mate Nick Kastelein. They had a clear aim to eek a big gap in order to overcome Lange’s strengths later on.
Right from the 1.9km swim start, the leading duo had an advantage of two minutes ahead of Lange. The duo still powered ahead and didn’t slow down on the 90km bike leg. Frodeno, the 2008 Olympic champion nailed a fantastic solo on the final third of the bike course. He stretched his lead to 4:30 minutes on the bike, keeping the strong chase group five minutes down.
When Frodeno hit the 21km run course he dominated the race, even with Lange, the reigning Kona champ behind him. It took Lange seven kilometers, to catch up with Kastelein and passed for silver. Frodeno was hitting the tarmac hard, to avoid a sprinting Lange into the final stretch of the half marathon.
Defending women’s champion Laura Philipp came back to dominate the race despite losing two minutes in the swim start in the beautiful Kraichgau region.
Philipp put in the best bike split on the hilly course and nailed the fastest run, too. Finishing six minutes in front of her German compatriot Daniela Saemmler and the legendary flying Dutchwoman Yvonne van Vlerken after the bike, Philipp was ready to put way more time on her chasers on the run. Saemmler was able to stay in runner-up position until she hit the red carpet, but Philipp remained untouchable finishing 11 minutes ahead. Yvonne van Vlerken completed the podium 3 minutes behind Saemmler.