Fro­deno’s Fright­en­ing Po­ten­tial

BY KEVIN MACKIN­NON

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - FEATURES -

From Olympic gold to Kona con­tender. We map the Ger­man ath­lete’s suc­cesses as he moves from the ITU cir­cuit to long dis­tance rac­ing.

FOR THE FIRST time in years we get to talk about some Cana­di­ans who could be in the mix to take the win on the Big Is­land in Oc­to­ber – check out our side­bar high­light­ing Jeff Symonds, Brent Mcma­hon and Lionel San­ders. That said, we’re not go­ing to count out the likes of de­fend­ing cham­pion Se­bas­tian Kienle, Fred­er­ick Van Lierde or the man we fea­tured in this is­sue, Jan Fro­deno, not to men­tion a num­ber of other men who will roll into Kona fully ex­pect­ing to con­tend for the ti­tle.

In all but a cou­ple of the men’s races over the last two decades the win­ner of the race has fin­ished in the top three the year be­fore. That means, based on pa­per, you have to look for Kienle, Fro­deno (third) and Amer­i­can Ben Hoff­man to be amongst the favourites. Kienle found him­self well be­hind his coun­try­man, Fro­deno, in Frank­furt ear­lier this year, but that doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean he won’t be fit­ter and faster in Oc­to­ber. Hoff­man has had a very quiet year so far, which also doesn’t mean he won’t be a fac­tor in Kona – fo­cus­ing his energy on that one big day might make the dif­fer­ence in 2015.

Fred­er­ick Van Lierde, the 2013 champ, suf­fered some un­char­ac­ter­is­tic stom­ach is­sues as he tried to de­fend his ti­tle last year. He raced back to form with a vengeance at Iron­man South Africa in March, mak­ing a clear state­ment that he in­tends to be in the hunt for another Kona win. His coun­try­man Marino Van­hoe­nacker led the race a few years ago un­til the 16-mile point of the marathon be­fore dra­mat­i­cally flam­ing out. He took the South Amer­i­can cham­pi­onship in Brazil in May, easily han­dling Mcma­hon and the rest of the field, and prov­ing to him­self and the rest of the world that he re­ally can race in the heat and hu­mid­ity.

Speak­ing of heat and hu­mid­ity, a cou­ple of Amer­i­can men who won scorch­ing hot Iron­man races this year could fea­ture promi­nently in the race for the podium in Kona this year: Andy Potts, who won Iron­man Coeur d’alene, and Matt Han­son, who took the North Amer­i­can Cham­pi­onship event in Texas in May.

There are lots more men we could men­tion here – Tim O’don­nell has been pa­tiently wait­ing for his chance to shine in Kona, for ex­am­ple – but we’ll end our prog­nos­ti­ca­tions with one pa­tri­otic thought: we have rea­son to be­lieve that our Cana­dian men’s crew rac­ing in Kona can com­pete with all of these guys. It’s go­ing to be a great Iron­man World Cham­pi­onship, just like it al­ways is.

Se­bas­tian Kienle wins the 2014 Iron­man World Cham­pi­onship in Kona

OP­PO­SITE

Mirinda Car­frae wins the 2014 Iron­man World Cham­pi­onship in Kona

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