All aboard Frodo ex­press

Multisport Mecca - - News - Grant Ed­wards Grant.Ed­[email protected]

THE Jan Fro­deno jug­ger­naut is at full speed and there are doubts any­one has the abil­ity to keep pace.

Re­turn­ing to Noosa last week after a scorch­ing ef­fort which de­liv­ered the 70.3 World Cham­pi­onship at South Africa, the world’s best were left in his wake.

In the process Fro­deno stamped him­self as the firm favourite to re­gain his Iron­man World Cham­pi­onship crown with a performance which saw him sys­tem­at­i­cally dis­man­tle his op­po­si­tion.

Sun­day’s 21km run, 1.9km swim and 90km ride saw the Ger­man-born triath­lete set new stan­dards in long-course rac­ing while si­mul­ta­ne­ously break­ing two of the quick­est of all time – dual gold-medal­list Alis­tair Brown­lee and five-time ITU world cham­pion Javier Gomez Noya.

Fro­deno went head-to-head with both and proved tri­umphant with an unyield­ing run.

While Fro­deno led from tran­si­tion onto the run, Brown­lee surged past Fro­deno early. But the ef­fort took its toll and the Ger­man re­turned to the front as Brown­lee dropped back.

Gomez kept pace and moved into third place with the fastest kilo­me­tre split – an av­er­age 3:03 min­utes per kilo­me­tre. After catch­ing Fro­deno the pair were in­sep­a­ra­ble, nei­ther will­ing to give an inch.

The 10km jour­ney saw Gomez post 31min 24sec, while Fro­deno was just 14 sec­onds slower.

But the pace took its toll when Gomez started to suf­fer cramps and Fro­deno turned the screws with about 6km to travel, look­ing flu­ent and un­flap­pable.

“One minute Javier was breath­ing down my neck, the next minute he was gone but I didn’t re­alise he was gone,” he said.

“I was run­ning for my life breath­ing so hard I didn’t hear any­thing my­self.”

It was al­ways go­ing to be a foot race. Fro­deno had watts up his sleeve, sit­ting up on sev­eral oc­ca­sions dur­ing the bike leg with other ath­letes un­will­ing to work at the front.

“I was a lit­tle bit an­gry be­cause Alis­tair and I did all the work all day on the bike and tried to break away, tried to do any­thing and no­body came,” Fro­deno said.

“Ben Kanute came around once, but then I re­ally wanted to hold the flag high in a foot race, which I knew was tough, but some­how to­day I just had my run­ning legs.”

After Gomez suf­fered cramps, Brown­lee pushed his way into sec­ond.

Brown­lee had pre­vi­ously been un­beaten over the 70.3 dis­tance, and will ul­ti­mately im­prove once mak­ing the step up to Iron­man (3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42.2km run) rac­ing.

“Ob­vi­ously I want to win, but I gave it ev­ery­thing to­day and I’m happy with that,” Brown­lee said post race.

“To be hon­est, I’ve had a tough year this year with in­juries and a few things and just not been my­self. So ba­si­cally the last three or four weeks is the only train­ing I’ve done re­ally.”

The performance not only pro­vided Fro­deno with his sec­ond 70.3 world crown, he won pre­vi­ously in 2015, but would have also sent shock­waves through the camps of Iron­man ti­tle con­tender Lionel San­ders and reign­ing cham­pion Patrick Lange.

Dur­ing July, he eas­ily ac­counted for Lange at Iron­man Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship Frankfurt. It was a car­bon copy of the performance from March where Fro­deno beat Lange by six min­utes at the Kraich­gau 70.3.

While San­ders claimed vic­tory at 70.3 Mont-Trem­blant dur­ing June, he strug­gled at July’s Iron­man Mont-Trem­blant de­spite claim­ing sec­ond after having nu­tri­tion is­sues fol­low­ing di­etary is­sues.

Fro­deno will re­sume train­ing at Noosa, where Ki­wis Braden Cur­rie, Cal­lum Mill­ward and Cameron Brown as well as Aussie Nick Kastelein are also pre­par­ing for the Hawaii Iron­man.

PHOTO: BAHRAIN EN­DURANCE TEAM

SPEED MA­CHINE: Noosa's Jan Fro­deno claims vic­tory after a stel­lar run leg at the 70.3 World Cham­pi­onship at South Africa.

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