For a while it looked like Jan Frodeno wouldn’t be able to race at Challenge Miami when paperwork issues delayed his trip, but today the German Ironman world champion and Olympic gold medalist showed his class with a dominating performance that saw him at, or near, the front throughout the day.
Frodeno was third out of the water behind American Ben Kanute and his training partner, Australian Nick Kastelein. Then, out on the bike Frodeno went to the front early, but it was only a matter of time before super-cyclists Andrew Starykowicz (USA) and Magnus Ditlev (DEN) would hammer to the front of the technical bike course at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. The German was the only man either capable, or with the courage, to go with the speedsters on the bike. That threesome pushed through the bike with Starykowicz leading the way into T2 by 20 seconds over Ditlev and 24 seconds over Frodeno.
A speedy transition put Frodeno out on the run course just six seconds behind Starykowicz, which meant that it was literally just seconds before the defending Kona champ would surge to the lead.
While Frodeno’s win never appeared in jeopardy, behind him the action for the final spots on the podium was more than exciting. After coming off the bike in eighth place, over three minutes down, Lionel Sanders charged through the field. Within a few kilometers he was up to fifth with Kanute and fellow American Chris Leiferman trying to hang on. Sanders would have none of it, though, and pulled clear to chase the second spot on the podium.
While the first two spots on the podium seemed clear, Kanute and Leiferman decided to put on a show in the race for third during the final lap of the race. Kanute managed to pull clear and just hold off his countryman for the final spot on the podium.
In the end Frodeno’s masterful performance in all three legs of the race signalled a thrilling return to racing – Challenge Miami was his first race since setting the course record in Kona in October, 2019. He would win the race in 2:37:57. Sanders took second in 2:40:28 after running 24 seconds faster than the German. Kanute rounded out the podium in 2:41:38, just a few seconds ahead of Leiferman (2:41:46) and Von Berg (2:42:11).
You can find the results from today’s race here.
We caught up with the top finishers after the finish of the men’s race: