Tri Battle Royale update: Frodeno’s advantage on Sanders after 40 km of cycling

(Photo: Finn Timmermans en Davy Heijsteeg)

They’ve completed the swim and covered the first 40 km of the bike part, and it won’t surprise anyone to learn that Jan Frodeno is in the lead in the Tri Battle Royale. We expected the German would enjoy an advantage after the swim, the only question was: what will the time difference between Frodeno and Lionel Sanders be after this first discipline? The answer: five minutes.

Frodeno is trying to improve his own world record over a full distance (7:35:39), but, after the swim he’s behind schedule compared to his swim time at Challenge Roth 2016. Today Frodeno needed 45:58 to complete the swim, in Roth he took 45:22. It seems like his swim time could have been ten seconds faster though, as the timing mat wasn’t very close to the swim exit. 

Sanders after the swim 

Sanders got to take off his wetsuit after 50:58 minutes, five minutes behind Frodeno. Before the race, Sanders mentioned that he would be very satisfied if he would be about three minutes behind Frodeno. But looking at the data of previous full-distance events Frodeno and Sanders have raced, a gap of approximately six minutes could be expected. In that regard, with a five-minute deficit, Sanders was doing well in this race so far. 


On the bike, it soon turned into an one man show with Frodeno. Even though Sanders started fast and closed the gap, and Frodeno seemed to be dropping the watts a bit after about 40-50 km. Sanders scared the audience a bit with his approach on the ‘Canyon turn’ though: the special ramp was built to help athletes make the turn as fast as possible, but Sanders was very close to crashing the first time he went up the ramp. 

Sanders up on the ramp. (Photo: Triathlon Today)