“Here’s a little throwback to Oceanside 2018”, Lionel Sanders wrote under an old photo of himself with Jan Frodeno in California. In 2021, he challenged the multiple Ironman World Champion for a battle of the giants in Coeur d’Alene, but that didn’t end up being a success, with Frodeno not accepting a generous offer and Sanders himself struggling to get across the finish line. Frodeno did however make a counterproposal by inviting Sanders to join the Tri Battle Royale. Sanders said yes, but Frodeno still owes him something.
“Jan promised me a La Marzocco coffee machine for doing the Tri Battle Royale, but I’ve yet to receive it. Jan, I’m willing to call it even if you come to Oceanside on April 2. Otherwise… I’m still waiting…” Sanders mentions he has great memories of the battle he had with Frodeno in Oceanside. In 2018, it was – no complete surprise – Frodeno who won the race. Sanders finished 3:53 minutes later in second place.
Although Frodeno defeated Sanders in ten out of eleven races that the two started together – an exception was the 2017 Ironman World Championship, where Frodeno dealt with back problems – Sanders still burns to battle his biggest opponent. He mentioned before that there is nobody who can push him to his limits like Frodeno.
Frodeno hasn’t confirmed anything and with the Ironman World Championship taking place in St. George one month later, it’s unlikely that Ironman 70.3 Oceanside will fit his schedule, but one thing is for sure: Sanders’ fans are up for it. Pro triathlete Joe Skipper came up with a good solution in the comments: “Settle it with a race. If you win, Jan Frodeno gets you that coffee machine. If he wins, you clean his bike and pack it up for him.”