Olympic champion Kristian Blummenfelt was the prohibitive favorite heading into Ironman 70.3 Dubai last weekend, but from the start of the race things didn’t go his way. Marten van Riel won the men’s race.
“Not the season opener that I was looking for at @im703middleeast Dubai… was off the pace from the beginning to be able to fight up front,” he posted on Instagram.
After an incredible year that saw him start the season with a WTCS win in Yokohama, followed by another win a week later at a World Cup race in Lisbon, Blummenfelt blasted to Olympic gold and then became the first man to win both the Olympics and the world championship in the same year. He followed that up with a huge 7:21 Ironman debut in Cozumel and rounded out his season with a win at Clash Daytona in December.
According to various reports and his own Instagram account, Blummenfelt struggled at the start of the swim and missed the front group, then pushed hard through the first half of the bike, only to lose time to the lead group. Just to add to his challenges, he flatted 60 km into the ride. Blummenfelt would eventually finish 10th.