Jan Frodeno glories in penultimate race: spectacular victory at PTO US Open

Jan Frodeno wins PTO US Open (Picture: PTO / Insta Frodeno)

He may have announced his retirement and leave the sport at the end of this season – at least as a professional athlete – but that doesn’t mean Jan Frodeno is no longer capable of things no one really expects: today he won the PTO US Open in spectacular fashion. With that victory, he bested all the favorites and Frodeno actually did what almost no one thought possible.

Leading group during the swim, Frodeno is well placed
Immediately during the swim a nice leading group emerged; Aaron Royle, Kristian Blummenfelt, Jan Frodeno, Marc Dubrick, Ben Kanute, Daniel Baekkegard, Matt Sharpe and Josh Amberger took off with the eight of them and made sure that the biggest favorites were together right away. The biggest absentee in this leading group was Magnus Ditlev; the Dane came out of the water a minute and a half behind and thus did not have a dream start. Sam Long was also missing, but that was less surprising; not only did he become a father a few days ago, but in addition he is not known for his good swimming. Long followed at 2:45 minutes.

Margirier and Ditlev bike strong and dictate the race
On the bike, Blummenfelt evidently did not feel like staying in a leading group together, because immediately after T1 he did go for it and took of on his own. He did so quite energetically, because soon he had a 30-second lead. Meanwhile, more and more men from behind were riding towards the leading group, such as Mathis Margirier, Magnus Ditlev and Frederic Funk.

Still, a lot changed from that point on; Margirier tried to close the gap to Blummenfelt on his own, for example, while the former leading group fell apart more and more. After fifty kilometers, a leading group of four had emerged: Margirier, Blummenfelt, Frodeno and Ditlev, while the always strong cycling Funk was only a minute behind. It was immediately the moment when Ditlev started giving some more extra power, causing Frodeno to start cracking. But even though Ditlev came in first in T2; his lead over the next three men was at most a handful of seconds. Blummenfelt, by the way, was cramping at that point and thus looked vulnerable.

Frodeno finishes race with strong run, Blummenfelt cramp
It was therefore Blummenfelt who quickly lost connection during the run; Frodeno smelled blood, ran extremely strong and after four kilometers had a 16-second lead over Margirier and Ditlev, while Blummenfelt had already lost almost half a minute. Still, Blummenfelt did not give up but when he reconnected with Ditlev, he cramped again. At that point, he was left stretching for over a minute before he could continue his race. Frodeno did not see it all happen, as he ran solo in the lead and saw his lead grow larger and larger.

While Frodeno was long since certain of his victory in the final kilometers, a wonderful battle for the remaining medals still ensued. It was Jason West who was experiencing an insanely strong run – he was running a few minutes faster than the rest of the field – and he was overtaking one athlete after another.

So it was that Frodeno won the race, West ended up second and Blummenfelt still came in third. Frodeno won in 3:14:12, West was second in 3:14:40 and Blummenfelt third in 3:14:50.