Goosebumps for Jan Frodeno … race with Kristian Blummenfelt is on in Ibiza
Olympic champions highlight field for PTO European OpenPhoto by: Kevin Mackinnon
The announcement served more as a confirmation than news – surprise of all surprises, Jan Frodeno and Alistair Brownlee have been given wild card entries to the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) European Open in Ibiza. That means that every male Olympic champion since 2008 will be in the race as Tokyo champ Kristian Blummenfelt is set to compete.
While Kona champ Gustav Iden won’t be in the race, triathlon fans will finally get the chance to see the three-time Kona and 2008 Olympic gold medalist take on the man who has been dominating long-distance racing for the last few years. After taking gold in Tokyo, Blummenfelt blasted to a huge win at Ironman Cozumel.
Blummenfelt blasts to Ironman Cozumel win in Ironman record time (which might not be recognized due to down-current swim)
Blummenfelt then took the win at the Ironman World Championship in St. George last May, becoming the first man to hold the Olympic and Ironman world title at the same time. Triathlon fans were hopeful that we’d see the Norwegian and German stars compete in Kona last year, but Frodeno had to pull out of that race after a bike crash that required surgery on his hip.
Frodeno posted that he has “goosebumps” anticipating the race against Blummenfelt.
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If Alistair Brownlee, the Olympic champ from 2012 and 2016, is healthy, he could steal the show in Ibiza. Last year the Brit charged to the front of the race at the PTO Canadian Open and looked to be set to compete for the win as he started the run, only to be sidelined by stomach cramps. Brownlee has struggled to remain healthy after hip issues sidelined him last year for the Sub8 Project. He also had to pull out of Ironman South Africa earlier this year due to a “slightly sore hip.”
Wurf and Nieschlag added to list
Australian pro cyclist Cam Wurf, fresh off an impressive brick workout that included the famed Paris Roubaix cycling race followed by a half-marathon run, will also compete at the race.
Paris Roubaix was just the first half of Cam Wurf’s day on Sunday
German Olympian Justus Nieschlag, the winner of Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote, is the fourth wildcard athlete announced on the men’s side.
We had a look at the rest of the men’s field yesterday.
Women’s wildcard selections
New Zealand’s Amelia Watkinson leads the way on the women’s wildcard front – she’s enjoyed a great few years with podium finishes in all of her races. Denmark’s Sif Madsen, fresh off a runner-up finish at Clash Miami, Germany’s Anne Reischmann and The Netherlands’ Els Visser (the Ironman New Zealand champion) will also be added to the women’s field.
Can Ashleigh Gentle continue her PTO dominance in Ibiza? Is Ryf ready to return to the top?