The two winners of the last five Ironman World Championship races, Jan Frodeno and Patrick Lange, will be racing at Challenge Gran Canaria tomorrow, which has prompted Challenge Family to organize live coverage of the event.
Frodeno arrives as pre-race favourite
After a sizzling display of fitness at Challenge Miami last month, Frodeno, the defending Ironman world champion and course record holder, will start the race as the prohibitive men’s favourite. That will only fire up two-time Kona champ Patrick Lange. The two Germans will both have to be on their games, though, if either is to take the win, as the men’s field is full of potential winners. Belgium’s Pieter Heemeryck is the men’s defending champion, while Spain’s Pablo Dapena is a former ITU long-distance world champion who will also be one to watch. The list of top athletes continues – others to watch for include Great Britain’s Adam Bowden, Germans Andi Boecherer, Frederic Funk, Nils Frommhold and Michael Raelert, Aussie Nick Kastelein and France’s Romain Guillaume.
Spirig the woman to beat
In 2012 and 2016 Nicola Spirig used half-distance races to prepare herself for the Olympics, winning all of her longer-distance efforts as she prepared for her gold- and silver-medal performances. Look for more of the same tomorrow as the Swiss star prepares for another Olympic go in Tokyo this summer. Sweden’s Lisa Norden is hopefully over the running injury that forced her out of the race at Challenge Daytona last December – if she is she could certainly push the Olympic champ to the limits again. (Norden was second to Spirig in a photo-finish in London.) Other women to watch include Great Britain’s Katrina Matthews, Spain’s Judith Corachan Vaquera and Sara Perez Sala, Denmark’s Maja Stage Nielsen and Belgium’s Alexandra Tondeur.