There was talk of an Ironman record and potentially the overall Iron-distance world best falling at Ironman Austria today; however, it wasn’t to be for world champion Jan Frodeno, who still went sub-8hrs and was streaks ahead of the chasing group despite only having resumed full training two weeks ago due to a virus.

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Frodeno’s own Iron-distance world record stands at 7:35:39 set at Challenge Roth, and Tim Don’s record at an Iron-branded event is 7:40:23; and although Frodeno’s 7:57:20 was way wide of the mark, he cited his hampered preparations as a reason for re-evaluating goals for this race, saying in an interview with Triathlon World that even a course record (Marino Vanhoenacker’s 7:45:58 set in 2011) was “very unlikely”.

Men’s race

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The race kicked off at 6:40am local time in the crystal clear waters of Klagenfurt lake, with Frodeno the marked man. Other prominent triathletes on the start line were Iván Raña (ESP), Antony Costes (FRA) Michael Weiss (AUT) and Eneko Llanos (ESP). No British male pros were competing.  

Frodeno was first out of the water in a time of 46:29, which was to be expected but his 1:55 gap on fellow former ITU pro Raña made for an even more impressive split. The trailing pack emerged from the water 4mins back from Frodeno, with Tim Brydenback of Belgium leading Costes and Llanos out after 50mins of swimming.

On the bike Frodo continued to assert his dominance and extended the lead after every single checkpoint. The gap grew from 5mins at the 25km mark to a whopping 13min advantage by the end of the 180km bike leg, with the German pacing the two-lap course perfectly evenly for a split of 4:19:45.