“I’m almost lost for words, it barely makes sense.”
That was Magnus Ditlev‘s immediate reaction after his emotional rollercoaster of a win at Challenge Roth on Sunday.
The 24-year-old Dane produced a course record bike split of 4:01:56 to join modern-day GOAT Jan Frodeno at the head of the race at T2.
But early on the run Ditlev was left on his own when Frodeno pulled up due to the Achilles injury which has hampered him in 2022.
A 2:40:22 marathon saw Ditlev crowned a worthy winner as he rounded off a superb all-round display in style to win by over nine minutes from former champion Patrick Lange (GER).
‘I was looking forward to a good battle’
And speaking soon after crossing the finish line, Ditlev said: “Everything just went according to plan and it’s very rare that it does that so I’m just so grateful.
“It’s a fantastic event with spectators all over the place and I just got carried all the way through.
“Right from the start you can feel the spectators and you were not alone at any point on the bike. And maybe there were even more spectators on the run, it was just incredible.”
There’s no doubt about the defining image of the race though – the moment Frodeno exited the event around 3km into the run.
“Yeah, that was a bit of a bummer because we were running the same pace and I was looking forward to a good battle,” said a gracious Ditlev of that moment.
“It’s not fun to win that way and it seems he has some problems still which is really a shame because it would have been fun to go head-to-head.”