‘Vikings are on fire’: Runner-up Lange hails Ditlev’s Roth display

German star underlines return from injury with record-breaking run to claim second place at Challenge Roth

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Much of the talk after a dramatic Challenge Roth centred around the withdrawal early on the run of Jan Frodeno in what was his first race of an injury-blighted 2022.

The modern day GOAT had been going toe-to-toe with eventual winner Magnus Ditlev at the head of the race before his unfortunate exit.

But gracefully powering through the field and into the runner-up spot thanks to a new record marathon time at Roth of 2:35:10 was another legendary German, who also ticked the boxes of multiple IRONMAN World Championship winner and defending Challenge Roth champion.

Unfortunately Patrick Lange also had another thing in common with Frodeno too – battling back from injury, after a bike crash earlier in the year saw him undergo surgery on his shoulder.

Digging deep

Thankfully he was able to make it to the finish line and in some style too, which bodes well for the rest of his 2022 campaign.

DATEV Challenge Roth 2022 - Patrick Lange finish line
[Photo Credit: Lars Pamler / Challenge Roth]

Talking to Belinda Granger afterwards on the race’s live broadcast he admitted: “It was a tough day from the start and I had to give it everything. I don’t think I have ever had to dig so deep.

“In the swim I was a little bit cold and got tight hip flexors. The first hour on the bike I pushed more watts than I normally would but was still losing time to the front group.

“I’ve had no racing experience this year because of the shoulder injury so it was hard to know what to expect and I think what was missing was the toughness from the races and right now I can’t move my arm over 90 degrees, which shows how tight the schedule was.

“But we had this plan and even if I was isolated I just stuck to it and did whatever I could – and I made sure I gave any thoughts of giving up no space, but instead just kept pushing.”

‘The Vikings are all on fire’

It was on the run that Lange cut through the field but there was no getting to impressive winner Ditlev, who finished nine minutes ahead of him.

And Lange was full of praise for the 24-year-old Dane’s performance, putting it very much in the same bracket as those we’ve seen in the last 12 months from fellow Scandinavian and current IRONMAN World Champion Kristian Blummenfelt.

Lange said: “Nobody in the world would have beaten Magnus today. This is really the most insane performance in triathlon I have ever seen.

“He is definitely the big guy for the future. He’s super smart – he’s almost like a scientist, but I love that. The Vikings are all on fire!”

Jonathan Turner
Article by
Jonathan is Editorial Director for TRI247 and RUN247. He was previously Head of Digital / Comms for pro cycling's Team Sky and now spends as much time as he can running with his local club. Swimming is not yet on the radar.
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