Daniel Bækkegård relishing ‘stacked start list’ for 70.3 Dubai

Great Dane is ready to defend his title in Dubai

Chief Correspondent
Last updated -

Daniel Bækkegård is relishing the fact he will face a “stacked start list” as he bids to defend his title at IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai on Saturday.

The 25-year-old claimed victory in the Middle East event in 2021, and will face a tough assignment as he looks to hang onto the crown.

Olympic Champion Kristian Blummenfelt heads the opposition while short-course star Marten Van Riel is another fascinating contender to throw into the mix.

“The fact that we have a pretty stacked start list is very nice, because there’s a lot of races on the IRONMAN circuit where the start list is not that deep,” said Bækkegård at Thursday’s press conference.


A real battle awaits

“But here we actually have a real battle for the title. Coming into a season with the two IRONMAN World Championships and a lot of other high-profile races as well, it’s nice to set the tone of how we are hopefully going to change the middle and long distance game.”

Kristian Blummenfelt and Daniel Baekkegard at the IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai 2022 Press Conference
Photo Credit: IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai

Another thing Daniel is looking forward to on Saturday is once again enjoying the challenge provided by the course in Dubai.

“The fact that you have to keep the pedal to the metal here for the whole 90km in another ball game compared to other courses.

“Normally we have more challenging courses when it comes to cornering, technical stuff or climbing… but here were have to be as aero as possible for one hour and 50, and that can do some damage for the run, that’s for sure.”


Pressure? What pressure

Saturday will be the first time that Daniel has returned to a race as defending champion, so will that bring added pressure?

“Not necessarily pressure. As Kristian said we are all here to test the form going into St George so I would more put it like it is a process towards performing on a high level in May. Obviously you want to start out performing great here in Dubai.

“I think it’s the first time I’m coming back as defending champion at a race and it’s a new thing you have to learn how to cope with, but especially having some of the ITU guys and Kristian here, it’s really not something I think about because it’s really just the race you have to take care of.”

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.


In episode 1 of our new SBRX Show we sit down with ultra runners and coaches Kim and Jayson Cavill to get their take on the Barkley Marathons and triathlon & trail running gear reviews, training tips and more
Discover more
sumarpo triathlon swimming wetsuit
Sumarpo Vanguard triathlon and swimming wetsuit review – Can it challenge the mainstream tri wetsuit brands?
sea swimming sumarpo triathlon wetsuit
How to get faster at open water swimming – triathlon swim training tips to up your race pace
Challenge St. Pölten 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade
Best middle distance triathlon bike courses – from the fastest courses to the most epic scenery
TRI-FIT RAPID-X goggles black
TRI-FIT RAPID-X swimming goggles review – A contender for the best swim goggles for pool and open water?
Challenge St. Pölten 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade
Five reasons to race Challenge St. Pölten – kickstart your race season with this scenic middle distance triathlon
latest News
Kristian Blummenfelt Paris Test Event [Photo credit: World Triathlon / Wagner Araujo]
Kristian Blummenfelt admits he was “expecting more” from WTCS Yokohama
Gwen Jorgensen reflective World Triathlon Cup Vina del Mer 2023
Gwen Jorgensen shares thoughts after missing out on automatic Olympic selection at WTCS Yokohama
Jonny Brownlee WTCS Yokohama 2023 run
More questions than answers as Britain’s Olympic triathlon puzzle heads for Cagliari conclusion
Dorian Coninx Paris Test Event 2023 [Photo credit: World Triathlon / Tommy Zaferes]
Triathlon World Champion’s Olympic hopes hang in the balance after WTCS Yokohama bike crash
Men's podium at the 2023 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships
The Championship: Our analysis and predictions for the professional races in Šamorín
triathlon on your terms
Never miss out with our triathlon alerts & digest. Get a dose of adventure & inspiration with Boundless.
Invalid email address
The SBRX Group

Proudly elevating endurance sports through content, products & services

Share to...