This is a preview of IRONMAN 70.3 Kraichgau 2022 – you can read our full race reports on how their were impressive home wins for Laura Philipp and Justus Nieschlag.
Having already previewed Challenge St. Pölten, there is a second middle distance option to watch live on Sunday, courtesy of IRONMAN 70.3 Kraichgau in Germany.
The race will see the welcome return of Laura Philipp, and the interesting prospect of seeing how one of the stars of the Arena Games Triathlon Series performs over close to four hours, rather than nearer to 10 minutes of racing.
Start time and how to watch live
IRONMAN 70.3 Kraichgau takes place on Sunday 29 May 2022.
The race will start at 0830 local time (CET) for the Pro Men, with Pro Women starting five minutes later. That corresponds to 0730 in the UK and 0230 Eastern.
The race will be shown live, with the event the latest of 11 IRONMAN 70.3 events to be broadcast in 2022 in a new partnership with Outside TV. You will be able to watch for free via web, mobile or connected TV app.
As always, the ever reliable IRONMAN Tracker is the perfect data addition to support your viewing. If you haven’t got it on your phone already, where have you been?!
After the success of Gustav Iden’s return to racing on Sunday, can Laura Philipp similarly bounce back from the disappointment of not starting in St George, inspired by home support?
After reporting earlier this week that she was going to be taking it ‘slowly but surely‘, she posted this week on Instagram that, “After some promising training sessions, I decided to jump into the deep end on Sunday and test how much form is left after the covid break.”
Laura knows the Kraichgau event well – winning in both 2017 and 2018 – and despite her issues over recent weeks, with the knowledge that Team Philipp are unlikely to take any unnecessary risks to rush back, she will of course start as race favourite.
IRONMAN 70.3 Marbella winner, Nikki Bartlett (GBR), is on the start list won’t be racing as she is now preparing for IRONMAN Frankfurt in late June.
2018 Challenge Roth winner, Daniela Bleymehl (GER), makes a swift turnaround after seventh this past weekend at The Championship, while Philipp will have hep sports team mate, Anne Reischmann (third this past weekend in France), also on the course.
It’s difficult to forecast anything other than a clear win for Laura Philipp here though.
While some illness and a flat tyre ultimately ended his day at The Championship, it should also mean that Frederic Funk is fresh and raring to go this coming weekend. One of the strongest riders around, he will be looking to take the lead on a bike course in the “land of a thousand hills” region. Probably with a new valve in that tyre…!
An interesting and familiar name – in a very different format of racing – is Justus Nieschlag. The ‘Mr Podium’ of Arena Games Triathlon racing, he’s not completely new to this format either, having finished second to Rudy Von Berg at the Skoda TriGames Mandelieu in 2020. He certainly has the all around skillset to have a longer term future in this format.
“It’s been some time since my last middle distance race in Mandelieu, France. I’m really up for the race in Kraichgau to see how I do on the 70.3 distance in the strong starting field. My goal is clearly to attack the front and to race for the victory. I am well prepared, so man and material are ready!”
The race will unfortunately be missing Mika Noodt, as we reported earlier this week, who would definitely have been a top podium contender, but will have some swim strength – which will likely be welcomed by Nieschlag, courtesy of Florin Salvisberg (SUI), who was recently third at Challenge Riccione.
Who will win? You would have to think that Justus Nieschlag will gain time (60 seconds, perhaps) over Frederic Funk in the water. Funk is one of the best riders in the sport – but as we’ve seen in Arena Games and World Triathlon events, Justus has plenty of power in his arsenal, even if the format of racing / style of bike is not his norm.
A lumpy course and a field which looks as though it will break up on the bike, I’d have to give the edge to Frederic to reach T2 first, given his format-specific experience. He destroyed the field at Challenge Walchsee on the bike, the European Championship in 2021 for example.
Currently #26 in the PTO Rankings – and a middle distance specialist – I’d have to go with Funk to bring it home, but I think that the motivation that Nieschlag will have gained from his early season exploits, could make things very interesting. On paper at least, he seems to have many of the tools which could make him a stronger performer in this format, should he choose to stick around.
You can click here for the full start list.
Prize Money: What’s on the line?
The prize purse on offer this weekend is $30,000 – with each of the winners collecting a $4,000 share of that total.
In addition to money, there will be a total of six qualifying slots (three MPRO / three FPRO) for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in St George, October 28-29 2022.
The total funds will be paid eight-deep, as follows:
Of course, thanks to the formation of the Professional Triathletes Organisation, financial rewards from performance are not solely from on-the-day performances.
The PTO World Rankings will see a total of $2million awarded at the end of 2022, based up on the final standings in those points tables. The rewards there can be substantial, with a move up or down the rankings system potentially earning you more than any individual event.