Shocking Frodeno update: Kona dream over and into last phase of career

Jan Frodeno has announced he’s out of the IRONMAN World Championship this season – and 2023 will be his last year in the sport at a competitive level.

The dramatic news broke on Friday evening in an Instagram post after what has been a hugely frustrating spell for the three-time Kona winner.

It means we’ll never see the German take on current IRONMAN World Champion Kristian Blummenfelt or reigning 70.3 World Champion Gustav Iden at Kona, with the two Norwegians focussing on the Paris 2024 Olympics from next year onwards.

Soon to turn 41, the modern-day GOAT of the sport returned to action for the first time this year at Challenge Roth following a partial tear of the Achilles.

He led into T2 but withdrew early on the run and, updating on what had happened since then, he revealed a subsequent bike crash has had a pivotal impact.

The two key updates were:

  • “Of course this puts an end to my Kona dream for 2022.”
  • “It’s given me a stop to what has been a very, very tricky few months and a chance to reset, restart and plan for what will be I think my final 14 months in the sport.”
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Moving onto the next phase

Here’s that statement in full:

“I came down on the bike, I crashed a few weeks ago. Bike crashes are a part of being on the bike I guess – if you spend enough time there. But this one after a while turned bad. It’s always tricky trying to heal a wound and maintain a training load of around 35 hours / week, but unfortunately it turned into a critical point and my surgeon here, Caspar in Germany, decided that all the indications and the scans showed enough reason to open up and sure enough, the tissue around the trochanter, my hip region, had gotten infected.

Jan Frodeno Zwift Tri Battle Royale 2021
Photo Credit: Joern Pollex

“Morel-LavallĂ©e is the syndrome that basically caused everything to go bad. It’s not the first time I’ve had it, but of course it’s the first time that it has gotten infected and required surgery. It’s a bit of a tricky one as it requires between two and five surgeries because you open it up, clean it up and then go step-by-step. I had my first surgery on Thursday and so far everything is going well.

“Of course this puts an end to my Kona dream for 2022 and it’s given me a stop to what has been a very, very tricky few months and a chance to reset, restart and plan for what will be I think my final 14 months in the sport. I’m very much still burning, still passionate, still loving it to much and I don’t think I’m the next old guy who can’t find the step to jump off.

“I actually still truly love the game, and Roth has shown me that my performance can still be up there and I’d like to do it in a nice way. I’d like to train, I’d like to stand there at full potential and there’s just been too many rocks in the road. I’m going to take some time off, recover properly from this, see how the surgeries go and then come an recharge with and around my family and get settled in to the new home we have in Andorra. There’s a lot of things going on, a lot of things I’m looking forward to exploring and the final chapter in the sporting career is the positive that I take from this.

“But right now it’s time to push pause, reset and start again. I look forward to seeing many of you along the way.

“All the best from, believe it or not, sunny old Germany. See you soon, Frodo.”

Jonathan Turner
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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.