Season over: Cold puts paid to Frodeno IM South Africa bid

Jan Frodeno says his 2021 season is over after a cold put paid to his hopes of racing at IRONMAN South Africa later this month.

The German superstar had settled on Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth on November 21 as his backup plan after the cancellation of IRONMAN California last month.

Frodeno had been lined up to take on IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Gustav Iden in Sacramento as the Norwegian made his eagerly-awaited full-distance debut. But a ‘bomb cyclone’ in the area caused the race to be called off just an hour before the scheduled start.

Iden and Lionel Sanders – who had also been set to take part in Sacramento – moved on to IRONMAN Florida, which takes place on Saturday at Panama City Beach.

Frodeno though needed to return to Europe for the SGRAIL100 race he staged in his European base of Girona last weekend. So instead South Africa became the new focus as he sought to fit in one more full-distance race in 2021.

Frodeno sad to miss IM SA

It was not to be though, as a lingering cold has left him less than 100 percent, and as a result having to call time on his season.

Speaking in an Instagram video, he said: “What a couple of weeks it has been. Sacramento, the lead-up, picking up a cold somewhere Stateside. And then sort of getting a little bit better, making my way back into training.

“But unfortunately I got struck down by a cold and I’m still not 100 per cent. I’ve decided to call it quits on the season. A little bit sad not to make it to South Africa – I really did want to have a crack at a good race there.

“But that’s the way sport sometimes works. It’s time for an off-season for me, family time. And then getting into the season of 2022, two World Championships, really looking forward to it.”

The unbeaten run goes on

Frodeno’s year, despite the frustration of Sacramento, was (again) a perfect one from a results perspective. He remains unbeaten in any race since 2017.

He started with wins at Challenge Miami and Challenge Gran Canaria in March and April, before setting the fastest ironman time ever (7:27:53) in his Tri Battle Royal vs Sanders in Germany in July.

What turned out to be Frodeno’s final race of the year came at the inaugural Collins Cup, when he set the fastest time of the day in defeating the two Sams – Appleton and Long.

Now the German’s attention will turn to defending his IRONMAN World Championship title in St George in May 2022, followed we hope by that return to Kona in October.

Olly Green
Written by
Olly Green
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