The curtain is about to fall on a glorious triathlon career for Jan Frodeno as he prepares for ‘the second last dance’ at Friday’s PTO Tour US Open in Milwaukee. The blue carpet is literally in sight.
The German great will turn 42 later this month, and it appears he will have just two more races before ending a career which has brought him Olympic gold, IRONMAN World Championship glory and 70.3 World Championship glory.
After Milwaukee comes ‘THE last dance’, in Nice on September 10 when Frodeno will bid to claim a fourth IRONMAN World Championship title. After that, retirement beckons for this all-time great of the sport, having already revealed in August 2022 that he would quit as a pro at the end of this season.
As he prepared to jet off to Milwaukee for Friday’s showdown with Kristian Blummenfelt, Magnus Ditlev et al, Frodeno spoke of the journey he has been on, and remembered how it all started.
Frodeno reflects on amazing journey
Writing in a heartfelt Instagram post, he said: “What a journey it’s been. My first ever training camp with the German national team was @clublasanta in early 2002. I had no clue and just emptied my tank at pretty much every session, trying to keep up with the big guys – Daniel Unger, Andreas Raelert, Maik Petzold, Steffen Justus, Sebastian Dehmer just to name a few.
“21 years later I find myself on my last training camp, in the same spot, trying to chase @bsweiss_tri up the infamous Tabayesco climb. Finally made it to our flight – Milwaukee bound for the second last dance.”
A fairytale Frodeno ending?
Frodeno has endured a difficult past 18 months with injuries robbing him of the chance to compete in two IRONMAN World Championships in 2022. But he returned to winning ways at IRONMAN 70.3 Andorra recently, and his major focus will be on that final bid for glory in Nice.
If Frodeno does not change his mind about retirement at the end of 2023, it does of course mean there will be no return for him to the sport’s spiritual home of Kona. The men’s IRONMAN World Championship race will return there in 2024 with men and women now alternating each year between the ‘Big Island’ and Nice.