Joe Skipper has yet to meet Kristian Blummenfelt in person – but that will come soon enough with the British star stepping in for a Sub7 glory bid in Germany on Sunday.
Skipper replaces the injured Alistair Brownlee for the ground-breaking showdown near Dresden, in the process rekindling a war of words with the Norwegian Olympic Champion.
The banter between the pair was a fun subplot to the start of the 2022 season with Skipper saying people should not get caught up with the ‘Norwegian Hype Train’ – led by Blummenfelt and compatriot Gustav Iden.
Blummenfelt of course fired back and we had a rivalry. Now, at last that rivalry will play out on an actual racetrack. Skipper of course missed out on the chance to take on Blu at the IRONMAN World Championship in St George after being laid low by COVID.
Skipper a secret agent?
While the pair have yet to meet face to face, Joe has spoke to Kristian – and may already have some inside intel on the newly-crowned full-distance king.
He said: “I don’t actually think I’ve met him in person, [I] spoke to him on the phone because my mate was training with him the other day, just by chance.
“We were talking to him in the car and I think he thinks now that we’ve kind of gone undercover and been stealing his secrets, because he was telling us some of the plans for the team, having a bit of a chat.
“And then next thing you know I end up turning up and end up racing against him.
“And he’s probably thinking ‘the little snake, he’s been talking to me getting all the plans and he’s tricked me’, because my friend met him while he was in Amsterdam training with his pacemakers. But it’s just how things turned out.”
Blu taking Skipper tips
Skipper will definitely inject some humour into this week’s proceedings as well as fresh spice into Sunday’s race. He reckons Big Blu already listens to his podcast for tri tips!
“I’ll see him when he gets here, it’s be good to see him face to face. He actually listens to a podcast that we do, so we’ve been helping him out with lots of tips.
“I gave him some tips to help him win the Olympics and St. George so he owes me a thank you for that.”