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Blummenfelt reveals reason for killer US Open cramp as he juggles the grand plan

Kristian Blummenfelt on his race at the PTO Tour US Open.

Staff Reporter
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It happened again to Kristian Blummenfelt as once more he failed to make the top step of the podium at a PTO Tour event – this time the 2023 US Open in Milwaukee on Friday.

Having come into the race as one of the big favourites, after previous second place finishes in Edmonton and Ibiza, PTO World #1 Blummenfelt agonisingly missed out again to finish third behind Jan Frodeno and Jason West.

Coming off second best in his highly-anticipated battle with Frodeno, a dejected Blummenfelt found some positives in his post-race interview, having rallied in the dying stages to salvage a podium after suffering cramp.

Blummenfelt lost it on the bike

Dismounting the bike gingerly in transition, it was clear something was not right with Blummenfelt’s left leg, as he cramped in T2 before again pulling up for over a minute after he had reeled third-place Magnus Ditlev back in on the second lap.

“I lost it there on the last 20km of the bike, where I started to get some cramps on the bike and even in transition, just putting on the shoes and getting off the bike.

“I guess I need more time, because it is a balance between riding on the TT bike and the road bike and I guess I haven’t put in enough time to ride at this intensity in the aero position and maybe I will have to look a little on the position too, as it is the bike and not the run that I am struggling a little with the cramps.

“First, I just tried to catch Magnus and just as I was catching him, that is when I had to stop again and squeeze off the cramping and jog for maybe 5km. Suddenly I saw Magnus struggling well, and that gave me the motivation to chase the podium again.

“It was annoying, obviously, but I am pleased again to be able to get back into it after cramping and finish off strong, but losing the battle to Jan stings.” 

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‘Big Blu’ thought he had it won

Never one to shy away from telling it straight, Blummenfelt admitted he was confident he had it in the bag at one stage, before things started to unravel over the final stages of the bike and on to the run.

“I thought, especially around 60km on the bike, when I was waiting for Magnus to go, I was counting down the distance to T2 and I thought I had this in my pocket, but obviously it slipped out.”

Having looked like he was going to finish off the podium at one point in the run as he was labouring, the Olympic Gold medalist rallied when he was passed by West and kept in-step with the fastest runner on the course over the final 5km before losing a sprint for the line.

“I saw Jason coming past at 2:55/km and just tried to stay with him for as long as possible and risk it, because if the cramp came back again I would have just had to struggle through it.

“I think it is important, when things don’t go your way, to get the best out of a situation and when I am off the podium, my target is to always get back on the podium. I knew Jan was too far gone up front, so I didn’t think I could catch him, but a podium is better than not a podium.”

Confirming that despite not getting the result he wanted, he will still stick to the programme, Blummenfelt will now turn his attention to the Olympic Test Event in Paris in ten days time.

Jan Frodeno Kristian Blummenfelt PTO Tour US Open 2023 Milwaukee
Jan Frodeno and Kristian Blummenfelt shake hands after the 2023 PTO Tour US Open (Photo – PTO).

“I will still stick to the plan, it’s Paris in 10 days, then another two days to Singapore and then racing in Finland, so a lot of races over the next three weeks. “

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.

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