The German won IRONMAN Israel at the end of last season thanks to a 2:30 marathon and is currently ranked #12 in the world.
Learning from past mistakes
But on Tuesday evening he posted on Instagram: “Unfortunately and with big disappointment, I have to announce that I won’t be able to race PTO European Open in Ibiza this weekend due to sickness.
“I have been battling with sinusitis and a persistent cough since Thursday last week, which has left me unable to prepare for the race. Since there is no hope to get healthy until Saturday, me and my team have decided to withdraw from the race.
“As disappointing as it is, I’ve learned from my past mistakes – particularly my DNF in Kona 2019 – that health comes first. I won’t make the same mistake twice.
“I’m focusing on getting back to being healthy as quickly as possible and wishing all athletes who are competing a great race. I’ll be cheering you on from the TV!”
Lange’s absence is clearly a blow but stellar fields for both the men’s and women’s races are still in prospect.
All the men’s Olympic champions since 2008 – Jan Frodeno, Alistair Brownlee and PTO #1-ranked Kristian Blummenfelt – are on the start list while in the women’s nine of the top 10 in the world line up.