VA few days ago the triathlon stars Jan Frodeno and Lionel Sanders had a comparatively harmless duel on social media. It was about who makes the better espresso. The decision was made in favor of Frodeno, which was not a surprise, because Frodeno not only runs a trendy café in his adopted home Girona in Catalonia, but also sells high-quality coffee under the Frodissimo label.
In terms of materials, too, he was superior to Sanders in brewing espresso. For the equivalent of the machine with which he celebrates espresso preparation in his café, an Italian beauty named la Marzocco GS3, a first-class time trial machine could easily be financed. The Canadian Sanders had to admit defeat, although his video was ultimately ahead in the humor B grade.
The next duel between the two will have little to do with fun. Frodeno presented a project on Friday that he calls “Tri Battle Royale” and that could make for a veritable spectacle. He announced a duel with Sanders. A duel over the classic long distance. One on one. Only the two of them on July 18th on a cordoned off and precisely measured route in the Allgäu.
A triathlon in-house
Jan Frodeno is never at a loss for spectacular ideas. Corona has not changed anything about that. When the virus paralyzed the international competition calendar in the spring, the triathlon Olympic champion and three-time Hawaii champion moved an Ironman to his home in Girona, Catalonia. In the middle of lockdown, he swam 3.8 kilometers on the spot in a counter-current system, cycled 180 kilometers on the ergometer and finally ran a marathon on the treadmill.
He streamed the action on the Internet and chatted with Boris Becker, Andrea Petkovic, Fabian Cancellara and many others. Using the online platform Zwift, you could accompany him on the bike or while running via laptop. Nine hours without idling, which in the end brought in a quarter of a million euros in donations. Frodeno used the money to support clinics and social projects in Girona.
So now the next coup. An ironman for two. What at first glance looks like a show fight will turn out to be serious business on the track. As is his way, Frodeno will not leave anything to chance in preparation. And Sanders? Well, Sanders is Sanders. An athlete who can only do 100 percent. With less effort and fighting strength, you have never seen him in training or competition.
He had documented his manic love for endurance sport, for triathlon, for years when he basically only left his house for races. Otherwise he trained indoors. Swimming in a countercurrent system in the basement, cycling on the ergometer, running on the belt. As a cranky sports monk and yet a funny and charimatic guy, he fought his way into the hearts of triathlon fans.
His running style has been legendary for years, a kind of pace limping where you always had the impression that the poor man urgently needed a new hip or something like that. Over the years, Sanders has become more environmentally friendly, he also trains outside, his running style has refined, but his irrepressible fighting spirit has remained. Always a step monster on the bike, he has made progress in running. Only swimming remains a weakness at the highest Ironman level.