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The Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series is entering crunch time, as Germany’s Jan Frodeno and Javier Gomez (ESP) duel for the title with just two rounds of the seven-race Series remaining.
After a sub-par 2009, Frodeno has enjoyed a highly successful 2010 season, scoring a win in Seoul, Korea and three top-six showings. The 2008 Beijing Olympic Champion leads the series with 2767 points, 195 ahead of Gomez. However, with races in Kitzbühel, Austria on August 14 and the Series Grand Final in Budapest, Hungary on September 11 still to go, he will have to work hard to stay ahead of Gomez, the 2008 ITU World Champion.
“This season was all about regaining focus and finding the track to success,” says Frodeno. “Not on a day-to-day basis, but consistently over a whole season. I’ve been really busy since London. My coach, Roland, has really put me through the paces and we figured we had to refresh my base training. I’ve put in a lot of hours!”
Gomez, the 27-year-old Spaniard, started the year with a nagging hip injury, which caused him to miss the opening race in Sydney. He has steadily improved winning the previous two Series races in Hamburg and London and has jumped up the Series rankings.
The two superstars have different styles of triathlon racing. Frodeno’s fast finishing sprint have helped him to victory on numerous occasions, while Gomez prefers to distance his rivals much earlier on the run sections.
“Javier has changed the sport in many ways,” says Frodeno. “As a competitor you just have to like the guy. He’s always friendly and a super tough racer who deserves a lot of respect.”
With the Austrian round of the series fast approaching and the Grand Final in Budapest four weeks later, how does Frodeno see the season playing out?
“My focus clearly lies on Budapest, but I believe that every athlete should race every race of the Series to provide full transparency for spectators,” he says. “This is one of my main reasons for going to Kitzbühel. In saying that, I won’t hold back either!”
Also in the running for the title of 2010 ITU World Champion is Russian youngster Alexander Brukhankov, who currently sits third, less than 200 points back of Gomez. Aussie Brad Kahlefeldt and Germany’s Steffen Justus are currently fourth and fifth, respectively.
Live coverage from this weekend’s event in Kitzbühel will be available on triathlon.org/tv. The men’s race kicks off at 2pm local time on Saturday with the women to follow at 2pm on Sunday.
Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series Rankings
1 Jan Frodeno (GER) 2767
2 Javier Gomez (ESP) 2572
3 Alexander Brukhankov (RUS) 2388
4. Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS) 2136
5. Steffen Justus (GER) 2112
Provided by ITU.