Triathlon News & Notes: Will Jan and Lionel Finally Face Off, Triathletes at Olympic Swim and Track Trials

A look at some of the buzz we’ve picked up in the sport over the past seven days.

Photo: Courtesy of Zwift

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“Battle Royale” between Jan Frodeno and Lionel Sanders rumored for July 18

Will the Jan Frodeno and Lionel Sanders meet-up really happen? It looks like it. Last week, the two swapped Instagram volleys about a potential throw down prior to Kona. This week, it looks as though plans are gelling for an event in Allgäu, Germany on July 18. Backed by Zwift and coined the Tri Battle Royale, the race is advertised as a head-to-head competition between the two stars over a 2.3-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run throughout the mountains of Bavaria. While both Frodeno and Sanders have continued to exchange messages over various social media channels, some believe this may simply be a publicity stunt. Stay tuned.

Olympic swimming trials pool has ties to triathlon

No doubt, there’s something special about the pool being used this week for the U.S. Olympic swimming trials in Omaha. But not just because it’s the site of some spectacular swimming. The pool actually belongs to V3 Sports, a north Minneapolis-based health and wellness center focused on equity, community, triathlon, and water safety. It was founded by age-group triathlete and youth coach Erika Binger in 2017. In 2019, V3 purchased a 50-meter Myrtha pool that can be emptied, dismantled and moved. After its stint in Omaha, the pool will return to Minneapolis for community members’ use. (Even the scoreboard displaying the winning times in Omaha will hang above.) Binger hopes to use the pool–the first indoor public pool in Minneapolis–as a way to not only promote fitness, but to continue her mission to expose inner-city and underprivileged youths to the benefits of triathlon.

Former pro triathletes to race U.S. track trials this weekend

You may see some familiar names and faces among the distance races during this week’s U.S. track and field Olympic trials. To start, 2016 Olympic gold medalist and 2015 world champion Gwen Jorgensen is entered in the women’s 5000m and 10,000m on a quest to make what could be her third Olympic team. Joining Jorgensen on the line in the 10,000m will be Lauren Hurley (née Goss), a multi-time Ironman 70.3 champ who left triathlon after a doping sanction from a CBD product and then turned to running after giving birth to her first child last summer. Hurley qualified for the event with a 32:17 time late last month. Nell Rojas, who competed as a pro triathlete before focusing on running as of late, is another name in the 10,000m, coming in with a 32:11 qualifying time. And while we haven’t spotted any triathletes among the men’s entries, Ben True, husband of pro Sarah True and soon-to-be father, will be racing the 5,000m and 10,000m events in hopes of  making his first Olympic team.

PodiumRunner has the full details on what and when to watch this week.

Breitling unveils watch available only to Ironman finishers

Forget M-dot tattoos: The latest status symbol among Ironman finishers is a luxe timepiece. Swiss watch company Breitling just released its black and gold Endurance Pro Ironman Finisher watch, an exclusive product available through Ironman and only for those who finish the epic event. Haven’t done an Ironman? You can still sport something similar. Anyone can buy the red and black version of the Endurance Pro Ironman for $3,350.

Chris Nikic nominated for an ESPY

Chris Nikic, the first person with Down Syndrome to complete an Ironman, is among the nominees for an ESPY, the Oscar of the sports world. Nikic is among four nominees for Best Athlete With A Disability, Men’s Sports, along with Paralympian swimmer Evan Austin, world adaptive surfing champion Jesse Billauer, and Para snowboarder Keith Gabel. You can cast your vote here; the ESPYs will be broadcast live on July 10 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Podcast Notes

  • Clarice Lorenzini heads to The Triathlete Hour to share more about her journey to become one of the few Asian-American women to turn pro in triathlon.
  • The Working Triathlete Podcast focuses on the gear you need to level up training and racing.
  • Top-ranked pro Rudy Von Berg is featured on the Yogi Triathlete, where he chats about growing up with an Ironman dad, his career to date, and who the “real Rudy” is.
  • Danish superstar Helle Frederiksen continues to make the podcast rounds on the heels of her book release, this time going to Witsup Women In Triathlon to reflect on the highs and lows of her career and the latest happenings in her life.
  • Who’s Sam Laidlow? Find out in this interview with the Oxygen Addict, where the French long distance star talks about his under-the-radar success and his big plans to win Ironman UK.
  • ProTriNews recaps recent races, talks about the U.S. Olympic triathlon team, and offers a preview of both Ironman 70.3 Des Moines and Challenge Gdansk.
  • Triathlon Taren has an honest and transparent discussion about depression and mental health with pro triathlete Sarah True.
  • The folks at MX Endurance break down the top ten female triathletes of all time with former pro Annie Emmerson.

Jan Frodeno Reflects on His Final Ironman World Championship

Immediately after finishing 24th place at his final Ironman World Championships, the Olympic medalist (and three-time IMWC winner) explains what his race in Nice meant to him.