Strong Pro Field To Race Ironman Frankfurt

This weekend’s Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt will feature the strongest pro lineup we’ve seen since Kona.

This weekend’s Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt will feature the strongest pro lineup we’ve seen since Kona.

The Course

Located in Germany’s fifth-largest city of Frankfurt, the European Championship boasts a course that’s loaded with historical charm and crowded with thousands of spectators. Athletes start with a 2.4-mile swim in the quiet waters of the Langener Waldsee, with water temperatures between 71 and 75 degrees F. The two-loop, 112-mile bike course heads straight through the heart of Frankfurt and then into the surrounding hills. The 26.2-mile run is flat and fast with four loops, which are crowded with thousands of spectators. The finish line is in the impressive and historical Römerberg in the heart of the city.

The race is extremely competitive because, as a regional championship race, it features a big pro prize purse ($125,000 which pays eight deep on both the men’s and women’s side) and big KPR points (a P-4000 race).

RELATED PHOTOS: 2013 Ironman European Championship

The Men’s Pro Race:

The men’s race features a strong lineup of European contenders, highlighted by reigning Ironman world champion Frederik Van Lierde of Belgium. So far this season, Van Lierde has a fourth-place Abu Dhabi finish and a fourth-place 70.3 Pays d’Aix finish, which both may be indicators that he’s saving his big performances for the championship season this fall. As a recent Kona champ, all Van Lierde needs is a finish in Frankfurt to get on the start line in Hawaii, so he may not be looking for the win. His top competition will come from German Sebastian Kienle, who was third in Kona and is a two-time (and defending) Ironman 70.3 world champ. He finished 10th at the Ironman 70.3 U.S. Championship in St. George, Utah, but the home crowd may spur him on to a higher finish in Frankfurt, even though he currently leads the KPR and only needs a finish to validate his Kona start. Two other top German competitors are multiple Kona podium finisher Andreas Raelert, who DNFed in Kona in October, and is sitting in 141st position in the KPR, so will need a top finish to start in Hawaii; and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Jan Frodeno, who, after a few impressive 70.3 wins will be making his Ironman debut in front of a home crowd. Also look for other competitors like German Jan Raphael, last year’s runner-up; Dutchman Bas Diederen, who was third last year; and Swiss veteran Ronnie Schildknecht to vie for podium finishes.

Pro Men’s Start List:
Frederik Van Lierde (BEL)
Jan Raphael (GER)
Sebastian Kienle (GER)
Jan Frodeno (GER)
Andreas Raelert (GER)
Johann Ackermann (GER)
Clemente Alonso-McKernan (ESP)
Miquel Blanchart Tinto (ESP)
Denis Chevrot (FRA)
Hannes Cool (BEL)
Kurt Debouck (BEL)
Alessandro Degasperi (ITA)
Martijn Dekker (NED)
Marc Dülsen (GER)
Iván Gómez (ESP)
Yeunsik Ham (KOR)
Ivan Jezko (SVK)
Jens Kaiser (GER)
Ludovic Le Guellec (FRA)
Carlos López (ESP)
Michael Louys (BEL)
Brendan Naef (CAN)
Mark Oude Bennink (NED)
Stefano Paoli (ITA)
Jens Petersen-Bach (DEN)
David Plese (SLO)
Lukáš Polan (CZE)
Alfred Rahm (GER)
Evert Scheltinga (NED)
Hendrik-Jan Verhaegen (BEL)
Damien With (FRA)
Marek Nemcik (SVK)
Benjamin Sanson (FRA)
Bas Diederen (NED)
Ronnie Schildknecht (SUI)

The Pro Women’s Race

The women’s field is wide open, with multiple women having a good shot at taking the title. After a life-threatening bike crash last fall, Danish pro Camilla Pedersen, will be racing her first full Ironman since the crash to defend her Ironman Frankfurt title. She seems to be in top form—she’s won all five races she’s raced this year, including a few Ironman 70.3’s. Her top competition will come from former Ironman 70.3 world champion Jodie Swallow of Great Britain, who was the runner-up on this course last year and, under coach Siri Lindley, has put together a string of podium finishes this season. The original Swiss Miss Natascha Badmann and Brit Corinne Abraham both need KPR points in order to make it into the top 35 women (currently in 59th and 93rd, respectively). Top American athletes Mary Beth Ellis and Caitlin Snow, neither of whom is hurting for KPR points, could certainly have top finishes. Also look for German Kristin Möller, last year’s third-place finisher, and Kiwi Gina Crawford to compete for a podium spot.

Pro Women’s Start List:
Camilla Pedersen (DEN)
Jodie Swallow (GBR)
Sonja Tajsich (GER)
Natascha Badmann (SUI)
Gina Crawford (NZL)
Natascha Schmitt (GER)
Corinne Abraham (GBR)
Simone Brändli (SUI)
Line Foss (NOR)
Astrid Ganzow (GER)
Katharina Grohmann (GER)
Helena Herrero Gomez (ESP)
Mareen Hufe (GER)
Katja Konschak (GER)
Camilla Lindholm (SWE)
Annabel Luxford (AUS)
Liz Lyles (USA)
Amy Marsh (USA)
Yasuko Miyazaki (JPN)
Jenny Schulz (GER)
Verena Walter (GER)
Nicole Woysch (GER)
Eva Wutti (AUT)
Lucie Zelenkova Reed (CZE)
Kristin Möller (GER)
Mary Beth Ellis (USA)
Caitlin Snow (USA)
Stefanie Adam (BEL)