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Jan Frodeno dominates again, glorious win Challenge Gran Canaria: ‘I was suffering hard’

On a sunny and pretty hot Gran Canaria, Jan Frodeno showed once again – after his stunning victory at CHALLENGEMIAMI – that he is the best athlete of this generation. The German World Champion was in the leading group of ANFI CHALLENGEMOGAN-GRANCANARIA for a long time during the swim and bike, but made the difference during the run. He did this with overwhelming force and so his victory was never in danger. He won the race after 3:41:21hr. In the end, the silver and bronze went to Pablo Gonzalez Dapena (+1:09) and Nick Kastelein (+1:21).

While the men largely stayed together during the swim, it was Swiss Andrea Salvisberg who was first entering the transition area: he came back from the water after 21:43 minutes and was followed by French Sam Laidlow, German favorite Jan Frodeno, Australian Nick Kastelein, Belgian Pieter Heemeryck and Spanish Pablo Dapena Gonzalez, among others. The only two favorites who were slightly further behind were Patrick Lange (+46) and Frederic Funk (+1:03).

On the bike, it was initially Jan Frodeno, Pieter Heemeryck and Sam Laidlow who broke away as three, but Giulio Molinari and also local favorite Pablo Dapena Gonzalez soon caught them. After twelve kilometers, a leading group of five athletes thus emerged. Not much later, Italy’s Mattia Ceccarelli also joined the leaders, while Laidlow unfortunately got involved by a crash and lost the leading group.

Meanwhile, the five leaders actually stayed together throughout the bike, each time in a different order. For a moment it seemed that this was not entirely to Frodeno’s liking, as the World Champion briefly angered himself while biking and shouted that he could not get away from his competitors. In the last kilometers some chasers, including Andi Böcherer, Patrick Lange and Nils Frommhold, came even closer and so actually all the favorites started the half marathon almost simultaneously.

After four kilometers of running, it was immediately clear that Frodeno had no desire to wait any longer and try to run away from everyone. At that point he already had a one-minute lead on first pursuer Gonzalez Dapena. Böcherer followed fourteen seconds behind while Molinari, Lange, Kastelein and Heemeryck were very close to him. Not much later Lange and Kastelein would advance to a shared fourth place, running side by side, making up time on Gonzalez Dapena. The rest of the athletes had to leave a bigger gap from this point.

With eight kilometers to go, Frodeno was of course still in the lead, but it was Patrick Lange who was maybe even more on fire. He was closing in some seconds on Frodeno and, perhaps more importantly, ran away from Dapena Gonzalez and Kastelein, who were running shortly behind Lange in third and fourth place.

During the last part of the run, however, things suddenly changed. Frodeno went straight to victory, but Lange lost his momentum while Gonzalez Dapena just managed to accelerate. The Spanish top athlete ran back to second place and did not relinquish it until the finish line. 1:09 minute after Frodeno, Gonzalez Dapena took the silver. Eleven seconds behind him, Kastelein took the bronze.

Final standings:

Jan Frodeno                            3:41:21

Pablo Gonzalez Dapena        3:42:30

Nick Kastelein                        3:42:42

Patrick Lange                          3:43:05

Andi Böcherer                         3:45:36

Albert Moreno Molins           3:46:57