At the recent Sailfish Night of the Year, Jan Frodeno invited Patrick Lange for a rematch at the Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt and the reigning world champion accepted.
December 14, 2018 | NEWS|
Triathlon fans in Germany are in for a treat during the summer of 2019 as defending world champion Patrick Lange and defending European champion Jan Frodeno will duel once again in Frankfurt.
The Sailfish Night traditionally honors Germany's races and athletes of the year, chosen by the readers of Germany's Triathlon Magazine. In the voting for Triathlete of the Year 2018, Frodeno prevailed with 55.5 percent of the votes, surprisingly well ahead of Patrick Lange (29.6 percent). Frodeno had dominated the 2018 season, but was unable to compete in Kona due to injury, where Lange defended his world title.
"I would come to Frankfurt"
In a video message sent from South Africa, Frodeno said that he wanted to make up for his absence at the gala by racing "significantly more often" in Germany during the 2019 season.
"The guys from Ironman don't know how lucky they are, but if they give me a starting place, I would come to Frankfurt," Frodeno said. "I am hoping to see maybe Patrick and Sebi and a few others there, too."
Host Hartwig Thöne did not hesitate to take the opportunity to find the world champion. Giving Lange the microphone, he thanked all those who had voted for him and accepted the challenge. Philipp Seipp, Sebastian Kienle's new coach, did not rule out the possibility that Kienle would race, too.
Frodeno enters the 18th edition of Ironman Frankfurt as defending champion after winning the 17th edition of the race in 8:00:58, ahead of Sweden's Patrik Nilsson and local hero Lange.
During Triathlon Magazine's live show from Kona in October, Frodeno had indicated that he'd hoped the 2018 season would be the last of his successful career. Now he is hoping to take his third Kona title in 2019 to go along with his wins in 2015 and 2016.