Road to Kona: Nils Frommhold wins Ironman South Africa

Nils Frommhold

Canyon triathletes raced their way to success during a big weekend of competition around the world.

Nils Frommhold could not have dreamed for a better start to his season at Ironman South Africa. The 27 year-old German came away victorious from Sunday’s race and in doing so, collected enough qualification points to make the start line at the 2014 World Championships in Hawaii later this year. Fellow Canyon rider, Bas Diederen of Dutch outfit Team4Talent also put in a commendable performance and collected valuable points by finishing fourth in Port Elisabeth. Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe in New Zealand, Germany’s Olympic distance specialist, Anne Haug, kicked off her season in fantastic fashion by taking the silver medal at the opening round of the ITU World Triathlon Series in Auckland.

Speedmax CF delivers Ironman Frommhold to victory 

Racking up victory number two in only his third ever start, Nils currently possesses an outstanding success rate in Ironman competition. Following Sunday’s commanding performance he will no doubt be one of the favourites for the world title this year. Nils posted the fastest splits for each leg, landing the hammer blow on his rivals during the 180 km ride aboard his custom Speedmax CF. Rolling into T2 with a five minute advantage over his nearest rivals, he maintained his strength throughout the run to further build his lead and post arguably the biggest win of his career-to-date.

Nils Frommhold's Speedmax CF

“I just did my own thing out there, even when I was out front I never really looked back”, Nils reflected after crossing the line. “After about 15 or 20 km on the bike I was wondering why no one had come past, but then I did look back and realised I was on my own. Then I just thought to myself, ‘You have to go for it!’”

Even if he made it look easy, Nils had to battle on the run: “The first 10 km were great, I felt like I was flying, but from kilometre 20 to 35 it was really tough”. With a time of 8 hours, 26 minutes and 7 seconds, Nils secured the maximum available 2000 points in the Kona Pro Rankings to cement his starting position at the World Championships.

Bas Diederen was also in the running for the podium under the African sun. Coming out of the water in the leading trio and holding his position on the bike leg, the Dutchman fell back on the run but can still be content with a solid performance: “Today wasn’t my best day as I haven’t quite recovered fully after the Abu Dhabi Triathlon, but I can only congratulate the top three.”

Bas Diederen on his Speedmax

One of the greatest aspects of Ironman competition is having amateur racers go head-to-head with the full-time pros. Congratulations therefore go to Canyon rider Sam Baxter of the UK, who ranked as the top amateur in the race by finishing in 12th overall, beating a number of professionals in the process.

Haug off to a flying start in the ITU World Triathlon Series

Earlier in the day Germany’s top female triathlete, Anne Haug, celebrated a successful season-opening race by taking the silver medal in Auckland. Despite being caught towards the back of the pack coming out of the water, Anne fought her way back to the front during an incident-filled bike leg riding her new Aeroad CF and put in a storming run to elevate her into second place.

Anne Haug and her DTU coach Dan Lorang // Foto: DTU/Jo Kleindl

Her coach, Dan Lorang, was overjoyed by the display: “Considering she hasn’t had much time to prepare, Anne put in a sensational performance”. Anne herself was also pleasantly surprised: “I didn’t think I’d be capable of this with the way my training has gone, but there’s something about racing here in New Zealand that always brings the best out of me.”

Canyon Triathletes

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