Kienle Crowned European Champion
photo: Sebasian Kuhn
As Germany’s Sebastian Kienle continues his climb towards triathlon greatness, Sunday’s Ironman Frankfurt will certainly slot up fairly high on his list of outstanding performances. On a day that had the very best in the sport of long course triathlon on the start line, only one could take the top step of podium, and it would be his. Although Sebastian is the current and two time Ironman 70.3 World Champion, he had yet to win at the full Ironman distance.
The bike course in Frankfurt is notoriously fast, although it is not particularly easy. Sebi tackled the day on a brand new Scott Plasma outfitted with the very best and most reliable components. The drivetrain was all SRAM RED 22, highlighted by aero R2C shifters, 55-42 Yaw 22 chainrings and an 11-25 cassette.
His wheels of choice for this challenging course were Zipp 808 Firecrest Carbon Clincher up front and a Super 9 Carbon Clincher in the rear. It did not take a closely trained eye to see that these wheels were different. Kienle worked with his SRAM Road Sports Marketing team, and the engineers at Zipp to utilize their Impress direct print technology to adorn the wheels with an eye catching geometric pattern, ala Ruba Rombic, that perfectly matched the theme on his new Plasma.
Did this make him faster? Well, it certainly did not slow him down, as he rode 4:12:13 for the 112 mile bike leg, shattering the previous bike course record. He then proceeded to follow that up with his first sub 2:50 IM marathon, turning out a 2:49:35 run that put him across the finish line in 7:55:14, an overall course record.
This day also saw Jan Frodeno complete his first Ironman distance race. The lanky German tackled the day with an almost identical set up to Kienle, counting on SRAM RED 22, 808 Firecrest Carbon Clincher and Super 9 Carbon Clincher disc to propel his Specialized Shiv across the German countryside. Although 3 flat tires would leave the speedster out of contention, he still threw down a 2:43 cramp riddled marathon, showing the world that he is a serious threat at this distance as well.
In the women’s race, Kiwi Gina Crawford turned in a stellar bronze medal performance. Gina, like the Sebastian and Jan, also relied on SRAM RED 22 and her Quarq power meter to deliver her to the run course.
All three of these athletes are planning on toeing the line on the Big Island of Hawaii on the second weekend of October to contest the Ironman World Championships. We can’t wait!!
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