Sebastian Kienle showed his true Ironmind quality at Ironman Frankfurt on the weekend staying cool, calm and collected as he came back from a 4min deficit in the swim and a mechanical issue just when he had caught up on the bike, to take the win and become the2016 Ironman European Champion.
A non-wetsuit swim was declared on race morning for the pros, meaning that the better swimmers would have more of an advantage (as well as those carrying a bit more body coverage for warmth!) than a wetsuit swim. With Kienle exiting the water in 52:12 - four minutes down on the leader Marko Albert, his work was cut out on the bike, but in true Kienle style he slowly but surely started to reel back in his competitors. We are sure that his custom Orca RS1 Aero Race Suit helped to keep him warmer and aerodynamic too, especially during this leg of the race! At around the half way mark on the bike Kienle had done just that and had made it into the lead group of five athletes when he suffered a mechanical issue and had to get off his bike to fix it. This was a minor though and after around 15sec he was back up and on the chase again.
Fellow German Andi Boecherer gained a slight lead into transition on Kienle and Eneko Llanos, but fumbling to get his special needs bag open cost him precious seconds in T2 and it was Kienle who ran out in the lead.
Kienle set a wicked pace from the off-set, running a 1:18:35 split for the first half of the marathon, but Boecherer was never too far behind. With about 10km to go Kienle managed to get the edge on Boecherer and ended up with a comfortable win of just over a minute over him with a super speedy overall race time of 7:52:43. With a marathon time of 2:44:12 helping him to get there so quickly, Kienle was crowned the 2016 Ironman European Champion. Llanos held on for 3rd place in a time of 8:09:08.
It was a very happy Sebastian Kienle at the press conference after the race who declared himself ready for a holiday now!