Multiple Ironman champion Skipper is known for being outspoken and has been true to form in recent weeks, including when he spoke to us in an interview for issue 403 of 220 Triathlon (on sale 14 April).
In the interview, Skipper suggested he felt the Norwegian’s ‘favourites’ tag for the Ironman World Champs in St George, on 7 May 2022, wasn’t as justified as some were suggesting.
“Looking at the Ironman performances last year, I don’t understand why everyone was raving about [reigning Ironman 70.3 world champion] Gustav [Iden] in Florida,” Skipper explained. “He ran 2:34, but the course was 600-700m short – you can see on Strava.”
He added: “With his ITU background, people say Gustav will be a front pack swimmer. But I don’t think that’ll be the case because if you look at a lot of his races, when it’s been competitive, he’s missed the front pack…
“I also think it’s 50-50 on whether Kristian makes the front swim pack. So, they [the Norwegians] are going to have to do some work [on the bike] and it all depends how tactically astute people are.”
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Now, in a video of him training at altitude with compatriot Iden, Blummenfelt appears to have reacted to these comments while running on track.
In a video posted to YouTube (titled ‘The Norwegian Hype Train’) by coach Mikal Iden, the current Olympic and World Triathlon champion says: “Whatever you do, don’t believe the Norwegian hype. Believe Joe Skipper. Ho, ho, ho.”
Later in the video, once Blummenfelt and Iden have finished their run session, there’s another exchange between the two referring to Skipper’s comments. After talking briefly about their session, Iden says: “We didn’t believe the British hype.”
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Blummenfelt, who broke the Ironman-distance world record last year in Cozumel, adds: “There are some rumours that the people on the island are in good shape… One thing is for sure, North America… Lionel [Sanders], he’s strong.”
Asked who’s going to win in St George, Blummenfelt says: “I told him [Iden] that I’m either going to win St George or I will die trying. I asked him what he was hoping for and he said that he would win – so he hopes that I will die in the next five weeks.”
Watch the full video below or skip to 10:40mins to listen to the exchanges.
Top image credit: Artur Widak/NurPhoto