Jan Frodeno stamped his ticket to Kona with a second place finish at Ironman Lanzarote on Sunday. The current Ironman World Champion led out of the swim, but a helmet malfunction in transition delayed his entry onto the bike course. With the day’s second fastest bike split, Frodeno once again put himself into position to win, taking to the front at five kilometers into the marathon. It was only in the last third of the run leg that eventual winner Jesse Thomas took the lead and then the win.

“If I’m very honest, I’m actually quite happy with today. Solid day all things considered and some fun with crazy enthusiastic fans – thanks for all your support out there!” said the Beijing Olympics gold medalist, who gave credit to Thomas for running a smart race on the tough Lanzarote course. “Obviously coming second is never going to make me happy, but coming back off an injury it feels good to cross the line injury-free. And I’ve now booked my place for Kona so I can’t complain.”

Frodeno is set to challenge the current full-distance triathlon world record in two months’ time at Challenge Roth.

In his return to racing Javier Gomez placed fourth at the Gran Prix Dunkerque, participating in tactics on the bike to secure the club win for Sartrouville, the French club he races for alongside Jonathan Brownlee. With his Olympic spot secured, Gomez is focused on staying healthy and fit for a gold medal attempt in August.

Sam Appleton also secured second place at Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga, staying at the pointy end of the field all day. Out of the water in the chase pack, Appleton’s consistent yet strong bike pace saw him get off the bike only 28 seconds behind Sebastian Kienle. He gave the eventual champion a decent run for the money, finishing two minutes back. “The course, atmosphere and city gets a big thumbs up from me,” said a chipper Appleton. “Can’t wait for 70.3 Worlds here next year!”

Riding Bahrain Endurance’s silver streak, Fredrik Croneborg placed second at the Pattaya Triathlon. The 1.5-kilometer swim, 54-kilometer bike, and 13-kilometer run saw the Challenge Taiwan champion prove his versatility across distances by taking the day’s fastest bike split and the second-best run split to finish less than a minute behind the winner. “Fun racing today at Pattaya Thailand Tri-League Series with my favourite competitor Mitch Robins who took the win!” said Croneborg, who is expecting a child with his long-time partner Katja Rabe.

David Plese finished in seventh place and recorded the day’s second-fastest run at Ironman 70.3 St. Polten, part of his build-up to Ironman Austria in a month’s time.