It was Skye Moench (USA) who took the bragging rights as the European Champion in 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany. The women's champion will be decided at IRONMAN Finland Kuopio-Tahko this year. (Getty Images for IRONMAN)

It’s championship weekend in Europe as our IRONMAN European Champions will be crowned in Kuopio-Tahko, Finland and Frankfurt, Germany respectively. IRONMAN Finland Kuopio-Tahko will be the stage for some of Europe’s top professional women who will be battling it out for the title of being crowned European Champion on August 14, 2021, in Kuopio-Tahko. Following this, in Germany, all eyes will be on the professional men vying for the European Championship title at Mainova IRONMAN European Championship Frankfurt the next day on August 15, 2021.

IRONMAN Finland Kuopio-Tahko is the Nordic nation’s first ever full distance IRONMAN event with athletes getting to experience a crystal-clear lake swim, rolling bike course and a run through Finland’s gorgeous countryside. The single-loop 3.8-kilometre swim takes place in the pristine water of Syväri Lake in the protected Tahko Bay. The two-loop 180.2-kilometre undulating bike course takes athletes through typical Finnish landscape and between forest, lakes, and fields. The rolling bike course includes a total climb of 1100 metres and is nestled between the forests and fields of the Middle Finland landscape. The four-loop 42.2-kilometre run course has rolling hills and fantastic spectator support to cheer athletes on.

With an exciting PRO field that will see the likes of Laura Philipp (DEU), Imogen Simmonds (CHE), Jocelyn McCauley (USA), and Manon Genet (FRA) to name but few of the women who will be aiming to be crowned the European Championship winner this Saturday. Catch the action live on IRONMAN Now Facebook Watch broadcast channel at 07:30 local time / 05:30 BST.

As one of the favourites, Laura Philipp expresses her excitement: “I am super excited to race IRONMAN Finland. It’s going to be my first race in the Nordics, and I am very excited to get back to racing again. I like this bike course so far. It is a rollercoaster, it’s constantly uphill or downhill. It is not very technical, but I do think it favours the strong bikers.”

Juuso Kutvonen, IRONMAN Finland Race Director, affirms that his team is ready for the weekend of racing: “In compliance with COVID-19 guidelines we are looking forward to welcoming athletes from around the world to this unique venue in the heart of Lakeland in Finland. We are grateful to be able to organize this event, thanks to all the parties involved, and we are happy to see that Finland is getting on the map in the world of triathlon with the world’s northern-most IRONMAN.”

The Mainova IRONMAN European Championship Frankfurt will be the first IRONMAN event in Germany since 2019, due to events being postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Spectators can watch the action on IRONMAN Now Facebook Watch broadcast channel with the show scheduled to air at 05:25 BST.

Having podiumed third in 2019 in Frankfurt, Franz Loeschke (DEU) will be looking for top spot this time around: “I’m superstitious, so I won’t make any predictions about the podium. However, I can tell you this – I am in very good shape.” Fellow German, Maurice Clavel (DEU), is predicting a big day for the German fans: “Will there be a German athlete on the podium? Absolutely!”

Sweden’s Patrick Nilsson (SWE) will be aiming to disrupt the German podium party. After finishing third in 2017, second in 2018, he will be aiming for top spot this year: “So good to be back in this beautiful city – the courses here at IRONMAN Frankfurt are just perfect. The best part is the finish line at the historic Römerberg.”

In addition to the strong professional male field at Mainova IRONMAN European Championship Frankfurt, the age group field will be excited to toe the line at an IRONMAN event in Germany once again taking on the iconic course in and around Frankfurt. The athletes will take on the 3.8-kilometre swim course in the Langener Waldsee, before heading on a 185-kilometre bike course which will take them through Frankfurt and the picturesque villages northeast of the metropolis. Lastly, athletes will complete a four loop 42.2-kilometre run course, leading them along the Main River and the Frankfurt skyline before finishing on Römerberg.

For more information on IRONMAN Finland, please visit the event website: www.ironman.com/im-finland

For more information on Mainova IRONMAN European Championship Frankfurt, please visit the event website: www.ironman.com/im-frankfurt