Australian favourite Max Neumann is OUT of the IRONMAN World Championships in Nice

Australian favourite Max Neumann is OUT of the IRONMAN World Championships in Nice

After much speculation surrounding his health and fitness, having not raced since his stunning victory at the PTO Tour European Open, Australian Max Neumann has confirmed that he will not race at the IRONMAN World Championships in Nice next month.

Fourth last year in Kona, Neumann was widely regarded as one of the pre-race favourites after a string of impressive performances at the start of the season, which culminated in May with victory on the PTO Tour in Ibiza, as the PTO World #5 took down the likes of Kristian Blummenfelt, Jan Frodeno and Alistair Brownlee for a famous triumph.

Having withdrawn from the IRONMAN European Championships in Hamburg in the month following his Ibiza victory and then more recently from the PTO Tour Asian Open in Singapore, which was billed as a big rematch between himself and Blummenfelt, Neumann finally explained the nature of the injury that has hampered the second half of his season in a social media post today.

“Unfortunately it was more problematic than first thought”

After making the trip out to the South of France, Neumann shared that this was as far as his 2023 World Championships journey would take him, after what was first thought of as a minor injury on the bike during training escalated into an issue that has taken a significant period of time to get on top of.

Max Neumann wins PTO European Open in Ibiza 2023 photo credit PTO / Darren Wheeler
Max Neumann wins the PTO European Open in Ibiza 2023 [Photo credit PTO / Darren Wheeler]

“Arrived in Nice last week but that’s as far as my World Champs campaign takes me. After the highs of the PTO Euro Open I had what I thought was a minor bike incident out training. Unfortunately it was more problematic than first thought. With the help ofoot Faults Podiatry and BMC Pro Tri Team we gave it every chance to be ready but it’s been a fight against time.

“The season is still young, and the priority now is to get some consistency on and off the bike over the next few weeks and months with plans to be on a few start lines before the end of the year. It’s been a really tough 3 months but on a positive note I have been able to spend some quality time with my family back in Australia. Looking forward to a bit of recon for Nice 2025!”

With Neumann off the start list and defending champion Gustav Iden along with countryman Blummenfelt unlikely to toe the start line, the men’s title in Nice is well and truly up for grabs, especially considering the fact home favourite and last year’s runner-up Sam Laidlow has struggled to find his feet this season.

After winning IRONMAN Western Australia with a new course record last December, a return to Busselton could be next for Neumann as he looks to build towards a bigger and better 2024. Wherever he decides to line up, the expectations on his shoulders will be far greater than when he stepped on to the start line in Ibiza before that career defining race four months ago.

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