Like athletes in every sport, many of the top Kona contenders deflect questions about their competitors with prefabricated statements declaring everyone dangerous. Not Pete Jacobs. The defending champion named the guy he views as the biggest threat standing in the way of a repeat title.
I’m really looking forward to racing Sebastian [Kienle]. Obviously he’s got so much potential, to have won 70.3 worlds twice. He flatted last year and could have been 8 minutes up the road off the bike in T2 over me. But he was very humble and said it might not have worked out best for him as it didn’t for Marino [Vanhoenacker], but this year he’s a year older a year wiser. He’s got a great attitude to racing and training. He showed in Vegas that he can run really well, that he can handle the heat and even his result here last year showed he’s very capable. He’s been my motivation for the year. He’s been the guy who I have visualized while out riding and thought, ‘How can I ride like he rides? What’s he doing that I’m not doing?’ It has been great motivation. He’s a great guy and I’m looking forward to racing him. I wouldn’t say I’m not watching him and not worried about him. I’m still going to stay in my own space and do my own race and I’m excited to see what happens out there between the two of us.