Who will win Ironman Germany 2007?

I was going through the list of Ironman Germany 2007 athletes and started thinking about who is most likely to win. The two athletes that stand out are Faris Al-Sultan and Normann Stadler.

My initial thought was that Stadler has a better chance of winning, but then I started thinking about what it would take for Al-Sultan to win. According to past performances, Stadler is the stronger biker, but Al-Sultan is the faster swimmer and runner. (Stadler has made great strides in swimming, though. At Kona last year Al-Sultan only got about a minute on Stadler in the swim.) I think that if Al-Sultan comes to T2 within 6-7 minutes of Stadler, he can catch up on the run. It’s going to take a very strong effort for Al-Sultan to stay that close to Stadler on the bike, though. What do you think? Will Al-Sultan have enough in the tank to catch up with Stadler on the run? Can he stay close enough on the bike to even think about catching up on the run?

I can’t wait to watch the event over the weekend to see if my speculations come close to the actual result. Good luck to all the athletes competing!