2024 HYROX World Championship Preview of the Men’s Field

Heading into the HYROX World Championship, the story is the same as it’s been since 2020. Can anyone beat Hunter McIntyre? When Hunter arrives at his best, he is unbeatable. Outside of a 4th place finish in 2021, Hunter has been able to deliver on many of his braggadocious assertions, and 2024 is no different as Hunter is the top dog in the race. This year, however, some challengers can compete with Hunter, even at his best. The battle at the top plus a slew of depth makes this the most competitive field assembled for HYROX.

Before we get into the athletes competing, you can watch the livestream on Friday, June 7, on HYROX.com or the HYROX YouTube channel. The men’s Elite 15 starts at 8:00pm local time (in France), which is 2:00pm Eastern here in the United States.

So with that, here are the men who look to hit the podium…

Hunter McIntyre (USA)

The conversation generally starts and stops with the three-time world champion. Hunter has raced sparingly this season, but we have seen him in good form, including breaking his previous World Record en route to winning the Stockholm Major and setting a new Hyrox Pro Doubles world record (with partner Michael Sandbach). He had a slight setback during training from a shoulder injury sustained during a mountain bike crash. Still, all signs point to Hunter being a monster. Hunter is extremely aggressive and will likely have the lead coming in and out of the Ski. The only way to knock off Hunter is to weather his barrage in the first three stations. The field might have a shot if they are near him heading into Burpee Broad Jumps (4th station).

Alex Roncoevic (Austria)

Alex has emerged as the top contender to challenge The Sheriff (Hunter’s self deemed nickname). Alex won on his home turf in Australia, dominating the season’s most competitive (non-hunter) race. Alex has a nost for the podium, finishing second in ’23, third in ’22, second in ’21, and second in ’19 making, but he is hungry for that top spot. His training and performance over the 2024 season show he has the potential to be the next Hyrox World Champion. Alex is also an aggressive racer and a great skier. “Ronco” can hang with Hunter first at those first three stations, and he will certainly try.

Ryan Kent (USA)

Ryan Kent finished second in ’22 and fourth in ’23 and is the next-highest returning athlete from last season. Ryan can knock one out of the park; if it’s his day, it’s no one else’s day. Ryan is coming off of two disappointing outcomes with a 12th in Vienna and 4th in Washington DC, but he smashed the field in the opening Major of the season in Chicago with an elite time of 55:12. Kent’s weapon is his sled pull, where he can make up a lot of ground against his competitors.

James Kelly (Australia)

James (JK) had a monster breakthrough at the European last-chance qualifier in Köln, Germany. His propulsive breakthrough gives reason to believe that James could ascend in this sport and be one of the next stars. JK’s running is where he has needed to improve, his PR time of 54:03 show that he has been putting in work. Expect JK to engage with the group early on and run a gutty race.

Luke Storath (Germany)

The only other world champion in the field is back and as strong as ever. Luke was the first Hyrox champion in 2018 and has been on a competitive hiatus for the past three seasons. But the 43-year-old Storath dropped a monster 56:14 at the Anaheim LCQ and is showing that he is not done throwing haymakers at best in the sport. I consider Luke a dark horse podium threat.

Michael Sandbach (England)

Michael “Sandy” is boom or bust. We have seen some fantastic flashes of strength and speed that are hard for anyone in the field to replicate. But it only sometimes comes together on race day. Sandy could win this race if he stays in it, which is something you can’t say about most athletes. You will see him hammering the first two stations, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is winning the race coming out of the sled push (station 2). His stay power and mental game is a significant question mark as he has not finished 3 out of 5 races this season.

Dylan Scott (USA)

Dylan, the 2024 Hyrox North American Champion, is the hardest worker in the field. Couple his work ethic with a chip on his shoulder and you get a dominating win at the Washington, DC Major. He has shown the ability to run a strong first half of the race in his previous two races, which should allow him to stay in contention during the middle of the race, where he can bury his competitors. Expect him to be in the mix of the front group at the world championships. If his sled went well, he could end up on the podium.

Pelayo Menendez-Fernandez (Spain)

Pelyao is one of just two rookies at the Elite 15 World Championships (Beau Wills from New Zealand is the other) and has significantly impacted the top of the competition. Pelayo is arguably the best runner in the field and has a world-class engine with a triathlon background. Menendez-Fernedez had the 30th fastest time going into the first Major in Chicago, but a miraculous rolldown got him an invite where he finished fourth, then followed up with the open doubles world record finish with partner, Rich Ryan (me), and capped his season with a surprising second-place finish in Vienna. Expect Pelayo to do his damage on the runs. He can outrun most of the competition if he is in the mix after the sleds.

Rich Ryan (USA)

Yes, not only did I write this preview article, but I am going to bust people’s asses on the competition floor!

About the Author

Rich Ryan is an Elite coach and Elite 15 Hyrox athlete. Co-founder of RMR Training and host of the RMR Training Podcast and Race Brain Podcast.

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