Matty White, Tim Berkel, Leon Griffin, Paul Ambrose, Madeleine Oldfield and Lisa Marangon are the favourites going in to this weekend’s Shepparton 70.3. Without being aware of any non starters or late entries the bib list is what we have to go on. That is not to take anything away from Josh Rix, Nicole Ward, Mitch Anderson, Luke Whitmore, Jason Shortis, Adam Holborow, Luke Gilmer and co.
On paper Paul Ambrose can win. Last week at Port he pulled out after feeling crook the day before the race but still going ahead. The only unkown will be whether Ambrose is tired after a big season of racing in the US.
Berkel will be like a coiled spring after not racing Port last weekend when struck down at the last minute by a virus. Like wise Lisa Marangon will go in to this race with the benefit of not havinng completed the run last weekend at Port. Oldfield can run and Marangon will need to make sure she doesn’t leave everything out on the bike course. She will put some time in to Madeleine in the swim and should put a bit more in to her on the bike.
Matty White’s calf could be the only hurdle he has to get over this weekend. He is as fit and fast as he ever is and has the speed to win. After tearing his calf last week in the lead up to Port, White, like Berkel, will be busting to get out and race for the win.
Leon Griffin is in good form ‘for an office worker’ and will be quietly confident about his prospects. Now that Leon is working full time he is having to juggle professional training with having to turn up in an office each day. Griffin, recently married, has put off his honeymoon so he can get Shepp and IM WA out of the way. After winning the Carins Half in June Griffin knows what it feels like to win this year and will be busting to get it to happen this weekend.
Adam Holborow had a solid race last weekend at Port and has decided to miss Shepparton to focus on training. Mitch Anderson will be dominant on the bike and will no doubt use that to try to get some breathing space on the run. In July Jason Shortis was third at Ironman Lake Placid, finished a strong 3rd at Ironman Australia in May and raced the New York City 5150 in August for a very solid 15th amongst other results. He will be racing strongly as well and will be racing for a podium.
Josh Rix found his run speed again this year over in the US andis looking at being up towards the front.
It is a top men’s field and should see a large group of guys pushing for podium finishes.
Nicole Ward will be fresh this weekend after backinng off slightly in the run at Port last week. She didn’t feel right on the bike and was lacking energy. Ward has had the week off work and has been focusing on recovery and prep. Look to see a much improved performance this weekend.
Elly Franks won the open category at Noosa two weeks ago. Franks showed that she has some good speed and it will be interesting to see how she goes this weekend over the longer distance. Rachael Paxton was down to race but won’t be taking the start line.
|2||Josh Rix||Glen Iris||VIC|
|5||Mitchell Anderson||West Melbourne||VIC|
|8||Tim Berkel||Port Macqaurie||NSW|
|10||Leon Griffin||Kangaroo Flat||VIC|
|11||Adam Holborow||Port Macquarie||NSW|
|13||Jason Shortis||South Melbourne||VIC|
|14||Shanon Stallard||New Plymouth||NZ|
|32||Elly Franks||South Yarra||VIC|
|34||Renee Lane||Wandana Heights||VIC|
|38||Rachael Paxton||Cotton Tree||QLD|