The field at St George this weekend is one of the best fields assembled. If you are going to watch or follow one race this year this is the one. Both swims will be epic. In the men’s race there are at least 20 front pack swimmers. Once out of the water there is going to be guys like Ben Collins, Sebastian Kienle, Cameron Dye and co will be attempting to blow apart the field on the bike leg.
To win the men’s race someone is going to have to run close to 70mins. There are just so many fast guys. The ITU guys racing will be running the house down from the start. We saw Greg Bennett run a 32:21min 10kmm last weekend at St Anthonys. The Vasilievs should be a couple of the fastest on the day.
Lisa Norden will be one of the hot favourites but she will not have it all her own way. Annabel Luxford will be right on her heels out of T1. Last year’s female 70.3 and Ironman world champion Leanda Cave will be hoping to cross the line first and has just completed her longest training block since Kona last year. She will be in fine form.
As always our previews have a slant towards Australians racing and the odd Kiwi. With that in mind we’ll start off with the two Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Champions who are both racing at St George. Christian Kemp and Annabel Luxford are both starting and we will be watching them eagerly.
Kemp is focused on Ironman Frankfurt and may be slightly of the pace this weekend. He is lacking a small amount of his top end speed at the moment but is here to race. He will be up in the mix in the swim and will be hoping to start the run at the front. Then it will be a matter of whether he can keep up with the speedsters. The word is he may not have a sub 72min half marathon in him this weekend.
Second to Kemp at the Asia Pacific 70.3 championship this year was Kiwi Bevan Docherty who went on to win Ironman New Zealand in March. Docherty will right up in the mix for the entire race and would have to be one of the favourites to take it out. Docherty showed his ability to race over this distance in January yet again and last year was third overall in the world 70.3 champs in Las Vegas. He will be there to win.
Since winning the Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship Annabel Luxford has had a couple of hurdles. She has no real expectation from this weekend’s race. “I’m not in my best shape. I had knee surgery nine weeks ago to repair torn meniscus from a training accident. Just pleased to be back racing. This is a very tough course, similar to Las Vegas just not as hot. Hopefully this will be good practice for Vegas later in the year.”
Sam Betten had a solid race last weekend at St Anthonys with a 13th overall. This weekend will be another step up and will provide Sam with more valuable experience.
Paul Matthews is also a strong contender and can run very quick. He is hoping the St George NRL jersey will get him much needed home town support.
Luke McKenzie’s recent 10th overall at the Oceanside 70.3 in a red hot field will give him a lot of confidence going in to St George. McKenzie also race the recent San Diego Fearless Pro F1 triathlon for 11th overall. You could have thrown a blanket over the field. McKenzie was only 1:46 off the winner Aaron Royle’s time. Considering the distance this was impressive.
Matthew Pellow is also racing. We last saw Pellow racing in Australia at the Geelong Long Course. He finished a very good 8th overall in a field full of top men.
Mitch Robins will be looking to see an improvement on his bike time. We saw Robins take a very good 5th overall the other week at the New Orleans 70.3. He was in a very good field and ran one of the fastest half marathons at 1:12:20. With his strong swim he will be in the mix out of T1.
In the women’s race we also see ACT’s Kat Baker along with 2012 Abu Dhabi International triathlon winner Nikki Butterfield. Butterfield has plenty of podiums over the distance and will be focused on adding one more.
|7||Dirk Bockel||Intl State|
|28||Christian Brader||Intl State|
|31||Victor Del Corral||Tarragona|
|12||Mathias Hecht||Intl State|
|36||Joel Jameson||Intl State|
|8||Ivan Rana||Intl State|
|41||Christian Ritter||Intl State|
|24||Swen Sundberg||Intl State|
|37||Felipe Van de Wyngard||Intl State|
|45||Denis Vasiliev||Intl State|
|49||Ivan Vasiliev||Intl State|
|27||Dorian Wagner||Intl State|
|84||Svenja Bazlen||Intl State|
|69||Sophie De Groote||Intl State|
|82||Julia Gajer||Intl State|
|74||Camilla Pedersen||Intl State|
|75||Barbara Riveros||Intl State|
|95||Jeanni Seymour||Intl State|