By Steve Crossman
A quality field of 36 Professional athletes will toe the line in Lubbock, Texas, this weekend to contest the Buffalo Springs 70.3 title. The race has been a favourite for many professionals for over 23 years and, in 2013, will see a number of fast Aussies pushing for the title.
In the men’s race, watch for 24-year-old Brisbane native Josh Amberger to lead the field out of the water and take the race by the scruff of the next and up the road early. Amberger, after an early season injury setback, is coming into some great form with podium finish in Idaho at the Boise 70.3 a few weeks ago against a deep field. Joining Amberger will be fellow Queenslander James Seear who will be looking to build on his 10th place finish at his long-course debut in Geelong earlier this year.
Chasing the young guys will be the speedy Tim Reed who is coming off a fantastic Australian summer campaign, Leon Griffin, and the evergreen Greg Bennett. These Aussies will be doing battle with a number of class athletes including Terenzo Bozzone who is coming off a victory last weekend at Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant, defending champ Michael Lovato and Drew Scott, son of legend Dave Scott and who, as an age-grouper, clocked the fastest time here in 2012.
In the women’s race, Canberra’s Kat Baker, a former ITU Age-Group World Champion, will take it to the likes of Jo Lawn, Laura Bennett, Jessica Jacobs, Texan Amy Marsh and newly-crowned Ironman Brazil champion Dr. Amanda Stevens. After a frustrating few years of dealing with injuries, the 26-year-old Baker will seek to continue the form she showed at the Wildflower Long Course where, after clocking the fastest bike split, took 2nd place behind Heather Jackson.