Annabel Luxford previews Ironman 70.3 Weisbaden ahead of this weekend’s European Championship race
This weekends Ironman 70.3 European Championship Weisbaden is set to showcase a talented field of women from across the globe. On what looks to be a challenging course, the race takes place in Weisbaden, Germany, approximately 50km from Frankfurt. Tucked in a valley between the Rhine River and the Taunus Mountains, this scenic spa town dates back to Roman times.
With a two lap swim course and water temperature that is predicted to be borderline wetsuit legal, the race consists of a split transition. The bike course is testing, with 1500m climbing over the 90km and technical sections through villages. Athletes will finish with a four lap run course that takes in the sights of the Kurpark, German for ‘Spa Park’, a public park in the centre of Weisbaden.
Winning the European70.3 title will be no easy feat for any woman, with an impressive line up including a number of 70.3 podium athletes this season.
Hometown favourite Svenja Bazlen, runner up at the US 70.3 Pro Championships St George, has demonstrated her ability to swim at the front and ride superbly well over a tough bike course. No doubt she will be familiar with the course and looking to go one better than her St George performance.
Canadian Angela Naeth has had a strong showing over the last three months, winning 70.3 Buffalo Springs, 70.3 Eagleman and 70.3 Racine. Expect to see her move through the field quickly on the bike and back it up with a solid run.
After an extensive lay off with injury over the winter, British contender Catriona Morrison has made a great return to racing this season, winning 70.3 St Croix and finishing 3rd at 70.3 Racine. She also is one to quite likely be part of the podium mix.
With wins at 70.3 Mallorca, Austria and Norway, it would be foolish to discount Austria’s Lisa Hütthaler as a possible candidate to dominate the race.
Former ITU stars Anja Dittmer from Germany, and Daniela Ryf from Switzerland, will also be amongst this classy lineup. Whilst they are relatively inexperienced at this distance, they both have the pedigree for great performances.
Editor’s note: Annabel Luxford will be coming into Weisbaden not having raced since June. Spending some time back in Australia over the southern hemisphere winter, Luxford will be looking to gauge her current form and add a good performance to her Asia Pacific 70.3 title and fourth place at the US 70.3 Pro Championships.
A P-1500 points ranking, Pro men and women will be competing for a $75 000 prize purse.
Full women’s pro start list:
Editor’s note: Liz Blatchford will not be racing, instead lining up for Ironman Mont Tremblant in Canada later this month.
|Surname||First name||Bib #||Country|
|5||Lewis||Tamsin||126||GBR (Great Britain)|
|8||Hignett||Susie||123||GBR (Great Britain)|
|12||Blatchford||Liz||119||GBR (Great Britain)|
|17||Morrison||Catriona||114||GBR (Great Britain)|
|22||Van Rooijen||Carla||109||NED (Netherlands)|
|25||De Groote||Sophie||103||BEL (Belgium)|