The Ironman 70.3 train will be back in Gilford, New Hampshire this weekend for the Timberman 70.3’s 13th running. Set on the pristine waters of LakeÂ Winnipesaukee, the race should provide pros with a good hit out three weeks ahead of the 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Like Ironman 70.3 Yeppoon (See our preview here), Timberman will be offering slots to the 2014 Ironman 70.3 World Championships Â to be held in Mont Tremblant, Canada. WTC announced back in June that Timberman will be offering an additional 60 slots for age-group athletes. So, with 100 slots up for grabs, we expect the competition in the Age Group ranks to be strong as athletes targeting the 2014 World Championships vie for early qualification.
Defending men’s champion, Tasmanian Joe Gambles, has decided to pull out of the event in order to rest and prepare for the World Championships in Las Vegas. The race for the win here will be instead lead by two of the biggest names in long distance racing – American Andy Potts and Kiwi Terenzo Bozzone.
Potts took out, in comfortable fashion, Ironman Lake Placid in late July, successfully defending his title. Timberman will be Pott’s final race ahead of the 70.3 Worlds and the Ironman World Championship in October. No doubt then, he’ll be looking for a good hit out. As one of the most prolific winners on the 70.3 circuit, the former Olympian will be tough to beat.
After a long struggle with an Achilles injury,Â New Zealand’s Terenzo Bozzone has spent 2012/2013 getting back to his winning ways with wins in Miama 70.3, Shepparton 70.3, Taiwan 70.3, Mont Tremblant 70.3 and Florida 70.3.
Bozzone will be very hungry to have another crack at winning the 70.3 World Title, which he won back in 2008, and as a result, will be approaching peak form for the season.
Australian Leon Griffin will continue to make the Australian presence felt at the pointy end of the circuit. A former Duathlon World Champion, Griffin finished second here last year behind Gambles, and will hope to go one better on Sunday after pushing hard all season on the circuit. We expect Griffin to be in the mix at the front of the race.
Kiwi Mark Bowstead will also be making the trip to New Hampshire to continue his North American season which has seen him place 5th at both the New Orleans 5150 and the hotly contested Buffalo Springs 70.3 race. Brother James Bowstead finished just off the podium in fourth last year, so it’s likely Mark has received a few hinters on how to race this course.
In the women’s race, Australian Melissa Hauschildt will be hot favourite after dominating a stacked field and setting a course record inÂ Boulder a few weeks ago, which included reigning Ironman 70.3 World Champion Leanda Cave of Great Britain. Hauschildt seems to be back to her best form which saw her win that title in her first attempt back in 2011.
Hauschildt won’t be leading from the gun though as American super-swimmer Amanda Stevens is also set to toe the line. Stevens took out Ironman Brazil earlier this year and will be looking for a good hit out as she prepares for the Championships later this year.
American Jessie Donovan has decided not to defend her title atÂ Ironman Mont Tremblant this weekend, and instead will be on the line here in New Hampshire to challenge for a podium spot.