Hy-Vee 5150 U.S. Championship Primer

The business end of the international season is upon us after a busy few months of racing. The first of WTC’s Championships is set to go this weekend at the 2013 Hy-Vee 5150 US Championship, where we’ll see one of the best fields in the world assembled for a share in the $500,000USD pie. No less than eleven Australian professional athletes will be racking their bikes in Des Moines, Iowa for shot at the title, many of whom are in preparation for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas.

Josh Amberger on his way to 7th in 2012. Photo: Hy-Vee Triathlon
Josh Amberger on his way to 7th in 2012. Photo: Hy-Vee Triathlon

Eight Australian men will contest the Championship, lead by stalwart Greg Bennett, who finished third here last year after tearing the bike leg to pieces. Joining him will be Josh Amberger who lead a lot of the swim last year, taking with him a few primes, and finished a very handy 7th against a truly stacked field. Amberger backed that up with another 7th placing in Vegas last year and has, this year, been building towards a busy end-of-season racing block, ensuring he will be one to watch.

Paul Matthews, Sam Betten, Joey Lampe, Jimmy Seear and Luke McKenzie will also make their presence felt amongst the star-studded field. Matthews will be hoping to get amongst the money again this year after taking 10th in 2012, and Seear will be looking to improve on his 20th placing after being in contention for most of the race last year.

The guys won’t have it easy, though, with a number of non-drafting specialists like Ben Collins -who tore off the front on the bike last year before having a mechanical problem-, Cam Dye, and Matty Reed, as well as some 2012 Olympians who are mixing it up (and dominating) such as newly crowned Ironman New Zealand Champ Bevan Docherty and Hunter Kemper, who just won his third Chicago Triathlon.

The man to beat will be defending champion Javier Gomez-Noya, who’s resumé is too long to do justice in a single sentence. The Olympic Silver medalist, Xterra World Champion, World Series Triathlon Champion and.. (Sorry, I’ll stop here).. is fresh off taking second at the ITU World Series race in Stockholm last week.

Like the men, the women’s race will see a number of Olympians taking on long-distance Champions, making it a very interesting race indeed. Olympian Emma Moffatt, former 70.3 World Champion Melissa Hauschildt, and Sarah Crowley will be flying the flag for Australia at the highest-paying Olympic distance event on the calender.

Hauschildt has been on fire over the 70.3 distance this year, taking a number of titles and putting everyone on notice that she’s looking to get the World Title back in Vegas. It will be interesting, then, to see how her form stacks up against current Ironman 70.3 World Champ Leanda Cave, who over the last few years has had really outstanding form late in the season. Hauschildt finished fifth here last year and will use her outstanding bike-run form to push for a podium ahead of Vegas.

Photo: ITU

Moffatt has been mixing it up this year, successfully trying her hand at some long-distance racing whilst continuing to race on the cut-throat ITU World Series circuit which has netted her a few podiums.

Former ITU athlete and 2012 Ironman 70.3 Cairns winner Sarah Crowley, from Brisbane, is looking forward to the Championship races after taking fourth in the Samoa Half-Ironman recently.

The girls will have their work cut out for them with the likes of Liz Blatchford, Laura Bennett, Alicia Kaye and Angela Naeth all on song this year and gunning for big titles. Lisa Norden of Sweden will perhaps pose the biggest threat this year. The defending champ has been working hard on her time-trialing with coach Craig Alexander in the post-Olympic year, and is looking to win the Ironman 70.3 World Championships to add to her Sprint and Olympic distance World Titles.

Despite halving the prize purse this year, the HyVee US Championship hasn’t failed to attract a deep, talented and diverse field making it one of the most interesting races of the year.

– Steve Crossman (@crosso_s)

PRO WOMEN’S FIELD:   PRO MEN’S FIELD:
 LAURA BENNETT  JOSH AMBERGER
 LIZ BLATCHFORD  PAUL AMBROSE
 LAUREN BRANDON BRANDON BARRETT
 LEANDA CAVE  GREG BENNETT
 SARAH CROWLEY  SAM BETTEN
 ABBY GEURINK  BERTRAND BILLARD
 LAUREN GOSS  MARK BOWSTEAD
 MELISSA HAUSCHILDT  BARRETT BRANDON
 CATHERINE JAMESON  KEVIN COLLINGTON
 ALICIA KAYE  BEN COLLINS
 MEREDITH KESSLER  TOM DAVISON
 HOLLY LAWRENCE  BEVAN DOCHERTY
 EMMA MOFFATT  CAMERON DYE
 ANGELA NAETH  LAWRENCE FANOUS
 LISA NORDEN  CHRIS FOSTER
 JILLIAN PETERSEN JAVIER GOMEZ
 BARBARA RIVEROS  STUART HAYES
 DANIELA RYF  JORDAN JONES
 NICKY SAMUELS  RUDY KAHSAR
 SEYMOUR JEANNI  HUNTER KEMPER
 MARGARET SHAPIRO  JOSEPH LAMPE
 JENNIFER SPIELDENNER  PAUL MATTHEWS
 ANDREA STEYN  LUKE MCKENZIE
 RADKA VODICKOVA  BRENT MCMAHON
 LAUREL WASSNER  MATTY REED
 KELLY WILLIAMSON  JAMES SEEAR
 DAVID THOMPSON
 KALEB VANORT
 DENIS VASILIEV
 IVAN VASILYEV
 RUEDI WILD
Karl Hayes

Head of Rest and Recovery

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.