Last year we saw 2012 World Ironman Champion Pete Jacobs hold a master class in 70.3 racing when he showed the form that everyone expected him to take on to Kona and defend his title that he won the previous year. This wasn’t to be and there were reasons why. This year we will have to wait and see what happens. Will Jacobs push hard to get a win under his belt to cap off a challenging year or will he simply use this race as part of his Kona prep with Kona the single focus.
Casey Munro had a disappointing race recently at Challenge Gold Coast when leading the race he punctured. Who knows what could have been. Casey has been training well he should have been a threat for the win. We expect him to unleash this weekend. As a junior Munro was a very talented triathlete before he went on to pursue a professional cycling career in Europe. Last year Munro posted 3rd overall in this race and we think he could be the guy to beat in 2014.
Munro isn’t the only pro that could imitate a coiled spring this Sunday. Brad Kahlefledt and Clayton Fettell will have something to prove after disappointing races at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Mont-Tremblant. Fettell is struggling with an iron issue and Sticksy just had no energy according to his comments post race.
A couple of guys who will be looking to spoil the party are current ITU and Commonwealth Games triathlete Dan Wilson along with born again ITU triathlete Courtney Atkinson who ‘just happened’ to be in Singapore when there was an ITU race which he went on to win. We asked Atkinson when chatting after the race whether he was maybe starting to think about going around again in Rio. He didn’t answer that question but the following week the hints were being dropped. Courtney just loves doing different things and he is enjoying life. Maybe the next different thing is what he used to do.
Luke Bell is down to race and if he is it will be great to see him on Australian soil again. We aren’t sure though.
This is a race in David Dellow’s back yard. Dellow has been focusing on his degree this year and triathlon has kind of played second fiddle. If we were betting people we would place a large bet on not seeing Dellow at Kona this year. It will be good to see the man of few words race at Sunshine.
Michael Fox put in a good showing here last year. He has had a self confessed Annus Horribilis and was a bit off the pace on the Gold Coast recently. Gold Coast was not the usual race so it is hard to read to much in to it. Foxy finished 6th overall last year in this race and as one of the faster swimmers in the game he always puts himself in a position to take on a race and do well.
Luke Whitmore is a runner that grows extra legs the longer the race. Always chasing the pack an Ironman is a race that Whitmore grows another leg in.
Kiwi Mark Bowstead will be hoping for a slice of heaven to get him in to a good position this weekend. He made an appearance late in the race at Hy-Vee two weeks ago and posted a pretty good 32:48 10km in the Olympic distance ‘non-drafting’ triathlon. Let’s see what he can do on Sunday.
If Bowstead is Wal (or maybePrince Charles) from Footrot Flats (look it up all you non Kiwis) then what does that make Adam Gordon? Horse the cat? ‘The Dog’ or Cooch? We’d say Cooch. Gordon is a thinking man’s man and whilst working in his profession is enjoying the development in his professional racing. 8th overall last year let’s see what Gordon can present us with this weekend.
Lindsey Wall tapped out a 1:17:52 at Gold Coast the other week and is always around the edges at these big races.
WIP… Women’s to come…
Defending champ and another bloody Kiwi (Note the author is a Kiwi albeit only when the All Blacks are playing these days) Gina Crawford will have her work cut out this weekend with Caroline Steffen and Radka Vodickova racing. Apart for Steffen and Vodickova we can’t see to many other women running down Gina. A win recently at the iron distance Metaman in Indonesia will give Crawford confidence on Sunday.
Fellow Kiwi and 3rd recently on the Gold Coast Tineke Stewart will have to dig deep to get on the podium this weekend.