This years Ironman 70.3 World Championship has an incredibly hot pro field. More so than in recent years. Like any high level championship it should be almost impossible to pick and it is.
Champions rise on occasions like this and they are here in big numbers. These guys and girls know how to train to win big titles and they can turn themselves inside out more then the average professional athlete.
World champions and Olympic champions are the favourites. The curve ball in this race is the climbing on the bike course. 900m of it and you cannot hold back in a race like this. There will be explosions as pros throw caution to the wind to see who takes the longest to explode.
Jan Frodeno, Javier Gomez and Sebastian Kienle are the men’s podium favourites. Of course we would love to see an Australian win and it is hard to go past Tim Reed. Mr consistent and absolutely on fire on the the bike at the moment the challenging course should see Reed rise to the top. In saying this it is important not to take anything away from Joe Gambles, Leon Griffin and Brad Kahlefeldt. Gambles finished 3rd last year behind Bozzone (2nd) and the champ Kienle. places ahead of Reed.
Lurking just below the surface is Sam Appleton (coached by Tim Reed) and Tim Berkel. Appleton is one incredibly talented young guy who will win big titles. Berkel may surprise a few. Berkel is one of the fastest runners on his day and we think he might surprise a few on the tough bike course. Berkel beat Reed by two minutes to win the Australian 70.3 title in 2012 and we have seen how deep he can dig when chasing a big win.
Another Australian is Ã¼ber swim/biker Josh Amberger. Amberger will love this challenging bike course and those wanting to win will have to work hard to make sure they do not give Amberger a gap on to the run. Well at least one they can’t run down.
In the women’s race we should see Australian and current world 70.3 champion Melissa Hauschildt eat this course up. A tough climbing course is a dream come true for Hauschildt. Limiting the swim deficit is going to be the go here.
Catriona Morrison and Daniela Ryf will be strong contenders and will place higher than last year.
Annabel Luxford has had a tough year and the question is will the former ITU World and Asia Pac 70.3 champ be ready to challenge this field. We hope she does.
We will be interested to see how Radka Vodickova races. She has been slowly building over this distance and could surprise a few. Jodie Swallow, Angela Naeth, Daniela Ryf, Heather Wurtle, Heather Jackson, Hauschildt, Vodickova, Luxford, Svenja Bazlen, Jodie Swallow, Catriona Morrison and Meredith Kessler will be the top ten contenders.