Ironman Australia Preview Stef Hanson. Chief. May 4, 2012 Race Previews 3 The pro field at Ironman Australia is unfortunately lacking in numbers compared to previous years. However, don’t be fooled into thinking the four women lining up this Sunday, won’t be racing hard, and, racing for glory. [Update – Kat Baker withdrew from the race over a week ago, but was still on the start list] Michelle Mitchell stepped up to the professional game in October 2010, and competed at four Iron-distance races in 2011, takingthe number one spot at Challenge Barcelona, and more recently, second at Ironman Western Australia 2011 with an outstanding running display. A broken wrist has sidelined her racing for 2012, forcing her to pull out of both Geelong Long Course and Ironman Melbourne. However, after a less than perfect preparation, only getting back into the pool four weeks ago, Mitchell is raring to go in Port Macquarie, and is most definitely one to watch for top of the podium. US triathlete, Hillary Biscay is back in Australia for her second crack at an Ironman down under. “Busselton last year was my first time racing an Ironman in Australia. I was absolutely blown away by the quality of the event and the experience. After that, I wasdetermined to get back to do another Aussie Ironman as soon as possible.” She will be focussing on her game plan and not on the other three women in the pro field. “I feel like ironman is mostly a race against oneself. If you get to the last 10km of the race and you are still going strong, THEN, it is time to think about racing.” If Biscay is off the bike in front of Mitchell on Sunday, then the race may well and truly be down to the last 10kms of the run. Biscay is a consistent performer, and stacks her racing calendar. In the weeks following Ironman Australia, she will be competing at Ironman Brasil, and Honu 70.3 just six days after that. She is hoping to be back in Busselton in December as well. Sydney girl, Nicole Ward, is practically the local in Port Macquarie, and is looking forward to returning once again to the home ofher very first Ironman in 2006. “I have tremendous support in Port Macquarie. I also have so many friends racing as well as my hubby too, which makes Sunday’s race even more exciting.” After a few hip niggles, Ward has been working hard on her strength and had a “great hit out at the Bateman’s Bay Ultimate (2km/120km/20km) five weeks ago. Kat Baker, the fourth woman in the pro field has a strong bike leg, which will bode well for her in Port Macquarie. Ward’s focus on Sunday is to be in control of my own race and give it everything I can.” Ward finished fourth last year, and will be in the mix if she can bike stronger than previous years. Some of the age group women to watch on Sunday will be Catherine Thiele, Angela Clarke, Kym Jaenke, Anna Francis, Elizabeth Gordon, Caroline Dews, and Leanne Southwell. The women take up only 14.65% of the field, with a lot of new comers to the Ironman distance taking on the challenge on Sunday. 3 Responses Lu Videan May 4, 2012 Good luck to all racing on Sunday!!!!Go Niccccccc Ward – positive vibes coming your way girl!!!Go Noodle!!!!!!!! Reply Tony Kofkin May 4, 2012 Should keep an eye on Rhianon Snipe. Did a 10:16 in NZ last year in horrible weather with a 3:12 marathon and by all accounts is on a lot better and stronger form this year. Don’t be surprised to see a sub 10 Reply admin May 5, 2012 Oooh, good point. Sorry, I missed her name in the start list. Definitely a potential podium for Rhiannon. Thanks for the heads up! Reply Leave a Reply to Anonymous Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName Email Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.