Witsup This Weekend : 70.3 Dubai | Hell Of The West Rob Sheeley February 1, 2018 Race Previews A double serving of half-distance triathlon is available to feast on this weekend. Racing kicks off on Friday with Ironman 70.3 Dubai and concludes on Sunday at the iconic Hell Of The West in Goondiwindi, Australia. Text By Laura Siddall and Rob Sheeley | Images By Getty Images, Tommy Zaferes and Witsup Deep Field In Dubai Text By Laura Siddall An exciting line up faces the starter for Ironman 70.3 Dubai this Friday. With no Danielle Ryf on the start line to defend her 2016 and 2017 titles, (and so removing herself from the 2018 Triple Crown race) there’s a fantastic group of women lining up. (c) Getty Images In 2017 Britain’s Kimberley Morrison, biked her way to the headlines, putting in an impressive bike split to start the run side by side with Ryf. Morrison finished eighth in the end but is the highest finisher from the 2017 race and will have great memories from last year’s race. Morrison went on to have a strong season, with regular fastest bike splits and will be a threat in Dubai for the podium. Anne Haug, is certainly one to watch with her incredibly fast run ( very, very fast in fact) she is one to watch for 2018 over the half distance. She just came up short when trying to catch Holly Lawrence in Bahrain at the end of the year and it could be another fantastic battle as Lawrence is also heading to Dubai, to start her campaign for the Triple Crown. Both Haug and Lawrence are favourites for the win. Angela Naeth is also a contender for the podium and possibly the win. Naeth is coming back to racing again after several years of injury. Naeth finished fifth in Bahrain at the Middle East Championships 2017. (c) Tommy Zaferes Ellie Salthouse is also always a contender for the win and recently finished second at Ironman 70.3 Pucon. Salthouse missed a few races last year through injury, but came back to racing at the end of the year, she will be looking to get herself back into her winning form. (c) Getty Images Other’s who could mix it up in the race are Brits Nikki Bartlett and Sarah Lewis and Swede Asa Lundstrom. Bartlett struggled over in 2017, with a series of mishaps and unfortunate events in her racing, never giving her the full opportunity to show her ability and potential. Lewis gets better and better as she races and is one to watch this year having taken some great results in 2017. Ironman 70.3 Dubai 2018 Start List BIB LAST NAME FIRST NAME COUNTRY REP 61 Morrison Kimberley GBR (United Kingdom) 62 Haug Anne DEU (Germany) 64 Naeth Angela CAN (Canada) 66 Salthouse Ellie AUS (Australia) 67 Bartlett Nikki GBR (United Kingdom) 68 Lewis Sarah GBR (United Kingdom) 69 Jerzyk Agnieszka POL (Poland) 70 Lawrence Holly GBR (United Kingdom) 71 Miller Leslie USA (United States of America) 72 Lundstrom Asa SWE (Sweden) 73 Koistinen Minna FIN (Finland) 74 Czesnik Maria POL (Poland) 75 Watkinson Annah ZAF (South Africa) Crowley Ready To Bring The Heat In Goondiwindi Text By Rob Sheeley Hell of the West is a triathlon with a reputation for being one of Australia’s toughest. Set in the warm climbs of south-west Queensland, the race comprises of a murky 2km swim in the McIntyre River, a flat 80km ride under the baking sun and a 20km run with the mercury climbing to searing proportions on the thermometer. This year will be the 27th edition of the iconic event. The race has attracted some handy conveyances including the reigning champion, Sarah Crowley. There is little doubt that Crowley will start as a short-priced favourite given her sensational form in 2017, which all kicked off at the Hell of the West. The features of Crowley’s watershed year included wins at Ironman Cairns and The ITU Long Course World Championship as well as third place at the Ironman World Championship in Kona. There will be plenty lining up for a crack at Crowley’s crown. American Skye Moench produced some solid results in 2017. She finished ninth in the Ironman 70.3 North American Championship behind the likes of Holly Lawrence and Jeanni Seymour. Moench also finished 11th behind Sarah Crowley at the ITU Long Course World Championship in Pentiction. Alise Selsmark should finally benefit from competing in a triathlon that actually has a swim-leg. After cancellations at both Ironman Western Australia and Ironman 70.3 Taupo late last year, Selsmark will relish the opportunity to get in the water. Her strong swim should land her towards the pointy end early and provide a good foundation for the remainder of the race. The TriSutto camp will have a strong representation at the race. In addition to Crowley, Switzerland’s Nina Derron and Els Visser from the Netherlands, spearhead a strong team of athletes. Kerry Morris and Holly Grice should also be in the mix and have to be considered podium chances. Hell Of The West 2018 Start List Sarah Crowley Shannon Chapman Jennifer Davis Nina Derron Holly Grice Skye Moench Kerry Morris Alise Selsmark Els Visser Fawn Whiting Leave a Reply 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.