A myriad of racing is set to take place all over the planet this weekend. The main focus is on Europe with Ironman Maastricht accompanied by half-distance races in both Poland and Estonia. In the U.S we see a capacity field tackle a 70.3 race in one of the world’s most popular training regions. Half-distance racing also gets underway in Cebu via Ironman 70.3 Philippines.

Text By Rob Sheeley | Images By Getty Images and Witsup

 

(c) Getty Images

Many Chances At Maastricht

The Dutch province of Limburg will provide the venue for Ironman Maastricht this weekend.

Celine Schaerer appears on the start list and would normally be the short-priced favourite in this field of seven. However, with a victory at Ironman Switzerland last weekend sealing her place in Kona, it is unlikely that she will appear in the Netherlands on Saturday.

Saleta Castro looms as the one to beat in this race and it appears to be a golden opportunity for the Itzu Tri team member to break through for a win. The two-time Spanish Long-Distance Champion finished fifth at Ironman Lanzarote earlier this year in a solid field. Castro finished second in this race last year, which included the fastest run-split and gets her chance to shine this weekend.

With podium positions wide open, the most prominent athlete pushing for a place will be the experienced Taiwanese athlete Shiao-Yu Li who is never far away from the front of most races she contests.

The local hopes will rest solely on the shoulders of Rahel Bellinga with her competition to come from Canada’s Brooke Brown, Brit Kate Comber and Germany’s Annabel Diawouh.

Ironman Maastricht 2017 Start List

61 Saleta Castro ESP
63 Rahel Bellinga NED
64 Brooke Brown CAN
66 Kate Comber GBR
67 Annabel Diawuoh DEU
70 Shiao-Yu Li TWN
71 Celine Schaerer CHE

Seymour Seeks Another Win In Boulder

One of the world’s most popular triathlon training bases transforms into a reding hub for Ironman 70.3 Boulder. A capacity field, overflowing with talent is listed to face the starter which should provide some exciting racing.

Jeanni Seymour is one of the hottest properties in half-distance racing at the moment. The recent Challenge Iceland winner has been on the podium at her last 10 outings and is showing no signs of that changing. She is clearly the one that they have to beat here as she rolls towards the 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga this September.

Alicia Kaye is a class competitor who has some very handy results in 2017. A second at Ironman 70.3 Pucon and fourth at Ironman Texas are features of her year to date, along with a recent win at the Escape series in Philadelphia. Kaye looks to be one of the top prospects this weekend.

Leanda Cave is a dour-time World Champion and has to be respected in any event she contests. Cave has already racked up one half-distance title in 2017 and will be prominent from the opening stroke of the swim.

(C) Delly Carr

Jocelyn McCauley currently teeters on the precipice of Kona qualification despite having a very successful year. She will be chasing vital points here to try and optimise her chances of grabbing one of the last available slots. McCauley is armed with a lethal run and will be finishing this race off very strongly.

Angela Naeth has been cursed with injuries for an extended period but is as good as anyone when she is at her best. Don’t be surprised if she comes heavily into calculations in Boulder.

Rachel Joyce appears on the start list but raced Ironman Canada last week. It is uncertain as to whether she will take her place in this race but, she would be one of the top hopes if she did.

Kirsty Jahn returns from a stress fracture which has severely hampered her 2017 plans. She will be fresh and ready to fire in this race.

A host of other top-class athletes have the talent to be thereabouts on race day. These include, Lesley Smith, Kelly Williamson and Danielle Mack in what can only be described as a stacked field.

Ironman 70.3 Boulder 2017 Start List

51

Seymour

Jeanni

WPRO

ZAF (South Africa)

52

Kaye

Alicia

WPRO

USA (United States of America)

53

Cave

Leanda

WPRO

GBR (United Kingdom)

54

Joyce

Rachel

WPRO

GBR (United Kingdom)

55

Smith

Lesley

WPRO

USA (United States of America)

56

Evans

Katy

WPRO

USA (United States of America)

57

Mack

Danielle

WPRO

USA (United States of America)

58

Naeth

Angela

WPRO

CAN (Canada)

59

Williamson

Kelly

WPRO

USA (United States of America)

60

McCauley

Jocelyn

WPRO

USA (United States of America)

62

Bromme

Uli

WPRO

USA (United States of America)

63

Van der Merwe

Natasha

WPRO

USA (United States of America)

64

Jahn

Kirsty

WPRO

CAN (Canada)

65

Alvarez

Palmira

WPRO

MEX (Mexico)

66

Brown

Christen

WPRO

USA (United States of America)

67

Ramsey

Lenny

WPRO

NLD (Netherlands)

68

Buster

Anna

WPRO

RUS (Russian Federation)

69

Pfitzinger

Annika

WPRO

NZL (New Zealand)

70

Capone

Lauren

WPRO

USA (United States of America)

71

Perr

Adelaide

WPRO

USA (United States of America)

72

Cargiulo

Katy

WPRO

USA (United States of America)

73

Meo

Pip

WPRO

NZL (New Zealand)

74

Casey

Terry

WPRO

USA (United States of America)

75

Madison

Mackenzie

WPRO

USA (United States of America)

76

Goodell

Kimberly

WPRO

USA (United States of America)

77

Linnell

Allison

WPRO

USA (United States of America)

78

Hill

Alycia

WPRO

USA (United States of America)

79

Serpico

Madi

WPRO

CAN (Canada)

(c) Getty Images

Otepaa Glory Awaits An Open Field

The Valga County in Estonia is the location for this weekend’s Ironman 70.3 Gdynia. With 12 athletes listed to contest the race, it shapes up as a good battle on paper.

Last year’s winner Verena Walter heads the list and the challenge Taiwan winner will need to be at her best to pull off a repeat performance against some experienced competition.

Challenge Rimini winner Anja Beranek is world-class and will be buiding towards Kona where she finished fourth last year. Expect her to be big on the bike and run home strongly.

(Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images for Ironman)

Helle Frederikson is another who is in the top echelon of the sport when it comes to achievements. She recently finished second at the Ironman 70.3 European Championship in Elsinore. A victory here looks like something she is more than capable of pulling off.

Alice Hector comes into the race in good form. She has finished fourth at both Challenge Lisbon and Ironman 70.3 Edinburgh. Hector also won the Ocean Lava Half Ironman event and has the arsenal required to be right in this battle.

Denmark’s Maja Stage Nielsen was third at the European Middle Distance Championship and is armed with a lightning run leg. Look for her to be storming home late in the race.

Ironman 70.3 Otepaa 2017 Start List

21 Walter Verena
22 Beranek Anja
23 Stage Nielsen Maja
24 Watkinson Annah
25 Frederiksen Helle
26 Hector Alice
27 Wassner Laurel
28 Valentine Nicole
29 Sanjana Francesca
30 Mullan Eimear
31 Parubocha Kateryna
32 Thoren Annie
 
Plenty Of Eyes On The Prize In Poland

The Baltic Coast of Poland will play host to Ironman 70.3 Gdynia this weekend. The even has attracted some very consistent European half-distance athletes and should be a quality affair.

Ewa Bugdol finished second at Challenge Prague last weekend behind Lucy Charles and Yvonne Van Vlerken. Bugdol is the reigning European Long Distance Champion and last weekend’s effort appears to be the sort of form that will see her right in this race.

Lisa Roberts recently finished third at Challenge Roth and backed it up with a third at the gruelling Alpe d’Huez triathlon last week. Few in the sport possess a run like Roberts and, if she has recovered well, she could well take the title here.

Tine Holst appears on the start list, however she did race at Ironman Switzerland last weekend, finishing second. It would be a surprise to see her back up for this race.

Maria Czesnik has already grabbed a couple of podiums this year and has been knocking on the door of a victory. She will be staking her claims for a step on the podium again in Poland.

Corinne Abraham appears to have secured her place in Kona for 2017. She is more than capable of being at the pointy end of this race.

Ewa Komander was second at this race last year and third in 2015. She will return with pleasant memories, hoping to replicate those results.

Lisa Huetthaler has already won two 70.3 events in 2017 while both Mareen Hufe and Carolin Lehrieder also loom as some sort of chance in this race.

Ironman 70.3 Gdynia 2017 Start List

Eimear Mullan IRL
Lisa Huetthaler AUT
Renee Kiley AUS
Joanna Soltysiak POL
Tine Holst DNK
Anna Wiese POL
Ewa Komander POL
Ewa Bugdol POL
Lisa Roberts USA
Maria Czesnik POL
Carolin Lehrieder DEU
Corinne Abraham GBR
Mareen Hufe DEU
Jenny Schulz DEU

(c) Getty Images

Watkinson Returns To Cebu

Cebu is the destination for this weekend’s Ironman 70.3 Philippines. The race has attracted plenty of experienced athletes who relish the Asian conditions with a number of them possessing the ability to take the event out.

Swiss legend Caroline Steffen has had a mortgage on this race in recent years, however with her announcement this week that she is expecting her first child in December, the door is open for a new champion to be crowned.

Amelia Watkinson was dominant on the Asian circuit in 2016 with Cebu being one of the few races she didn’t win. She has since joined the BMC-Etixx team and has been racing successfully in Europe. This is her chance to turn the tables on last year’s result.

Dimity-Lee Duke is never far away in any Asian race she contests. She was fifth in this race last year as well as third in 2015 and fourth in 2014. She also recently finished fourth at the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship in Cairns. Duke is Kona-bound this October and will be more than competitive here.

Kirralee Seidel produced a memorable summer in Australia with a string of podiums, often behind Annabel Luxford. Expect her to be in the firing line early with a solid swim/bike combination. Seidel is a definite podium contender this weekend. 

Anna Eberhardt has notched up two half-distance victories this year and is another who would have to be considered some sort of chance.

Kim Kilgroe will carry the hopes of the host nation into the race. She finished 10thlast year and could be pushing for a higher positioning 2017.

Another to keep an eye on is rookie profession Jacquie Thistleton. She has already shown signs in her early races that she is capable of competing with some quality opposition and is also likely to improve as she gains more experience.

Ironman 70.3 Philippines 2017 Start List

53

DIMITY LEE

DUKE

AUS (Australia)

54

ANNA

EBERHARDT

HUN (Hungary)

56

MONICA

JUHART

AUS (Australia)

57

KIM

KILGROE

PHL (Philippines)

58

KERRY

MULHOLLAND

AUS (Australia)

59

KIRRA

SEIDEL

AUS (Australia)

60

ALISE

SELSMARK

AUS (Australia)

61

AMELIA

WATKINSON

NZL (New Zealand)

62

JACQUELINE

THISTLETON

AUS (Australia)

63

GURUTZE

FRADES

ESP (Spain)

About The Author

Rob Sheeley is the Race Editor for WITSUP

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