Witsup This Weekend: IM Mar del Plata | 70.3 Cartagena Rob Sheeley December 1, 2017 Race Previews South American racing comes alive this weekend with two top-notch triathlons set to appease the appetite. Full-distance racing features in Argentina with Ironman Mar del Plata taking centre stage. In Colombia athletes will tackle the half-distance at Ironman 70.3 Cartagena. Text By Jordan Blanco and Rob Sheeley | Images By Witsup and Getty Images Piampiano Backs Up For Tilt At Mar del Plata Title Text By Jordan Blanco Ironman Mar del Plata is a first year race, taking place in the seaside resort of Mar del Plata on the South Atlantic Coast a few hundred kilometers south of Buenos Aires in Argentina. At first glance, it looks like a fairly easy course, offering ‘pancake’ flat roads on the bike and run, but the variable winds could slow competitors as they ride and run along the coastline north of the town. American Sarah Piampiano is racing again, just two weeks after her fifth place finish Arizona. After a disappointing DNF at Ironman Hawaii, the American has taken on the “Dirty Dixon Double”, named after her coach Matt Dixon when his athletes tackle two longer distance races in quick succession. Piampiano is a relatively weaker swimmer but has a strong bike and exceptional run that should see her moving through the field as the race wears on. Sweden’s Asa Lundstrom is also looking to a good result in Mar del Plata after a disappointing 17th place in Kona. Similar to Piampiano, Lundstrom is typically coming from behind after the swim and uses her strong cycling skills to find the front of the race. Another European that can be counted on to keep the pace high on the bike is Belgian Tine Deckers. After placing fifth at the Ironman Texas Regional Championships, Deckers spent much of the 2017 season in Europe and took on several of the classic European long distance races, including Embrunman, which she won. Two American women, Dede Griesbauer and Danielle Mack are likely to be upfront out of the swim. Dede Griesbauer also has an exceptionally strong bike, so she could find herself in the lead of the race for quite some time. Griesbauer’s most recent race was Ironman Louisville where a series of mechanicals on the bike forced her out of the race while she was leading. Mack is a three time Ironman Champion and combines a solid swim with a strong run. She most recently raced at Ironman Taiwan where she placed fourth. Ironman Mar del Plata 2017 Start List BIB LAST FIRST COUNTRY REP 41 Lundstrom Asa SWE (Sweden) 42 Griesbauer Dede USA (United States of America) 43 Mack Danielle USA (United States of America) 44 Piampiano Sarah USA (United States of America) 45 Donavan Jessie USA (United States of America) 46 Deckers Tine BEL (Belgium) 47 Tisseyre Magali CAN (Canada) 48 Valentine Nicole USA (United States of America) 49 Brown Brooke CAN (Canada) 50 Barrena Laura ARG (Argentina) 51 Bugdol Ewa POL (Poland) 52 Diawuoh Annabel DEU (Germany) 53 Gregory Caroline USA (United States of America) 54 Hansen Jennie USA (United States of America) 55 Livesey Caroline GBR (United Kingdom) 56 Mahn Bruna BRA (Brazil) 57 McCoy Carrie USA (United States of America) 58 Rusch Maggie USA (United States of America) 59 Tastets Pamela CHL (Chile) Goss Returns To Defend Cartagena Crown Text By Rob Sheeley Nestled in the Caribbean Coast region in northern Colombia is the historic port city that will play host to Ironman 70.3 Cartagena this weekend. A field of 10 professionals are scheduled to toe the start line with a few looking to be solid winning chances. Lauren Goss returns to Colombia as defending champion and has had a successful 2017. Goss’ year has included victories at the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon, Des Moines Escape Triathlon, Lake Geneva Escape and NYC Triathlon. She has also found the podium at the Beijing International Triathlon, Ironman 70.3 Costa Rica, Ironman 70.3 Monterrey and Ironman 70.3 Victoria. Goss took out the race in dramatic circumstances in 2016 when some confusion over the course saw athletes unsure of exactly where to go. This year, she will be keen to make it two in a row and should be prominent from the outset. Angela Naeth is back from injury and firing on all cylinders. She has been racing frequently of late and comes into this on the back of a fifth at the Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship in Bahrain against the best in the business. Prior to that Naeth landed consecutive podiums at Ironman 70.3 Los Cabos and Ironman 70.3 Miami. This race looks like it should suit the Canadian. Kelsey Withrow has had an absolute gem of a year and returns to Cartagena after finishing third in 2016. Withrow has produced wins at Ironman 70.3 Victoria and Ironman 70.3 Ecuador this year. On top of that, she has also found a step on the podium at Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz, Ironman 70.3 Qujing and Ironman 70.3 Palmas. A victory here would be the icing on top of a superb 2017. Leanda Cave always commands the highest respect in any event she starts. The four-time world champion won at Ironman 70.3 Costa Rica earlier this year and also finished second at Ironman 70.3 Cozumel. Sarah Cameto was fifth at this race last year and comes into the race after a fourth at Ironman 70.3 Xiamen. She is always a chance of grabbing a step on dais. The main local hope in the race will be Diana Castillo who finished fourth in Cartagena last year. Ironman 70.3 Cartagena 2017 Start List BIB LAST FIRST COUNTRY REP 21 Cave Leanda GBR 22 Naeth Angela USA 23 Goss Lauren USA 24 Cameto Sarah USA 25 Withrow Kelsey USA 26 Castillo Diana COL 27 Harari Lotty PAN 28 Poblete María Luz CHL 29 Raga Lina COL 30 Rodriguez Fiama VEN 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.