With the Ironman 70.3 World Championship only days away, we took the driver out of the bag and teed up this event with five fearless predictions.
September 7, 2017 | NEWS|
Two-peat. Yep this is a real possibility. Holly Lawrence has shown time and time again this season that she is a total bad ass. She is smart on course and experienced. Her win last season came as a bit of a shock to some, but given her follow up racing it would be crazy to think she couldn’t once again climb the mountain. The same must be said for Tim Reed. While he had a home crowd pulling for him in last year’s race, his legs did the talking ahead of the always brave Sebastian Kienle. Reed is shooting for a big Kona, but don’t discount this as a huge motivator.
Third time lucky? Sebastian Kienle is a jet. Every time he races there is little doubt he is racing for the win and not just a ‘tune up’. Desperately unlucky a year ago Kienle has not won a world title for a few seasons now. He is a two time 70.3 World Champion (2012/13) and clearly knows how to get it done in the shorter racing format. He has to be going in as the man to watch.
Where is Ryf? When Daniela Ryf races it is generally "shut the gate: in terms of results. There are few who back against her winning ways. And with good reason. Ryf is arguably the best triathlete on the planet right now. But, of late, there have been some cracks in the usual titanium Ryf armour. The air of invincibility, while still very much there, is shaded a little. And, while we think Kona is still the be all and end all for her, when she lines up in Chattanooga this weekend she is beatable. And there are a number of women who could quite easily be added to the "Top Gun" list of performers, i.e. the best of the best. Hauschildt, Lawrence, Luxford and Wurtele can all win this weekend.
H2O is the go. When the ITU transients started to line up in 70.3 racing it changed he shape of the events. No longer was the swim something you did to warm up for the bike. 70.3 racing is on like "Donkey Kong" the second the gun/canon/horn goes off. And this year’s men's field is chock full of ITU swimming goodness. Gomez, Don, McMahon and Kanute will be playing their aquatic hand early in the hopes of a get away. And, while it is not a dire indication of your day if you are not lapping in the water like Phelps, it can out pressure on your race plans. In saying that, the long course cats have won the day more often then their short course neighbors, so it remains to be seen if the water is a true ally.
So who wins? Hmmm ... OK well for this writer anyway Kienle wins a third title and Lawrence defends her crown. Tim Don and Javier Gomez will be influencers and Ryf and Haushcildt will get close.