Racing in Dublin, Copenhagen, Kalmar and Mont-Tremblant

It is the last weekend pros can collect points to qualify for the 2017 Ironman World Championship Hawaii and there are four international Ironman races on the calendar.

| August 18, 2017 | NEWS

Marino Vanhoenacker will compete at Ironman Mont-Tremblant this weekend. (Archive photo: Ironman Austria 2016)

Marino Vanhoenacker will compete at Ironman Mont-Tremblant this weekend. (Archive photo: Ironman Austria 2016)

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There are four international races in the Ironman calendar this weekend: Ironman 70.3 Dublin, Ironman Copenhagen, Ironman Kalmar and Ironman Mont-Tremblant. Copenhagen will feature a pro-women's race, while Kalmar will be a men's pro event.

Dueling in Dublin

At Ironman 70.3 Dublin we'll see several well-known professionals at the start line. Top favorites include Eneko Llanos (ESP), Joe Skipper (GBR) and David McNamee (GBR). Romain Guillaume is also a podium-contender. Susie Cheetham (GBR), Lucy Gossage (GBR) and Amanda Wilson (AUS) are the women we'll be watching.

Vesterby is the hometown hero in Copenhagen

The women's race at Ironman Copenhagen is especially important for Michelle Vesterby. The Dane would love to take the title at her home race. A sentimental favorite will be Sofie Goos (BEL), who is returning to full-distance racing a little over a year after she was attacked while training. Camilla Lindholmborg (SWE) and Celine Schaerer (SUI) are going to be two others who will push Vesterby to the line. Others to watch for include Julia Montgomery (SWE), Corinne Abraham (GBR) and Jeanne Collonge (FRA).

Wide open men's race in Kalmar

Germany's Markus Liebelt comes into the race in Sweden off a strong third at Ironman 70.3 Gyndia in Poland, but many others in the field will feel they have a strong chance to win, too. Strong swimmer and cyclist Cameron Wurf (AUT) is one to watch, as are Denis Chevrot (FRA), Daniel Fontana (ITA) and Martin Olsson (SWE). Italian Giulio Molinari and Marc Dülsen from Germany are on the start list, but we probably won't see them at the race - Molinari is currently at a training camp in St. Moritz, while Dülsen is already qualified for the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.

Vanhoenacker wants his 17th Ironman win, Joyce races again

At Ironman Mont-Tremblant in Canada, veteran Marino Vanhoenacker (BEL) is the decided favorite. After Andreas Raelert pulled out, Vanhoenacker's strongest competition will likely come from Patrick Evoe (USA), Chris McDonald (USA) and Petr Vabrousek (CZE).

Rachel Joyce (GBR) must be asking herself what on earth she has to do to get to Kona this year. After taking last year off to give birth to young Archie, Joyce has been working her way back to Kona form in impressive fashion. She won Ironman Boulder in June, then headed off to Ironman Canada in Whistler, but her fourth-place finish there didn't net her enough points to make the Kona cut off. A reasonable race in Mont-Tremblant should be enough to get her that Kona spot, but getting to the big island has turned out to be quite a journey for a woman who has been on the podium there three times! Others in the field to watch for include Quebec favorite Magali Tisseyre (CAN), who now lives in Mont-Tremblant, Christine Fletcher (CAN) and Laurel Wassner (USA).