All eyes will be on the showdown between Jan Frodeno and Lionel Sanders at Ironman 70.3 Oceanside.
March 22, 2017 | NEWS|
Earlier this year we had heard that Ironman world champ Jan Frodeno would be starting his season at the half-distance Chia Sardinia Triathlon, but it would appear that the German couldn't resist coming back to Oceanside, an event he won in 2014 and 2015.
Last year, due to an in jury and his quest for the world-best time in Roth, Frodeno was forced to adjust his race schedule. In Kona last year he talked about trying to switch things up in 2017 and try to race a bit more. His entry into Ironman 70.3 Oceanside seems to be a sign that he's following up on that plan.
In Oceanside he'll be taking on Canadian Lionel Sanders, who has already taken two 70.3 titles this year and is the defending champion in Oceanside. After setting the fastest ever time at an official Ironman race in winning Ironman Arizona last year (7:44:29), Sanders declared that he would focus on 70.3 racing in 2017.
While the Frodeno/ Sanders showdown is, on paper, the highlight heading into the race on April 1, there is a stacked field getting ready to take on the two favorites. Andy Potts (USA), a multiple Oceanside champion and former Ironman 70.3 world champ will wear race number 3. A further look at the names on the start list includes a who's who of Ironman and Ironman 70.3 champions: Andreas Dreitz (GER). Brent McMahon (CAN), Joe Gambles (AUS), Ronnie Schildknecht (SUI), Luke McKenzie (AUS), Jordan Rapp (USA), Taylor Reid (CAN) and Trevor Wurtele (CAN).
Wurtele back to defend
Defending women's champion Heather Wurtele will be in the hunt for her 20th Ironman 70.3 title in Oceanside. The Canadian will face a tough field that includes Ironman 70.3 world champion Holly Lawrence (GBR), last year's third-place finisher in Kona, Heather Jackson (USA), Meredith Kessler (USA) and Ellie Salthouse (AUS).
Also registered in the race is Rachel Joyce, the multiple Kona podium finisher who is back to racing after the birth of son Archie last year. It will be exciting to see Joyce back on the race scene in 2017.