Lange and Lawrence highlight stacked field at Ironman 70.3 Vietnam

Patrick Lange returns to multisport racing this weekend at the Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship in Viet Nam, while Holly Lawrence will look to keep on winning in a competitive women's field.

| May 10, 2019 | NEWS

Patrick Lange poses in his new Castelli Trisuit - the two-time Kona champion has signed with the Italian company.

Patrick Lange poses in his new Castelli Trisuit - the two-time Kona champion has signed with the Italian company.

Photo >Courtesy Castelli

Two-time Ironman world champion Patrick Lange heads up a competitive field set to take on the heat and humidity in Danang, Vietnam this weekend for the Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship. Lange has been training in Asia since mid-April - he's been training at Thanyapura Resort in Thailand in preparation for his first triathlon of 2019.

Lange is just one of many world champions set to compete in Danang. The defending Asia-Pacific 70.3 champion, Mauricio Mendez, is an Xterra world champ. There's three-time Kona champ (and two-time 70.3 world champ) Craig Alexander, fresh off a win a couple of weeks ago at Ironman 70.3 Busselton. Tim Don, a former ITU world champ, is coming off a runner-up finish at the Cannes International Triathlon last month. Tim Reed, the 2016 Ironman 70.3 world champ, took second last weekend at Ironman Australia, so will no-doubt be competing on tired legs. Terenzo Bozzone won the 2008 Ironman 70.3 World Championship and has four other world titles to his credit - he's coming off a tough weekend at last weekend's ITU Long Distance World Championships and will likely be motivated in Viet Nam.

Add in names like Mike Phillips, who took Ironman New Zealand in March, Tim Van Berkel, Kevin Collington, Dylan McNiece, Luke McKenzie and Romain Guillaume (who just won Challenge Taiwan in hot conditions) and you have the ingredients for a fast, competitive race for the Asia-Pacific title.

Lawrence / Kahlefeldt showdown

Radka Kahlefeldt might not have a world title to her credit like Holly Lawrence does (2016 Ironman 70.3 world champ), but the super-mom from the Czech Republic is a fierce competitor who seems to thrive in the heat. Last year she took the Asia-Pacific 70.3 title as part of her amazing return to racing after having baby Ruby - she won her first race just 11 weeks after becoming a mom. Kahlefeldt took Ironman 70.3 Geelong earlier this year, proving she's still in great form.

Lawrence has to be considered the favorite this weekend, although her win last weekend at the challenging Ironman 70.3 North American Pro Championship in St. George, Utah, might mean she'll be a bit tired in Viet Nam. Lawrence wins races from the front, while Kahlefeldt typically has to overcome a deficit after the swim, so we should be in for an exciting day in Danang.

It's not as though those two are the only women who will be gunning for the title, either. Sarah Crowley, third in Kona in 2017 and this year's winner of Ironman 70.3 Taiwan, is yet another world champion (ITU Long Distance World Championships, 2017) to add to the list. Ellie Salthouse won Challenge Cancun in fine style a few weeks ago, borrowing from Lawrence's start to finish handbook. Amelia Watkinson regularly races well in the heat, as does super-runner (and another super-mom) Beth McKenzie. Angela Naeth enjoyed a huge day in Kona last year with her eigth-place finish and continues to amaze as she recovers from Lyme disease.

Suffice it to say we're looking forward to some fast racing in a world-champion-stacked field in Viet Nam.