Stacked field lines up at Ironman 70.3 Campeche

Former Ironman world champ Frederik Van Lierde will wear number one, but with names like Michael Weiss, Ben Hoffman and Matt Hanson in the race, Ironman 70.3 Campeche promises to be a barn burner. In the women's race Heather Wurtele is back in search of a third-straight title, but she'll face some stiff competition, too.

| March 14, 2019 | NEWS

Will Ben Hoffman ride the new Cervelo P5, as Frederik Van Lierde is expected to do, at Ironman 70.3 Campeche this weekend?

Will Ben Hoffman ride the new Cervelo P5, as Frederik Van Lierde is expected to do, at Ironman 70.3 Campeche this weekend?

Photo >Cervelo/ Steve Loughlin

While defending champion Terenzo Bozzone won't be on hand this weekend, the "who's who" nature of the men's field hardly signifies that things will be any bit less exciting at this year's race. While 2013 Ironman world champ Frederik Van Lierde will wear race number one, it's not a stretch to say that the Belgian will have his work cut out for him if he's to take the title on the weekend.

Most will look to the likes of Austria's Michael Weiss, who spent much of last season ripping apart the run leg of numerous races after his typically strong rides, or Americans Ben Hoffman, hungry to get back to competition after a stress fracture sidelined his fall last year, or repeat Ironman Texas champ Matt Hanson as Van Lierde's biggest competition. And, while that list of multiple Ironman and 70.3 champs is impressive, another Belgian, Pieter Heemeryck, will be another man to keep an eye on this weekend. Heemeryck looked fantastic in winning Challenge Daytona last December and is certainly keen to continue with that winning trend. Other men who certainly could be in the mix include Australian Joe Gambles and Spain's Ivan Rana.

Wurtele back in search of title defense

Canada's Heather Wurtele returns to Campeche in search of a third straight title at the Mexican destination spot on the Yucatan peninsula. She'll also have her work cut out for her as a strong field is assembled ready to challenge for the win. Super-swimmer Lauren Brandon will no-doubt lead the way onto the bike and look to stay in front for as long as she can. Another Canadian, Angela Naeth, who managed to overcome a bout of Lyme disease to not only qualify for Kona, but finish a stunning eighth, will certainly be one to watch, too. American Chelsea Sodaro, a former elite runner turned ITU racer, burst onto the half-distance scene last fall with a debut win at Ironman 70.3 Indian Wells - she is certainly one to keep an eye on this weekend. Add the always consistent Linsey Corbin (USA) to the mix and you have the makings of an exciting women's race in Campeche, too.