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A preview of the men’s and women’s field that will be racing on Sunday, July 19 at the Vineman Ironman 70.3.
While many races have seen registration dips due to the tough economic times, this is not the case with Vineman Ironman 70.3. The race, which is held in Sonoma County, Calif., sold out over six months ago and is a go-to race every year for many amateurs and professionals. The beauty of the point-to-point course and the opportunity to vacation in wine country post-race are two benefits of the race.
The two top pros racing this weekend will be Ironman world champion Craig Alexander of Australia and Ironman 70.3 world champion Joanna Zeiger of the United States. Zeiger is the returning champion at Vineman, while Alexander finished second last year to New Zealand’s Terenzo Bozzone.
Alexander has faired well so far this year in the half-ironman distance, with four 70.3 victories in 2009. Bozzone has opted not to race this year, seemingly leaving the door open for Alexander to earn his fifth 70.3 victory. His toughest competition will come from fellow Australians Luke McKenzie and Joe Gambles, and Brazilian Reinaldo Colucci.
Zeiger’s biggest threat to repeat will be fellow American Tyler Stewart. Stewart has bounced back from health issues and is fresh off of a victory at Ironman Coeur d’Alene. Other contenders include Americans Linsey Corbin, Dede Griesbauer and Becky Lavelle, and Australian Pip Taylor.