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Defending Champs Highlight Wildflower Start List

Despite the heavy race weekend, the Wildflower race organizers have managed to assemble a top-notch pro field.

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To defending Wildflower champion Jesse Thomas, the Wildflower Long Course Triathlon “represents triathlon in its purest, raddest form.” So it’s no surprise that the American is returning for the 2012 version. Despite the heavy race weekend (Ironman St. George, Rev3 Knoxville and several overseas triathlons are set for the next two days), the Wildflower race organizers have managed to assemble a top-notch pro field. Other top contenders joining Thomas in the men’s pro wave include South Africa’s James Cunnama, the United States’ Jordan Rapp and Matt Lieto, Australia’s Clayton Fettell, Paul Matthews and Chris Legh and Canada’s Trevor Wurtele.

On the women’s side, 2011 winner Leanda Cave of Great Britain will look to revamp what has been a frustrating start to the 2012 season. After closing 2011 with two world championship podiums (Ironman World Championship and ITU Long Course World Championship) and an Ironman victory (Ironman Arizona), Cave started 2012 with an illness that kept her out of several planned races. Cave’s toughest competition will come from contenders Linsey Corbin (USA), Tenille Hoogland (CAN), Heather Jackson (USA), Rebekah Keat (AUS) and Melanie McQuaid (CAN). Former Wildflower winner Samantha McGlone (CAN) will also make the start. McGlone took time off last year to deal with the after effects of overtraining. Another Canadian, Janelle Morrison, will also be making a comeback of sorts. Wildflower will be Morrison’s first race since a horrific car crash nearly took her life in November of 2010.

Check back to Triathlete.com throughout the weekend for more from the Avia Wildflower Triathlon Festival.

PHOTOS: The Wildflower Run Course

Men’s Pro Start List
Gavin Anderson
Blake Becker
Karl Bordine
Mauro Cavanha
James Cunnama
John Dahlz
Scott DeFilippis
Lewis Elliot
Clayton Fettell
Christopher Ganter
Steven Garza
Josh Hadway
Jose Jeuland
Stephen Kilshaw
Joseph Lampe
Andrew Langfield
Christopher Legh
Matt Lieto
Jim Lubinski
Arland Macasieb
Timothy Marr
Paul Matthews
Dustin McLarty
Ian Mikelson
Justin Park
Ken Rakestraw
Jordan Rapp
Kevin Taddonio
Jesse Thomas
Nicholas Thompson
Nick Waninger
Brice Winkler
Trevor Wurtele

Women’s Pro Start List
Christine Anderson
Leanda Cave
Rachel Challis
Emily Cocks
Linsey Corbin
Naomi Fergusson
Heather Gollnick
Julia Grant
Tenille Hoogland
Heather Jackson
Rebekah Keat
Jennifer Luebke
Marilyn McDonald
Samantha McGlone
Melanie McQuaid
Katya Meyers
Janelle Morrison
Jenni Plane
Lisa Ribes
Alexis Smith
Jennifer Tetrick
Beth Walsh
Patrice Watson
Charisa Wernick