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Impressive Field To Battle Sunday At 70.3 Texas

A deep field of pros will be racing at the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas in Galveston this Sunday.

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A deep field of pros will be racing at the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas in Galveston this Sunday. Galveston, a coastal city on the Gulf of Mexico about an hour southeast of Houston, typically offers humid and windy conditions, as there’s little protection from the wind coming off of the water. Many athletes use it as a fitness gauge leading into Ironman Texas. Pro athletes will be competing for their share of a $30,000 prize purse and valuable 2015 KPR points.

In the men’s race, Aussie Richie Cunningham, a two-time champion and veteran pro, will return to defend his title. However, he’ll have tough competition, as this field is deeper than in previous years. American Andy Potts, a top swimmer who finished fourth in Kona last year, will likely be his toughest competition, but Australia’s Greg Bennett, Canadian and 70.3 specialist Lionel Sanders both have the ability to take the title.

In the women’s race, defending champion Sofie Goos of Belgium won’t be racing, so last year’s runner-up and the 2013 champ, Brit Emma-Kate Lidbury, has the chance to take the crown. However, American Kelly Williamson, who trains in nearby Austin, Texas, and won the race in 2012, has an advantage of training in similar weather. Denmark’s Helle Frederiksen is the pre-race favorite, as she has been consistently strong at this distance. Other top women racing include Aussie and Ironman champion Rebekah Keat, American and 70.3 New Orleans winner Sarah Piampiano, strong cyclist and 70.3 specialist Angela Naeth (CAN), Canadian Sara Gross and American Lauren Goss.

RELATED: 20 Things You Probably Never Knew About Andy Potts

Pro men
Richie Cunningham AUS
Andy Potts USA
Greg Bennett AUS
Lionel Sanders CAN
David Kahn USA
Matthew Russell USA
Pedro Gomes PRT
Balazs Csoke HUN
Diederik Scheltinga NLD
Evert Scheltinga NLD
Steven Zawaski USA
Dantley Young USA
Brad Williams USA
Robert Wade IRL
Victor Arroyo Bugallo ESP
Chris Baird USA
Cody Beals CAN
Raul Tejada GTM
Reilly Smith USA
Joe Skipper GBR
Barrett Brandon USA
Brooks Cowan USA
Patrick Schuster USA
Levente-Botond Racz HUN
Sergio Quezada Ruiz MEX
Jeff Manson CAN
Mikolaj Luft POL
Matthew Curbeau USA
David Giardini ITA
Dylan Gleeson CAN
James Lubinski USA
Eric Limkemann USA
Peter Kotland CZE
Keith Kotar USA
Chad Holderbaum USA

RELATED – PROfile: Helle Frederiksen

Pro women
Emma-Kate Lidbury GBR
Helle Frederiksen DNK
Rebekah Keat AUS
Sarah Piampiano USA
Kelly Williamson USA
Angela Naeth CAN
Sara Gross CAN
Lauren Barnett USA
Lauren Brandon USA
Lauren Goss USA
Beth Shutt USA
Maggie Rusch USA
Tami Ritchie USA
Palmira Alvarez MEX
Kaitlin Anelauskas USA
Brianna Baird USA
Sarah Cameto USA
Carly Johann USA
Kathy Rakel USA
Rebecca Preston AUS
Jessica Meyers USA
Amelia McCracken USA
Sarah Graves USA
Alice Hector GBR
Bailey Hinz USA
Christina Jackson USA
Leslie LaMacchia USA
Kate Bruck USA