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Top Field To Race 70.3 Australian Pro Championships

Melissa Hauschildt, Rachel Joyce, Michael Raelert and Craig Alexander highlight the stacked pro field.

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A stacked field of pros are heading Down Under this weekend to compete at the Ironman 70.3 Australian Pro Championship in Mandurah, Western Australia.

Last year’s champion Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) is on the heels of a disappointing Kona performance and announced on Facebook yesterday that he is “cutting his season short” and withdrawing from the race due to injury.

There will still be plenty of competition for the win as three-time Ironman world champion Craig Alexander and two-time Ironman 70.3 world champion, and recent Ironman 70.3 Miami winner, Michael Raelert (GER) will both be making the start. Former ITU stars Ruedi Wild (SUI) and Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS) will be contenders for the podium. Other top names to watch for include Aussies Tim Reed, Christian Kemp, Leon Griffin and Luke Bell. Bermuda’s Tyler Butterfield is also on the start line and will be looking for a top performance after a DNF in Kona.

Australia’s Melissa Hauschildt is back to racing after a devastating injury derailed her 70.3 and Ironman World Championship campaigns. She’s the defending champion here and will face off against other top names like Annabel Luxford (AUS), Rachel Joyce (GBR), Caroline Steffen (SUI), Rebekah Keat (AUS), Nikki Butterfield (AUS), Radka Vodickova (CZE), Melanie McQuaid (CAN) and Anja Baranek (GER).

The swim is a point-to-point route in Mandurah’s sheltered harbor where currents may result in faster-than-average swim splits. The athletes will then have to battle the notoriously hot and windy bike course along the Indian Ocean before finishing the run on the shore of Mandjar Bay.

Many of these athletes are likely looking to secure some valuable points toward 2015 Kona qualification. As a championship-level race, Sunday’s event offers 1500 KPR points to the winner.

See the complete pro start lists below:

Men
2 Craig Alexander AUS
3 Michael Raelert GER
4 Brad Kahlefeldt AUS
5 Tim Reed AUS
6 Tyler Butterfield BMU
7 Ruedi Wild SUI
8 Leon Griffin AUS
9 Christian Kemp AUS
10 John Polson AUS
11 Luke Bell AUS
12 James Bowstead NZL
13 Johan Borg AUS
14 Matt Burton AUS
15 Simon Billeau FRA
16 Denis Chevrot FRA
17 Guy Crawford NZL
18 Darren Jenkins AUS
19 Christian Kramer DEU
20 Gergo Molnár HUN
21 Alex Reithmeier AUS
22 Jamie Stanley AUS

Women
31 Melissa Hauschildt AUS
32 Rachel Joyce GBR
33 Caroline Steffen SUI
34 Radka Vodickova CZE
35 Annabel Luxford AUS
36 Anja Beranek GER
37 Nikki Butterfield AUS
38 Rebekah Keat AUS
39 Melanie McQuaid CAN
40 Jeanne Collonge FRA
41 Kate Bevilaqua AUS
42 Renee Baker AUS
43 Sarah Crowley AUS
44 Kym Coogan AUS
45 Katy Duffield AUS
46 Michelle Duffield AUS
47 Katey Gibb AUS
48 Mareen Hufe GER
49 Asa Lundstrom SWE
50 Anna Russell NZL
51 Tineke Stewart NZL