Tough Competition Set For 70.3 Vineman

This Sunday’s Ironman 70.3 Vineman, held in Sonoma County's wine country, will feature deep pro fields in both the men’s and women’s races.

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This Sunday’s Ironman 70.3 Vineman, held in the wine country of Sonoma County, Calif., will feature deep pro fields in both the men’s and women’s races.

In the men’s race, three Aussies will likely be battling for the top spot. Joe Gambles, who has been on the podium at Vineman the last two years, is a multiple 70.3 champion and is fresh off a win at Ironman 70.3 Syracuse last month. His toughest competition will come from veteran and multiple world champion Craig “Crowie” Alexander, who’s had two 70.3 wins this season (Honu and Kansas). Paul “Barny” Matthews, who finished second to Crowie at 70.3 Hawaii this year, has also been on the podium at Vineman the last two years, so he’s very familiar with the course.

Other top contenders for the win include Kiwis Terenzo Bozzone and Bevan Docherty. Bozzone, the 2008 70.3 world champion, might be making a comeback, as he won 70.3 Florida and 70.3 Mont-Tremblant so far this season. And you can’t count out a two-time Olympic medalist—Docherty has made an impression in long course, having won his Ironman debut in New Zealand this year and 70.3 Boise last month. Also look for American Jordan Rapp; Aussie Luke Bell, who won his first Ironman in May at IM Australia; and former ITU speedster Tim Don of Great Britain, who got third at 70.3 South Africa, to possibly make it onto the podium.

In the women’s race, three Americans and one Brit all have a great shot at taking the Vineman crown. Defending champ Meredith Kessler has an advantage in that she lives in nearby San Francisco and has been racing on this course for years. She had an impressive win at 70.3 St. George this year over a stacked field, but this will be her first race back since she sustained a concussion in a crash at 70.3 Eagleman in June. Her top competition will come from American Heather Jackson, who’s been on fire so far this season, racking up wins at Escape from Alcatraz, Wildflower and 70.3 Oceanside. Multiple Ironman champ Linsey Corbin is fresh off a win at 70.3 Mont-Tremblant and could take the victory, as could Great Britain’s Emma-Kate Lidbury, who won 70.3 Texas and 70.3 Kansas this season.

Also look for American Amy Marsh, a multiple 70.3 podium finisher including third place on this course last year; or Chile’s Valentina Carvallo, who won 70.3 Pucon this season, to make it into the top three.

Pro Men
Joe Gambles (AUS)
Paul Matthews (AUS)
Craig Alexander (AUS)
Terenzo Bozzone (NZL)
Brandon Marsh (USA)
Bevan Docherty (NZL)
Jordan Rapp (USA)
Luke Bell (AUS)
Tim Don (GBR)
John Dahlz (USA)
Tim Reed (AUS)
Jamie Whyte (NZL)
Ian Mikelson (USA)
Ken Rakestraw (USA)
Eric Clarkson (USA)
Andrew Bauer (USA)
Nicholas Thompson (USA)
Rich Allen (GBR)
Matthew Russell (USA)
Kevin Taddonio (USA)
Felipe Van de Wyngard (CHI)
Martin Jensen (DEN)
Jimmy Archer (USA)
Chris Baird (USA)
Yu Hsiao (USA)
Keith Butsko (USA)
Andrew Langfield (USA)
Arland Macasieb (USA)
Danny Soper (USA)

Pro Women
Meredith Kessler (USA)
Amy Marsh (USA)
Heather Jackson (USA)
Valentina Carvallo (CHI)
Linsey Corbin (USA)
Emma-Kate Lidbury (GBR)
Jessica Smith (USA)
Caroline Gregory (USA)
Michelle Mighdoll (USA)
Adrienne Hengels (USA)
Jennifer Tetrick (USA)
Pamela Hutchison (USA)
Lisa Mensink (CAN)
Lauren Harrison (USA)
Jenni Plane (USA)
Erin Young (USA)
Elizabeth Noey (USA)
Erika Erickson (USA)
Kathleen Calkins (USA)

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