The 2011 Avia Vineman Ironman 70.3 triathlon looks to be a repetition for the World Championship. Since, it’s rare to see a large number of pros ready to race against the best and we are not even sure to meet this quality of field for the World Championship since it’s still unclear was the strategy for Kona is going to be.
It’s really rare on the circuit, but it’s hard to predict a winner for this 70.3. This will be the deepest (55 athletes in total) and strongest pro field seen in North America this year.. This world class pro field have been attracted $50,000 in prize money and precious ranking points for the Ford Ironman and Ironman 70.3 World Championship races since the deadline is July 31, 2011 (July Qualifiers).
The men’s race is headlined by former Vineman Ironman 70.3 winners Chris Lieto (2002, 2010), course record holder Joe Gambles (2009), 2011 US Ironman Champion and 70.3 ranking leader Timothy O’Donnell, 2011 Ironman South Africa and 2011 Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3 Champion Raynard Tissink, who really need 70.3 points to qualify for the world championship, 2011 Ironman Kansas 70.3 Champion Paul Matthews, and the unbeatable this year, Andy Potts. He has already won five races this year including the Ironman 70.3 Florida and the Ironman 70.3 California-Oceanside.
The challengers : 2011 Wildflower winner Jesse Thomas, Kieran Doe (former Ironman Canada Champion and 2nd 2011 Avia Vineman Ironman 70.3), the giant Matty Reed, Matt Lieto, and 2010 Subaru Ironman Canada Champion Victor Zyemtsev.
Almost equally impressive is the women’s pro race. The start list is headlined by 2010 Ford Ironman World Champion and 2010 Avia Vineman Ironman 70.3 winner Mirinda Carfrae, Leanda Cave (2nd Ironman Championship 70.3, 1st 2011 Avia Wildflower, 2nd 2010 Avia Vineman Ironman 70.3), Heather Jackson (2nd Ironman 70.3 California-Oceanside), 3x Xterra World Champion Melanie McQuaid, 2010 Ironman Canada Champion Meredith Kessler.
It’s also the last chance for age group athletes to qualifiy for the Ironman World Championship 70.3 to be held on September 11 in Las Vegas, NV.