Friday, August 31, 2012

70.3 Worlds Preview Part 2: The Men

If you didn't catch my post on the top pro women racing Vegas, click here to read it. So here's part two of my Vegas preview based off the work I compiled when writing the Vegas preview for LAVA Magazine. Like with the women, the actual LAVA preview features 12 men, and I'm only talking about eight here. You'll have to pick up the magazine for the rest...

The 8 Men

Craig Alexander
He's the defending champ and a badass mofo. What more is there to say? So, then, let's just move on... jk. Actually, let's back up because last year says a lot for what we should expect this year. In 2011: Won Ironman CDA. Won Vegas. Won Kona. At Vegas, he went 3:54:48 with a 1:11:50 run, nearly 2 minutes faster than anyone else. I don't expect anything different this year. So far he has that IM win...two left to go!

1st Ironman Melbourne (Asia-Pacific Championships) -- 7:57:44
9th Racine 70.3 (11th OA)
1st Eagleman 70.3 -- 3:44:57, run 1:15:07

Greg Bennett
He's in it to win it!!! I'm glad to see Greg dominating at a new race distance (and not surprised really). He mentioned in our interview that he can "get bored" with 70.3 racing, but I somehow doubt that's completely true. I think he'll definitely land on the podium in Vegas. Just look at his results of the year. "Old" man domination!

1st Rev3 Knoxville Olympic -- 1:47:02
2nd Honu 70.3, almost running down Lance Armstrong with a 1:18:21. (oh, remember those days with Lance was still in it)
2nd Eagleman 70.3 -- 3:47:14, a few minutes off Crowie's time
1st Vineman 70.3
1st Muncie 
3rd Chicago Tri 1:50:09

Jesse Thomas
Jesse Thomas is still running fast, and now biking and swimming faster too. He has a couple W's in his season thus far, and is posting fastest splits. Vegas is a big deal for him this year -- last year he got ill after competing in Philippenes 70.3, which he said affected his race in Vegas where he finished 17th.

6th 70.3 South America Champs
3rd Rev3 Costa Rica -- fastest run
3rd Oceanside 70.3 -- 3:55:22, fastest run
1st Wildflower, defending his 2011 title going 3:58:59
4th Rev3 Quassy 
2nd Rev3 Portland -- 4:01:01 behind Cunningham, fastest bike 
1st Rev3 Maine

Michael Raelert
He's back! Personally, I think Michael could consistently be the world's best (or one of the), but quite frankly he just seems a little too thin and I'm convinced that's played into his injuries. But for now, it's a moot issue I guess. So after winning 70.3 Worlds in '09 and '10, and a disappointing '11 (no Vegas, no Kona, no K-Swiss million dollar challenge), you can bet he's ready to unleash at Vegas then Kona. He did make a late-season comeback in 2011 with a win at Austin 70.3 and second at Miami 70.3. And this year, despite a small race schedule, he's on fire...

1st Mallorca 70.3 -- 3:57:08, more than 13 min faster than 2nd
1st Switzerland 70.3 -- 3:44:13, more than 7min faster than 2nd (see a theme here??)
2nd IM Regensburg 8:18:53

Richie Cunningham
In 2011 he missed Vegas (injury in August -- fractured pelvis in a race), but recall in 2010 was 5th at Clearwater. Richie is a consistent, solid racer. Look how much he races and how well he does!!! He's one of the older guys, too, which this day in age is clearly an advantage as we're seeing. There's really not much else to say! 

2nd  70.3 Asia Pacific Champs (Dec 2011)
3rd 70.3 South America Champs, just behind studs Docherty and Armstrong 
6th Rev3 Costa Rica Olympic
2nd Oceanside 70.3
2nd NOLA 70.3 
8th Rev3 Knoxville Olympic
1st Rev3 Quassy Half
4th Eagleman 70.3 
1st Rev3 Portland Half
1st Rev3 Wisconsin
4th Rev3 Maine

Tim O’Donnell
He’ll be going for the trifecta of HyVee, Vegas and Kona (as will GB). Tim told me he's taken a more conservative approach to racing this year to focus on the big ones that matter, and that in past years he's been "cooked" by now. He's also recently engaged to Rinny, so there's no doubt that they have their heads down and are working hard/smart this year. He didn't do Vegas last year, but in 2010 he was third at Clearwater. Tim's been dominating since his first break through season in 2009, which included earning the ITU Long Distance World Champion title.

1st San Juan 70.3 -- 3:51:32
3rd St. Anthony’s 5150
1st Texas 70.3 US Pro Champs 3:47:40
3rd Boise 
2nd IM CDA 8:41:36
2nd Lake Stevens 4:01:49, lost in the run which is rare

Andy Potts
He has four wins this year, including a huge W at IM Lake Placid where he lead from the beginning and never looked back. Then again, that's pretty standard for Andy in many of his races over the years. He has some unfinished finished business at Vegas -- last year he finished 11th in what he considers “a terrible race” due to personal reasons (he was still 11th), which he told me in our interview. Potts won 70.3 Worlds at Clearwater in 2007. 

1st Oceanside --3:54:03, his fourth time winning this race
1st St Croix 70.3
2nd CapTex Triathlon Race to the Toyota Cup
1st Escape from Alcatraz, 5x time champ
2nd Philadelphia triathlon race to the Toyota cup june 24
2nd Minneapolis triathlon race to the Toyota cup july 14, 1st kemper
1st IM Lake Placid 8:25:07, held lead from the beginning

Matty Reed
Choosing a No. 8 on my list was hard. But I have to say, I'm a big Matty Reed fan so he wins. Personally, I was expecting him to have a little bit better of a season than he's had so far this year, but I still think he's had some great showings and is racing a lot like he loves, which is good for his mind I'm sure. He had it tough in 2011 when he took on too much work with his yogurt shop in addition to Kona training, and didn't get to race a lot, including a no-show at Vegas. But he's good at 70.3 Worlds -- in 2010 he was ninth in Clearwater and in '09 was third

6th Oceanside 
10th Rev3 Knoxville 
2rd Boise -- but this was pretty much a tie for 1st, (they should have both been awarded with first. Hm, just like the women's triathlon race in London).
5th Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon, Olympic
6th Rev3 Quassy 
7th Boulder 70.3 

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