Just when you think you're tough enough


Triathlon pros flock to Australia for 2016 season opener

craig alexander geelong australia triathlon
Craig Alexander has earned consecutive wins at the Ironman 70.3 Geelong, Australia. Image from Ironman.com

Craig Alexander will chase his fifth win in a row, while Melissa Hauschildt makes a return from injury in Geelong.

A professional field of more than 50 athletes, one of the largest in Asia-Pacific history, are eagerly awaiting to kick off their first race of the 2016 season at  IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong on February 7.

It’s going to be star-studded line up of world champions. Five-time world champion (and four-time Geelong winner) Craig Alexander will be joined by 2012 IRONMAN World Champion Pete Jacobs, while the women’s field will feature two-time IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Melissa Hauschildt.

In his drive for five, Alexander will face a plethora of pursuers including; Jacobs, Victorian Leon Griffin (a multiple IRONMAN 70.3 Champion) and Frances Cyril Viennot who finished sixth at last year’s IRONMAN World Championship.

Also to feature are David Dellow (fourth in IRONMAN Western Australia), German Per Bittner (second at Ballarat), New Zealand’s Callum Millward (IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder winner) and Australian Jake Montgomery (IRONMAN 70.3 Western Sydney winner).

The stacked women’s field is highlighted by Australians Annabel Luxford and the returning Hauschildt, who missed much of last year with injury. Luxford capped off a superb 2015 with consecutive IRONMAN 70.3 wins at Western Sydney and Ballarat.

Hauschildt, the 2011 and 2013 IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion, is on the comeback trail after injury prevented her from racing post her win at the 2015 IRONMAN Melbourne in March.

“I can’t wait to get back racing. I was training really hard on the bike all last year waiting for an answer with my rib injury. I thought it was going to really pay off at Kona and I’d be able to see the improvements I’d made on the bike but that time never came, I didn’t get to race,” says Hauschildt.

Luxford and Hauschildt will be joined by IRONMAN 70.3 Port Macquarie champion Radka Vodickova (CZE), Dutch star Yvonne Van Vlerken (third at IRONMAN Western Australia and second at Ballarat), and Andrea Forrest (with IRONMAN 70.3 podiums at Port Macquarie and Western Sydney).

View the 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong Pro Athlete List.

Source: Ironman.com