Pro Race preview: Flight Centre Active Travel IRONMAN 70.3 Cairns


Australia’s rising star Sam Appleton will be looking to further stamp himself as an athlete of the future while the highly credentialed Caroline Steffen is the hot favourite for honours in the Flight Centre Active Travel IRONMAN 70.3® Cairns on Sunday.

After injury prevented Appleton from racing on home turf at December’s inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Western Sydney, he’s enjoyed a superb start to 2015.

He followed up a tough second to five-time world champion Craig Alexander at IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong in February and won IRONMAN 70.3 Busselton last month.

“I’ve had a great year so far. I’m looking forward to what should be a really fast men’s race,” Appleton said.

The young Aussie has already been trading jabs with Alexander, his coach Tim Reed and Tim Berkel on twitter.

“There has been a bit of banter already on twitter. Everyone is in great form,” Appleton said.

Reed has also been in outstanding form after winning the IRONMAN 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship in Auckland at the start of the year.

“I’ve never raced him in this sort of form,” Appleton said.

Berkel is fresh off a second place at the March’s IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship Melbourne, and is looking forward to a hit out in Cairns.

In the women’s race, the Sunshine Coast-based Steffen will be looking for redemption after she failed to finish last year’s event due to a mechanical issue with her bike.

The Swiss star, who finished third at the IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship, is looking forward to racing in Cairns, but hoping for better weather than last year.

“Cairns is a beautiful venue to race and after my last year’s mechanical DNF, I am looking very much forward to finish unfinished business this year,” she said.

Her main competition includes Annabel Luxford, who lead out of the water in Melbourne and spent much of the bike ride with Steffen before succumbing on the run and finishing sixth in her first IRONMAN event.

They’ll be joined on the start line by 2013 IRONMAN 70.3 Port Macquarie champion Lisa Marangon (AUS), Aussie-based British athlete Polly Mosley and a bunch of strong contenders from Australia and New Zealand.

Race day will see over 3,000 age group athletes chasing their own personal bests.

The Cairns Airport Adventure Festival, incorporating the Cairns Airport IRONMAN Cairns | Flight Centre Active Travel IRONMAN 70.3 Cairns, will be held from Sunday, June 7 – Monday, June 15, 2015.

For event information visit www.ironmancairns.com

The Cairns Airport Adventure Festival is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural and regional events across the State.

Courtesy: Ironman Asia-Pacific