Last year both lead from the gun with Amberger claiming his second win and Vodickova her maiden victory.
Port Macquarie has proved to be a happy hunting ground for Amberger, who with a win this year on October 18, will notch up his third consecutive title.
“I love everything about this race and I think my success here is a sum of all parts,” Amberger said. “I love the five-minute drive from the airport to the hotel, I love the small town vibe mashed up with the coastal lifestyle and the course is challenging and tests athletes in ways no other course in Australia does.”
Vodickova is equally excited about returning to defend her title.
“I can't believe it is already one year since I raced in Port. I really like the race, the bike course is so exciting, which means the 90km passes by quickly. No time to get bored,” she said.
Australian Tim Reed looks to be the biggest threat to Amberger’s three-peat. He kicked off what has become a stellar year with a win at the IRONMAN 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship in January and has since notched up two other wins, a second and two-thirds.
They’ll be joined on the start line by fellow Aussies Clayton Fettell, David Dellow, and Casey Munro.
In her first IRONMAN 70.3 season, Vodickova was rarely off the podium, recording a slew of wins that included victories at Putrajaya and St Croix.
“I had a great season last year, I was in good shape all year round, felt strong in the water and on the run,” she said.
The former ITU star is looking forward to adding a win to her early season third place at last month’s IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast.
Her competition is likely to come from 2013 IRONMAN 70.3 Port Macquarie Champion Lisa Marangon (AUS), IRONMAN Australia Champion Michelle Bremer (NZ), and Jessica Fleming (AUS).
NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events and Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said that the NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, is committed to supporting events in Regional NSW, which provide community and economic benefits.
“IRONMAN 70.3 Port Macquarie is a wonderful outdoor event that brings visitors to the Port Macquarie region and provides a great opportunity to showcase this beautiful area on NSW’s north coast,” Mr Ayres said.
IRONMAN 70.3 Port Macquarie is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.
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Courtesy Ironman.com/ Images Delly Carr