After illness prevented Terenzo Bozzone from defending his 2013 SunSmart IRONMAN 70.3® Mandurah triathlon title, the New Zealander is looking for redemption on November 8.
In the women, Swiss superstar Caroline Steffen will jump straight back into racing after finishing 10th at last month’s IRONMAN World Championship in Hawaii.
“I love the races late in the season, especially the IRONMAN 70.3 distance,” says Steffen. “Mandurah is such a great spot to race and a spectacular course too. It’s a unique swim in the canal and the run course is just super-fast.”
Bozzone will be joined on the start line by Australian Luke Bell, who had a tough day on the Big Island of Hawaii after he ended up in medical at the end of the bike leg.
The pair will be challenged by a group of international athletes including the 2014 SunSmart IRONMAN Western Australia champion Denis Chevrot (FRA), German Per Bitner, who finished third last year, and Seychelles pro-Nick Baldwin.
Steffen will face a stiff challenge from Bitner’s partner Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED). The pair staged a memorable battle at the IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship in March that saw Van Vlerken overtake Steffen in the finish chute.
“I really love Australia. I don’t wonder why half of my family has moved to the other side off the world, we European people feel at home in Australia,” Van Vlerken says. “It will be interesting to see how I go after a very long, but successful European season.
The women’s field also includes German Mareen Hufe, second at 2014 SunSmart IRONMAN Western Australia, local Katy Gibb, who made her pro debut in Mandurah last year, and Great Britain’s Laura Siddall, who was fifth at IRONMAN 70.3 Vineman.
Over 1,400 age group athletes will be racing over the SunSmart IRONMAN 70.3 Mandurah.
SunSmart IRONMAN 70.3 Mandurah supported by the Western Australian Government through Royalties for Regions, Healthway in promoting the SunSmart message and the City of Mandurah.
Image: Delly Carr/ Ironman