A field of pros second only to Ironman Hawaii will be going for top spot on the podium in the Ironman Melbourne 2012 Asia-Pacific Championships.
The pro men and women winners of this race will be well on their way to nailing down a spot for the World Championships in Kona in the Fall of 2012.
There are only three races in the world that offer 4000 Kona Ranking Points to the winners and Melbourne is one of them. Second and third place winners will also do very well and will bank 3,520 points for 3,120 points respectively.
Even fourth and fifth score big points with 2,800 and 2,400 points up for grabs.
Melbourne is ranked as a P-4000 race along with the European Championships in Frankfurt and the U.S. Championships in New York later this year.
These point awards are huge when you consider that Ironman races like Texas, South Africa, and New Zealand award 2000 points(P-2000 race)to the winner, and Ironman U.K. or Ironman Canada for instance offer (P-1000 races)1000 points to the winner.
In other words, coming in second or third in Ironman Melbourne is like winning both Ironman South Africa and Ironman Canada.
So the stakes are very high and this will be one very exciting race.
PROS ENTRY LIST FOR IRONMAN MELBOURNE 2012
Of course these lists are subject to change in the event of last minute withdrawals, but this is the most current start list for both pro men and women.
As a matter of fact, top contender Peter Jacobs has officially withdrawn from the race.
Another late shocker was Leanda Cave withdrawing from the race at the last minute. Her comment and reason for not competing in Ironman Melbourne 2012…..
I have been battling with fatigue since finishing 4th in Panama 70.3. I have had to back off my training significantly, and therefore I have just not done the work to do an Ironman and do it well. I never race unless I’m prepared to have a shot at winning.
THE PRO MEN
Craig ALEXANDER Cronulla (NSW) Luke MCKENZIE Sunshine Beach (QLD) Eneko LLANOS Spain Luke BELL Elwood (VIC) Cameron BROWN New Zealand Frederik VAN LIERDE Belgium Greg BENNETT Australia Joe GAMBLES Boulder (TAS) Jason SHORTIS Tweed Heads (NSW) Bart AERNOUTS Belgium Marko ALBERT Estonia Mitchell ANDERSON West Melbourne (VIC) Johan BORG South Fremantle (WA) Dan BROWN Philippines Finnbar CRENNAN Wallsend (NSW) Fredrik CRONEBORG Sweden David DELLOW Mooloolaba (QLD) Clayton FETTELL Lennox Head (NSW) Justin GRANGER Noosa Heads (QLD) Jens GRØNBEK Denmark Romain GUILLAUME France Esben HOVGAARD Denmark Todd ISRAEL Crows Nest (NSW) Joel JAMESON Great Britain Bert JAMMAER Belgium Oyvind JOHANNESSEN Norway Lothar LEDER Germany Sergio MARQUES Portugal Paul MATTHEWS Aus Edo MEER Netherlands Hiroyuki NISHIUCHI Japan Courtney OGDEN Como (WA) Jens PETERSEN-BACH Denmark Josh RIX Glen Iris (VIC) Alejandro SANTAMARIA Spain Billeau SIMON France Gudmund SNILSTVEIT Norway Shinya SUGANUMA Japan Sudrie SYLVAIN France Petr VABROUSEK Czech Republic Matty WHITE Magill (SA) Pawel WISNIEWSKI Cheltenham (VIC)
Mirinda CARFRAE Australia Leanda CAVE Great Britain Rachel JOYCE Great Britain Caroline STEFFEN Mooloolaba (SUI) Rebekah KEAT Burleigh Heads (QLD) Belinda GRANGER Noosa Heads (QLD) Amanda STEVENS United States Jessica JACOBS United States Michelle MITCHELL Woodroffe (NT) Carrie LESTER Buderim (QLD) Beranek ANJA Germany Suzanne BLACKBORROW Belmont (VIC) Gina CRAWFORD New Zealand Conny DAUBEN Germany Tine DECKERS Belgium Marthe EIKRE-TELLE Norway Silvia FELT Germany Elly FRANKS South Yarra (WA) Dede GRIESBAUER United States Sara GROSS Canada Mareen HUFE Germany Fernanda KELLER Brazil Joanna LAWN New Zealand Kate MURPHY Lower Plenty (VIC) Maki NISHIUCHI Japan Katja RABE Germany Michelle VESTERBY Denmark Inka WACHTER Germany Dana WAGNER Germany
Wow! What an amazing field of pros. It’s very difficult to pick the winners here, but I’m going to give it a try.
First off I am wondering where the heck Mary Beth Ellis is, because I would most definitely picking her for a podium spot. Hopefully it is not an injury keeping her out of the race.
Conventional wisdom says that Mirinda Carfrae, and Caroline Steffen will be battling it out for top spot for the women.
However I am going to go with Rachel Joyce to have a huge race and take the win in this one. She had a sensational season in 2011 with a win in the Long Course Championships, a win in Ironman Lanzarote, a Second in Ironman South Africa, and a strong fourth-place finish in the Ironman Hawaii World Championships in Kona.
So my podium picks for the women….Rachel Joyce, Mirinda Carfrae, and Caroline Steffen in that order.
Picking the winners out of the stacked pro men’s field is just as challenging.
Again, conventional wisdom says that it will be Peter Jacobs squaring off against Craig Alexander for the win, but with Peter Jacobs out of the race that figures to be Eneko Llanos but I am going with Bart Aernouts to have the race of his life and steal the win in Melbourne.
Sure, call my crazy but Bart won 70.3 races in Antwerp, Syracuse, and the Pocono Mountains in 2011 and is ready for this. Yes, an Ironman is a lot different than a 70.3, but if Bart gauges his energy properly through the swim and bike he could have a great run split.
His run time in Syracuse was a blistering 1:13:18 so he has tons of speed.
My podium picks for the men…..Bart Aernouts, Eneko LlANOS , and Craig Alexander in that order.
We would love to hear who you think will win in Melbourne on Sunday March 25, 2012.
Enter your top three picks for the pro men and women below in the comments box and show the world your Ironman handicapping skills.
I will send anyone who picks the top three men AND the top three women in exact order signed copies of “Ironstruck…The Ironman Triathlon Journey, and also “Ironstruck? 500 Ironman Triathlon Questions and Answers”. (and also a third book of my choice as a bonus…just because.) Oh! and 2 very cool pairs of “Ironstruck” Defeet socks.
Looking forward to hearing from you. Just have your picks in our comments box before the gun goes off.