Windsor, CA. – The 2011 Avia Vineman Ironman 70.3 triathlon looks to be a “champions battle” of sorts as World Champions, Ironman Champions, and former Vineman Champions headline the field. Picking a winner will be difficult with a world class pro field racing for $50,000 in prize money and precious ranking points for the Ford Ironman and Ironman 70.3 World Championship races. Outside of the World Championship events, this will be the deepest (55 athletes in total) and strongest pro field seen in North America this year. The pro athletes will begin the race at 6:30am, at Johnsons Beach in Guerneville, California.
The men’s race is headlined by former Vineman Ironman 70.3 winners Chris Lieto (2002, 2010), course record holder Joe Gambles (2009), 2011 US Ironman Champion Timothy O’Donnell, 2011 Ironman South Africa and 2011 Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3 Champion Raynard Tissink, 2011 Ironman Kansas 70.3 Champion Paul Matthews, and Andy Potts, currently one of the hottest athletes on the triathlon circuit. A former Olympian and the 2010 Ford Ironman Coeur d’ Alene champion, Potts has already won five races this year including the Ironman 70.3 Florida and the Ironman 70.3 California-Oceanside.
If the favorites aren’t on their best form there is a large group of other champion athletes that will affect the outcome of this prestigious race and be happy to take home a share of the $50,000 prize purse. They include: 2011 Avia Wildflower winner Jesse Thomas, Kieran Doe (former Ironman Canada Champion and 2nd 2011 Avia Vineman Ironman 70.3), the imposing and diverse Matty Reed, Matt Lieto, and 2010 Subaru Ironman Canada Champion Victor Zyemtsev.
Almost equally impressive is the women’s pro race. The start list is headlined by 2010 Ford Ironman World Champion and 2010 Avia Vineman Ironman 70.3 winner Mirinda Carfrae, Leanda Cave (2nd Ironman Championship 70.3, 1st 2011 Avia Wildflower, 2nd 2010 Avia Vineman Ironman 70.3), Heather Jackson (2nd Ironman 70.3 California-Oceanside), 3x Xterra World Champion Melanie McQuaid, 2010 Ironman Canada Champion Meredith Kessler, and rising star Magali Tisseyre.
While the professional athletes are competing for $50,000 in prize money and Ironman World Championship and Ironman 70.3 World Championship qualifying points, age group athletes will be racing in an equally strong field for bragging rights and 50 coveted qualifying spots for the Ironman World Championship 70.3 to be held on September 11 in Las Vegas, NV.
For more information and schedules please go to: www.vineman.com.