Sanders highlights stacked Ironman 70.3 Texas field

Lionel Sanders on the bike at Ironman Mont-Tremblant, 2019. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon

The pro list for Ironman 70.3 Texas, set to take place on April 11, is now out. Featuring a flat, fast course around the Gulf Coast city of Galveston, the competitive men’s and women’s fields are set to show off some fast racing.

Lionel Sanders will likely be the man with the target on his back after his recent runner-up finish to Jan Frodeno at the recent Challenge Miami. The Canadian will have lots of competition, though. Included on the list is Matt Hanson (USA), who was second at the PTO Championship at Challenge Daytona last December. Then there’s Great Britain’s Joe Skipper, who set course records at his last two Ironman wins in Florida (2019) and New Zealand (2020), and who will likely be chomping at the bit for another win post pandemic. For over a year Sam Long and Sanders have had a training feud on Strava as the two athletes have been testing their climbing abilities on the coveted Mount Lemmon Climb in Tuscon, Arizona, now Sanders sits on the top step of the podium with Long sitting in third. Who will come out on top in Texas? Other men to watch include 2019 Challenge Roth champion Andreas Dreitz and Australian Sam Appleton.

Competitive women’s field

On the women’s side the race will be difficult to call. South Africa’s Jeanni Metzler (formerly Seymour) has multiple 70.3 titles to her name and is the defending women’s champion. She’ll no-doubt have some tough competition – we recently saw Americans Jackie Hering and Skye Moench fair well at Challenge Miami, placing third and fifth. Two other women expected to also contend for the win are Sarah Crowley and Heather Jackson, who weren’t really on their game in Miami, placing eighth and ninth. Crowley and Jackson both have enjoyed lots of success over a variety of distances and are both Kona podium finishers, so expect them to be in the mix this time around in Texas. Others to watch include swim-specialist Lauren Brandon (USA), speedy cyclist Kimberly Morrison (GBR) and Brazil’s Pamella Oliveira.

The preliminary start list can be found here.