Blummenfelt and Ryf among the race favorites for Saturday’s Ironman 70.3 Dubai

(Photo: Diego Menzi RR, Daniela Ryf Instagram)

The triathlon season seems to really get started now: Ironman 70.3 Dubai is on the calendar for the upcoming Saturday. The race attracts some star athletes, among them Olympic gold medalist and Ironman world record holder Kristian Blummenfelt and multiple Ironman world champion Daniela Ryf. While Blummenfelt will have a tough battle with the Belgians and 2021 winner Daniel Baekkegard (DEN), Ryf will likely be challenged by few German athletes.

Men’s field: Blummenfelt, Baekkegard and the Belgians

In the men’s race Blummenfelt can expect some competition from Belgium’s Pieter Heemeryck, who after two years of coaching from Frederik van Lierde switched back to his former coach, Lubos Bilek, in the beginning of 2022. Heemeryck has won many Middle Distances in the past and finished second during Ironman 70.3 Dubai 2020. The race was then won by another Belgian athlete who will be toeing the line, this weekend: Bart Aernouts. Belgian short-distance talent Marten van Riel will be expected in the front of the field too.

Of course, not only the Belgians will go all out to beat the Olympic champion, also last year’s winner Daniel Baekkegard will be burning to defend his title. Other names that have a fair chance of claiming a podium spot, are Swiss’ Jan van Berkel, Swiss’ Andrea Salvisberg, France’s Pierre Le Corre, Slovenia’s Davis Plese and Portugal’s Filipe Azevedo.

Ryf against German talents

While the men’s field is packed with some strong Belgian athletes, in the women’s race a battle can be expected between Ryf and some German athletes: Laura Philipp, Daniela Bleymehl and Carolin Lehrieder. Also Leanne Fanoy, who finished sixth last year and races for the United Arab Emirates, can be expected in front.

Saturday morning at 07.00 AM local time (04.00 AM CET and midnight EST), the race will kick off in Dubai.