Rev3 Triathlon series is tightening up as the summer season hits full stride. Many of the top US short course racers are heading to Wisconsin Dells for a chance to earn valuable series points at one of the challenging Olympic distance events on the REV3 circuit. Along with the speedsters are a few of the long distance stars set to battle the hills and the heat in the Dells.
The swim will take place at the picturesque Lake Delton, accessing the lake at the Tommy Bartlett Ski Show, featuring stadium seating that gives spectators a unique view of the swim leg of the race, unlike any other REV3 event. Look for Dustin McLarty to push the pace immediately in the swim. The question is whether the likes of Cameron Dye, Ben Collins, Kyle Leto and Eric Limkemann will be able to hold the reknown swimmer’s feet. With a fair number of solid swimmers lining up, McLarty swim lead could get swallowed up rather quickly onto the bike.
Limkemann has added incentive to keep the swim-bike fast, as he is sitting atop the series board at the moment and won’t want to start the run with a group. With some serious swim/bike power in the field, the uber bikers in David Thompson and Andrew Starykowicz will exit the swim in immediate chase mode.
This is where the action should heat up as the athletes dig in on the bike. Starykowicz made a verbal point early this year that each race that he wants to be in the lead onto the run. He will potentially have the strongest biking field assembled this year so there are a few athletes that could cover his traditional two-wheeled attack.
The bike course is rolling and should shake out the field a bit. The bike course follows the shore of Lake Delton as it heads out to rural Wisconsin, offering challenging terrain while providing athletes a prime view of the beautiful countryside.
Andrew Yoder will make a start as well and could be a factor depending on where he exits Lake Delton. Yoder has not raced in the last few months so his fitness is unknown, where the likes of Dye, Starykowicz, Collins and Limkemann have stood on the podium a few times already this year.
“This course is beautiful and challenging,” said Charlie Patten, president of Revolution 3. “It is a fun course to race and see how hard each athlete can push. With hills on the bike and hills on the run, each athlete is going to need to balance their strength and power throughout the race.”
With fast runners like Will Clarke, Chris Foster and Kaleb VanOrt, all who have shown they can run a 30-min 10km on the day, the race dynamic could very well come down to mile three of the run where the long hills begin. The run course circles Lake Delton, and includes a challenging out-and-back where the athletes will see each other. The weather could play a role late in the run, with highs in the low 80’s expected and the traditional Midwest summer humidity.
“I am stoked to be heading back to a Rev3 race this weekend, and even more excited that it will be on what looks to be a very tough course,” Cameron Dye said. ” I missed it last year, and I always love a new course so this weekend should be really fun.”
Limkemann is leading the series with Richie Cunningham in 2nd and Joe Gambles in 3rd (neither are racing the Dells). Thompson sits in 4th with Dye currently in 7th. With 1000 points on the line here, Dye has the potential to take over 2nd with a win here.
The women’s race is anyone’s race with Helle Frederiksen, Kelly Williamson, Radka Vodičková, Lauren Goss, Jennifer Spieldenner, Rebecca and Laurel Wassner.
Helle Frederiksen, who started 2013 with two dominant wins at a short course race and a 70.3, will race for the first time since May, when she had a reaction to birch pollen. On paper, she has the skills to dominate the women’s race, but Goss is coming off her best month of racing to date. Spieldenner has shown that her improved swim and run are there and the bike will be the deciding factor for her.
Williamson, with the years of experience will have to tap her speed to cover the first 30 minutes of the race to be in striking distance off the bike. However, the hilly bike and run could play in Williamson’s favor if she comes in with fresh legs. Jessica Jones is a REV3 veteran and hunting for series points, so the second half of the race should light up while the women chase for podium spots and REV3 series points.
“After a long lay off with injury, since early May, I am very excited to be on the start line of a Rev3 event,” Frederiksen said. “I am likely around six weeks away from top shape but that definitely isn’t going to stop my hunger, drive and approach towards this race.”
For Goss, she knows the course and she is looking forward to racing this strong of a field.
“I am looking forward to racing in another Olympic distance Rev3 event. This is the distance I specifically train for and have the most experience with so hopefully it will play into my advantage. I have been focusing on my cycling since moving to Tucson, AZ so I am very excited to see the last 3 weeks of very hard work pay off on the rolling terrain of the Dells,” Goss said. “I really enjoy the isolated swim at the water-ski park and long uphill run to T1 on the Dells course. The swim also has grand stands so there are a lot of spectators and it is really a cool atmosphere. The bike and run course are rolling and pretty tough so I am looking forward to suffering out there with the other girls.”
Goss is leading the women’s series standings, with Williamson in 2nd and Jessica Jones in 5th. Vodičková is sitting in 10th in the series but is only counting one race at the moment, so a solid race could jump her up the standings tremendously. The women’s series standing are tight and should bring a out a brilliant race dynamic on Sunday.