Will the 70.3 World Championships turn out to be a showdown between Lucy Charles-Barclay, Taylor Knibb and Flora Duffy?
St. George field includes three Canadian pros: Paula Findlay, Tamara Jewett and Pamela-Ann Bechelder St. PierrePhoto by: Kevin Mackinnon
Ironman has released the final start list for next week’s Ironman 70.3 World Championship in St. George, Utah and the women’s race promises to be more than a little competitive. The field of 65 pro women includes, amongst others, defending champion Lucy Charles-Barclay (pictured above), American favourite Taylor Knibb and Olympic gold medalist Flora Duffy.
They are just three of the many big names in the field who have a viable chance of making it to the podium in Utah at the race on Friday, Oct. 28. (The men compete the next day.) In addition to the strong pro races, over 6,000 age group athletes will be competing at the event.
Charles-Barclay looks to defend
The British star is coming off her fourth straight runner-up finish at the Ironman World Championship in Kona – she was forced to miss out on the Ironman World Championship (and the first seven months of 2022’s race season) due to a hip injury. The former national-team long-distance swimmer has enjoyed a stellar triathlon career, and will look to try and duplicate her incredible race in St. George last year where she posted the day’s fastest swim, bike and run splits.
Related: Charles-Barclay gets long-awaited world title win in St. George
The star of the 2021 Collins Cup (and Olympic mixed relay silver medalist), American Taylor Knibb, continues her return to racing after dealing with injury, too, and will definitely be one to watch in St. George. Knibb led for much of the day at the PTO US Open in Dallas, managing a runner-up finish despite having only been running for three weeks heading into the race. Knibb took third in St. George at last year’s world championship.
Bermuda’s Flora Duffy hasn’t enjoyed a great transition from draft-legal racing to the longer distances so far this year, posting the ninth-fastest time of the day at the Collins Cup and taking sixth at the PTO US Open. After getting COVID and being forced to pull out of Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga in May, then having to pull out of Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant when Air Canada left her bike in Boulder.
While there will be lots of talk about the race between those three, they are hardly the only women who can be expected to contend for a top spot. Great Britain’s Emma Pallant-Browne has enjoyed a great year of half-distance racing and has podium experience at the 70.3 worlds – she was second in 2017. Another Brit, Holly Lawrence, took the world title in 2016.
Canada’s Paula Findlay is another athlete we can expect to contend for a top spot – she finished fourth at the 70.3 worlds last year and enjoyed a great day at the PTO Canadian Open in Edmonton, where she led off the bike and would eventually finish second. Findlay’s countrywoman Tamara Jewett is amongst the fastest runner’s in the field, and could run her way to a top finish next week, too. There is one other Canadian pro in the field – Quebec’s Pamela-Ann Bachelor St. Pierre.
Here’s the full list of pros registered for next week’s race. Triathlon Magazine Canada will be on hand to cover the races in St. George.
|56||Bachelder St Pierre||Pamela-Ann||CAN|