AZUELA COVE, Davao City - A fierce battle for top positions is anticipated when the Alveo Ironman 70.3 Davao powered by Petron opens the triathlon season on Sunday at picturesque Azuela Cove.
After the success of the inaugural race last year in Davao, 2,200 triathletes from 38 countries will be joining the biggest sports event of the year in Mindanao.
“I have no doubt that this is gonna be an exciting race," said Wilfred Uytengsu, head of organizing Sunrise Events Inc.
Mexican Mauricio Mendez and Czech Radka Kahlefeldt are returning to defend their crowns, leading the 16 pro triathletescompeting in the 1.9-kilometer swim, 90km bike and 21k run event.
The two are heavily favored to repeat especially after they completed a “double” of Ironman 70.3 races in the country last year when they also ruled the Asia-Pacific Championship in Cebu last August.
Tim Reed, a former Asia-Pacific and world champion, lost by nearly two minutes to Mendez in last year’s inaugural staging and is all primed up for a payback against the Mexican star.
Sam Betten and Tim Van Berkel provide the needed backup for the aces from Down Under along with David Mainwaring, Matt Lewis and Fraser Walsh.
The event also serves as the kick off of a series of SEI-organized and produced events, including the Sun Life 5150 Cebu on April 28, the Century Ironman 70.3 Subic on June 2, the Penong’s 5150 Davao on July 7, the Regent Aguila IRONMAN70.3 Philippines on Aug. 11, the Black Arrow Express 5150 Subic on Oct. 27 and the Sun Life Cycle PH in November.