Race Previews: Ironman 70.3 Vineman & Challenge Roth

ROTH, GERMANY - JULY 20: Challenge Roth on July 20, 2014 in Roth, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)


Ironman 70.3 Vineman Preview

Timothy O’Donnell

There is a solid group of good bikers–Giardini, Collins, Bowstead. Do you plan to go with them or reel them back in on the run?

“I’ll be racing to win for sure, if I can ride at the front I’ll be there!”

Or, perhaps you will just drop all of them on the bike and cruise the run for a win????

“That would be the ideal scenario :)”

Is this the last race before the big build to Kona?

“Rinny and I will take a little break (in Carmel) after Vineman for a week. After that we’ll ramp up the Kona training block and I’ll use Timberman 70.3 as my last race before Kona.”

Favorite winery? How many glasses will be consumed pre and post race?

“Pre-race, I’ll have a glass or two, two nights out of the race and post race, well post race all bets are off…I’m sure we will uncork our fair share of wine! For wineries my favorite on course spot is Papapietro Perry, in Healdsburg its Williams Selyem (both are awesome pinot!). If we are talking Napa, Frank Family, Corison and Wolf Family take the cake!”

MarkMark Bowstead

Vineman has quite the stacked field (per usual), with a lot of solid bikers who will put the pain on the field up front. From what you have heard about the course (rollers, a couple short climbs, some flats) is this a good one for you to put in a good effort up front to break up the groups that may form?

“Yes, the field looks good I am excited to get there and race some of the best guys in the world. I have not heard too much about the course except that every athlete i have spoken to recommends the race. I like all types of bike courses from super flat to hilly and I think groups can be broken up on either. But yes I like to ride hard so it wont be different on the weekend, the more individual the race can become I think the better for me. But anything can happen thats the excitement of racing.”

Lots of people might not be aware of Sam Appleton, but you have raced him in the southern hemisphere. Is he someone you think will be up front and a threat all day?

“Everyone should be aware of Sam, I believe he is the guy to beat. I follow all races I can very closely and if you look at his Cairns performance he showed no weakness across the disciplines. But like I say anything can happen, he has been up at altitude maybe for the first time (not sure) only for a short period and its a whole new beast training/recovering and tapering up here.”

Crowie beat you in Geelong 70.3 earlier in the year. Are you ready to turn the tables this weekend?
“Yes, Crowie and Sam smashed me on the run in Geelong, but of course I believe I can turn the tables this weekend, I believe in the training I have been doing and the past 2 performances (3rd Boulder 70.3 and 1st Buffalo Springs 70.3) give me a lot of confidence to give it a crack.”

Has your recovery from Boulder 70.3 and BSL70.3 gone well–fresh and ready to give it another go this weekend?

“Yes, recovery from both has been great after both events I’ve been able to crack back into Hard training on the 3rd day which I think has allowed me to improve between each as I can put in a solid 5 day block. In the past 2 weeks between 70.3’s has been a horrible turn around as it mainly felt like recovery and tapering and I felt I was hardly training but i think now as I have become older (25) the body has matured a lot.”

Post race will you hit the wineries or head to Russian River Brewery or Bear Republic for some IPAs?

“Is there time to hit up all of the above? haha it will be the end of a racing block for me and I have a week easy so I will be relaxing for sure!”

carMirinda Carfrae

Last time you raced here you ran something like a 1:16—do you plan to roll through the field again on Sunday?

“Would love to get back down in the 1:16 range – been a while since I have been able to run that fast, I blame it on IM training.. Hopefully the swim/bikers in the field don’t get too far out of reach on the bike – that’s the main issue here. MUST stay within reach on the bike – no time for site seeing.”

Will you run faster than your husband?

“No way – but I sure as hell will try..”

Is this one last hit out before the big Kona block begins?

“Exactly – after this race Tim and I will take a few days off and take a deep breath before shit gets real.”

Which valley’s wines do you like better–Napa or Sonoma? Answer carefully as I live in Napa 🙂
“Napa – I had to ask Timmy the answer to that one.. Honestly Napa cabs are always my first choice.”

How many glasses of wine pre and post race?

“maybe only 1 pre race – and it’s none of your business post race ;).”

TRSradioCaveLeanda Cave

You are racing really well this year–excited to return to Vineman and give it a go?

“I’m racing well as long as you don’t count Challenge Dubai! Vineman was a late addition to my race schedule but I like that I know this course and it suits my strengths.”

Does a likely non-wetsuit swim make you happy—tiring out the weaker swimmers and giving you, a strong swimmer, an advantage?

“I really don’t give a shit! Either way it’s the same for everyone and you just have to roll with the punches….sometimes literally!”

Lauren Brandon, MBK and Holly Lawrence will likely be near the front out of the water. Is the plan just to ride straight through them on the bike?

“Haha! My ego thinks that is a good plan, but these girls are not going to let that happen. I’d be happy to have the leaders in sight the whole way.”

Favorite winery (or brewery) in CA? How many glasses of wine before and after the race?

“Stags Leap Wine Cellers. 2 glasses before and 2 bottles afterward :-)”

emmakateEmma-Kate Lidbury

How is SoCal? Are you back in your training niche and loving it?

“Yes, absolutely! I’m a SoCal girl at heart and love being back here. There’s a great crew and I’m training well.”

You separated your shoulder recently—how is that? Healed and ready to go?

“I dislocated my shoulder in May and optimistically thought I’d be right back at it, but it took a little longer than anticipated to get it stabilised and strengthened – Theraband became my new best friend! I’ve been back in the pool for some time now and I’m ready to rock. Someone asked me just the other day: “So are you back to normal now?” I’m not sure I’ve ever been normal, but yes, I’m as normal as I get :)”

You will definitely be chasing some fast chicks out there on the bike, are you ready to ride that Felt like you stole it?

“Always! There is no other way to ride that Felt of mine! Bring it! It feels like a looooooooong time since I last raced (well, I guess it is — it was 70.3 Texas in April) so I am super excited to get back out there and do what I love. Vineman is one of my favourite races, so I’m pumped to be coming back ready for this race.”

Fantasy Analysis: IM 70.3 Vineman


Challenge Roth Preview

Laura Bennett

Is your foot injury from earlier in the year healed? How was your training leading into the race?

“My foot injury is healed, and my training was as solid as it could be leading into the race with the limited amount of time I had to work with. I did not want to miss out on such an epic race, so I will no doubt suffer on the day, but I look forward to fighting for the best result I can achieve with the given circumstances.”

How many pretzels are eating in a day in Germany? It is a great place to carbo load right?!?!?

“I look forward to trying one, but I am not sure that they are as big of hype as it may seem, there aren’t pretzel stands lining the streets or anything? I did see ALOT of hop fields … that is definitely carbo loading!”

Are you going to the pre-race party where everyone wears traditional German dirndls and lederhosen?

“I will definitely be there, and am looking forward to the get up!!”

Will you listen to tunes during the run (allowed in the past there). Songs of choice?

“I will have tunes on the run, depending on how I feel, I will decide whether to use them. I have a mixture of songs on there … from Black Eyed Peas to Milky White to David Guetta to FloRida.”


Fredrik Croneborg

“Thanks for asking me to contribute to the site! Unfortunately i will not be starting in Roth, i had some hip problems lately so still recovering from that. I never done the race before but know its fast and it seems like fast runners(hard to break away on the bike) usually wins it. My guess it will be a German winner in Nils Frommhold.”


Cathleen Knutson

How excited are you to race Challenge Roth? It looks like an amazing experience and race?

“Yes, I’m very excited. This has been a bucket list race for my boyfriend and me. When he was able to register as an age grouper last summer (AG registration was open for 1minute 50 seconds), I decided to sign up and get us a homestay. Most of the Roth excitement will start today, as the pre-parties and registration get underway.”

Attending the dirndl and lederhosen party thing before the race?

“I hope so! There hasn’t been a lot of communication regarding when and where I need to be. I figure I’ll sort through the info and figure out the details…and find a dirndl?”

Have you previewed the course? Thoughts?

“Yes, I rode one loop of the bike yesterday. As long as it’s a calm day, it should be a pretty fast bike. The hills are short and moderately steep with long downhills. There aren’t many technical turns with lost speed, so I can see why athletes turn in fast bike splits here. The run appears to be quite flat and well supported.”

How was your training leading up to the event?

“It’s been good- no injuries, good volume. I started getting coached by Matt Lieto this year and he’s provided good guidance. Still, as a pro with a full time job (I work as the Associate Controller at a private University), I often feel like I’m never quite doing enough compared to my peers. But I still really enjoy the lifestyle. I’m not in it (professional racing) for points or prize money, so I can be more selective in doing races that sound fun with good competition. As far as this race goes, I think I have a good chance to break into the top 10 and bring home some Euros.”

How many pretzels are you eating per day?

“Not enough. Though I do plan on lots of beer and many cocktails Sunday night until we fly home on Wednesday (back to reality in the States…). Until then, it’s the dream of a no name professional triathlete.”


Scott DeFilipps

“I expect there to be lots of Germans that can ride fast. Hopefully my little ass can run some of them down”


Fantasy Analysis: Challenge Roth

Play Fantasy Triathlon and Win Money

TRS is hosting several fantasy triathlon contests this weekend for IM 70.3 Vineman, Challenge Roth, and the Pan American Games. Check out the lobby to enter today. Several professional triathletes play each weekend, come and challenge them! We are looking for feedback about the show; this week we have added analysis and interviews from professional triathletes racing. Help us out and send myself an email with feedback or comment on the article.

We have added a call in line, you can call the week of a race and give your own insight and we will play it on the air! US Based number is (832) 510-4491, you also can send myself an email with an audio file, fantasyguru@trstriathlon.com. If you would like to make an appearance on the show, or would like me to answer a question on the air, contact Zach on the fantasy support/FAQ page, or on Twitter. We will be taking questions for future episodes!

About the Authors

Zach Miller
Zach Miller is a sports enthusiast and age group triathlete living in the The Woodlands, TX. He is the Host of The Triathlon Preview Show. Follow @trifantasy The Triathlon Preview Show: iTunes Podcast
Emily is a professional triathlete and swim coach living in Napa, CA. Emily swam for the University of Michigan and completed her first tri in 2004 at the Chicago Triathlon. She worked for seven years as a paralegal, followed by three years as an Assistant Swim Coach for the University of Illinois-Chicago. Presently, she lives and trains in Napa, California while working for the Napa Valley Swim Team and coaching several age group triathletes.