The world’s best professional and age group triathletes are heading to the Sydney International Regatta Centre at Penrith on Sunday, November 26.
Two-time Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Champion Tim Reed will be among the leading triathletes competing when the Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship, Western Sydney makes its Australian debut.
“The regional championships bring together top pros looking to win a championship title, create a higher standard of racing and a buzz on race day that is electric for both the competitors and spectators,” said Reed, who is also a former Ironman 70.3 World Champion.
“Having an event of this calibre in Sydney allows Ironman to showcase what great races they stage to a large audience with top notch pro racing, a great vibe and some inspiring age group stories,” he said.
“My motivation to race as hard as I can will be at an all-time high after a little bad luck in my last two races this year. To defend the Asia Pac title for the third time would obviously feel phenomenal however I've learned not to focus too much on the outcome even in championship races. If I execute the best race I can on the day and it's not a win, I can still be satisfied.”
Reed said he expect Blue Mountains native Sam Appleton, Dan Wilson, and Aaron Royle to “push each other hard for the win”.
“Another challenge will be the potentially very hot conditions we could be battling as western Sydney can have some really hot days in November,” he said.
Defending champion Dan Wilson understands what it takes to win on the super quick western Sydney course.
“The field looks to be an absolute ripper,” he said. “I believe we're looking at guys like Reedy (Tim Reed), Monty (Jake Montgomery), Appo (Sam Appleton) who have all been blazing this year, and Aaron Royle is well is going to be a huge threat in his 70.3 debut, so it's going to be a cracker of a race. My form has been quite good, I feel like I've come into my best form all year, which it looks like I'll need every piece of to compete with the lads.
“The course doesn't have any really idiosyncrasies to it, the biggest aspect is probably the heat and long, soul crushing straights on the run. But I think the biggest challenge will be the quality of blokes belting each other round the course,” he said.
“There will be some red hot racing for sure, with some big heavy hitters, you've got last year’s 70.3 World Champ in Reedy, Appo who has just about been untouchable all year, and Bugsy (Aaron Royle) who I reckon has huge potential over this form of racing, so it will be a cracker of a showdown.”
Making his Ironman 70.3 debut is Olympian Aaron Royle. Fresh from his second place at the iconic Noosa Triathlon, Royle is in top form and keen to immediately make an impression over the longer distance.
“There are a few reasons for racing Western Sydney. I've wanted to do a 70.3 race for a few years now but none seemed to fit in well enough with the other racing I was doing. But Western Sydney is close to home, it is the Asia Pacific Champs so the winner qualifies for the 70.3 worlds next year and also guarantees that it will be a strong field,” he said.
“The Commonwealth Games team is announced on November 13 and that will be a priority for next year if I am selected. If not, then it may free up my season a little to race some different races other than the usual ITU series that I am use to.”