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Ironman UK 2015: Pro MEN preview
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Wednesday 15th July 2015


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One more step to Ironman UK victory for Joe Skipper on Sunday?

While Joe Skipper has already made some significant 'noise' this season courtesy of his second place at Ironman Texas and Bronze medal at the ITU World Long Distance Championships in Sweden, perhaps a look at the last two years of results in Bolton are enough to make him the pre-race favourite this time around? Third in 2013 (to Halksworth and Bayliss) and second last year (to Long Distance World Champ Cyril Viennot), means that there is only one podium step remaining for Joe - and of late, he hasn't been in the mood for maintaining the status quo. Make no mistake, Joe Skipper wants to win Ironman UK badly... and he expects to back up his desire with a performance to do just that.

Joe Skipper, Ironman UK 2015

One thing we can guarantee is that Skipper will not be leading from the gun to tape.

Two Scottish athletes will be putting themselves in a 'catch me if you can' position, if normal service plays out in the water. Fraser Cartmell is the only male Pro athlete racing that has experience of winning on the Bolton course, recording his victory in 2010 - a year in which he did the 'double', by also winning 70.3 Wimbleball. Last season Fraser picked up Scottish Championships at practically every discipline outside of Cross Triathlon, and his Ironman UK preparations this year have included a close second place at Tri Athlone in Ireland two weeks ago. Cartmell raced head-to-head with the talented South African Matt Trautman to take second at Ironman Wales last year, and still has the speed and experience to be a podium contender this year in Bolton.

Fraser Cartmell's Trek Speed Concept ©Getty Images for Ironman

David McNamee switched to long distance racing from the ITU World Series at the beginning of the 2015 season, gaining 70.3 podium finishes in Mallorca and Kraichgau. He's also already raced over the distance, finishing seventh at the Ironman African Championship in South Africa. With ITU swim speed and strong running too, how he performs over the very challenging bike course will determine the outcome of his race.

Though listed, we know that Stephen Bayliss and Will Clarke will not be racing - and we strongly suspect that will be the case too for David Dellow (AUS), after his superb third place (and sub-eight finish) at Challenge Roth last weekend.

The fastest athlete in the field based on PB time is Victor Del Corral Morales. In 2013 he won both Ironman Florida (7:53:12) and Ironman Arizona (8:02:00) just two weeks apart. Del Corral is now coached by Bella Bayliss, a three-time Ironman UK winner (including the first edition in Bolton), so he'll have the inside track and local knowledge. He can run like the wind but will likely lose significant time in the swim, so he'll also need to bike and run well too. A class act though and a very strong podium contender.

ExtremeMan Narbonne 2013 ©José Luis Hourcade

Frenchman Denis Chevrot may not be a well known name in the UK, but as a winner of Ironman Western Australia last season in convincing style (46min swim / 4:26 bike/ 2:49 run for an 8:05 finish), there are clearly not too many weaknesses in his talents. One to watch for sure.

Ironman UK Pro Men Startlist

Name
Bib No.
Bayliss, Stephen
1
Cartmell, Fraser
2
Clarke, Will
3
Skipper, Joe
4
Simon, Oliver
5
McNamee, David
6
Brierley, Simon
7
Chevrot, Denis
8
Clark, Sam
9
Del Corral Morales, Victor
10
Dellow, David
11
Rohan-Gates, Dominic
12
Shinozaki, Yu
13
Williams, Brad
14

Ironman UK Race Coverage


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