The professional start list is stacked with 30 men and 20 women for Venice Florida REV3 this Sunday. It marks the final stop of the 2013 REV3 Triathlon series and the final chance for points prior to May 2014 Finale in Knoxville. Series leaders Lauren Goss and Eric Limkemann will both be racing this weekend, along with a plethora of talent.
A fast swim pace is expected from Jennifer Spieldenner, who has proven her dominance leading the women out of the water at other REV3 races this year. Meredith Kessler, a few weeks removed from Ironman World Championships, should be at the front of the swim and be a key player onto the bike and run.
Goss, the current series leader, has had a solid season in 2013, and should use her bike- run strength to make her way to the front of the race.
“After a disappointing race here in 2012, I am looking forward to use what I learned from the mistakes I made last year and finishing the year off with a top result,â€ Goss said. “The half distance is unfamiliar to me but I am dialed in with my nutrition plan and I am ready to suffer for 4hrs and finish the season!â€
With VodiÄkovÃ¡ and Kelly Williamson sitting out of REV3 Venice, the other key woman to watch in Florida is Rebeccah Wassner.
“I am really excited to be finishing up my 2013 season at REV3 Venice,â€ Spieldenner said. “It is going to be a very flat and fast day with a lot of really competitive girls going for the win. I am looking forward to pushing myself and finishing the season strongly.â€
Meredith Kessler raced a strong World Championships last month and the question will be how quickly she has recovered and if she can tap that speed in her legs.
A breakaway is possible at REV3 Venice, especially for the way that Cameron Dye likes to race- out in front. Limkemann and Dye could create a break in the swim to take charge and avoid a pack forming on the flat and fast bike course.
The unknown with Dye is the distance as he has only raced one race in his career at this distance. The run length could prove to be the breaker for him, especially with the fast feet of some of the runners in this field.
Tim Don, David Thompson and Richie Nichols have all shown their ability to run around the 1:12 mark for the run distance.
A confident Andrew Starykowicz will be someone to watch on the bike, always using his strength to take control of the race. With his near the front swim exit at Ironman Florida last weekend, he could be at the front from the start.
“It will be fun to see if anything is left in the tank 8 days after setting an all time American Ironman Record and World Record bike split,â€ Starykowicz said. With two long distance events in his legs in less than a month, the always big-statement man might find it hard for his legs to answer this weekend.
Richie Cunningham is on a solid rise up from a crash mid season and could be the freshest of all the men coming in. Cunningham has won the REV3 series before and will use this last season fitness to the best of his points earning ability for the 2014 Finale.
Leon Griffin, REV3 Maine champion, has had his eye set on this race, and is within striking distance of the top 5 in the series, as he sits in 7th place now. Griffin strengths lie in his bike-run combo.
“Finally, the race I’ve been waiting for all season is here. It’s been a long year. I started the season on January 2nd and here we are, still going in November. I think I have enough left in the tank to end the season with a bang, ” Griffin said. “A good result in Florida will put me in a good spot for a high overall Rev3 Series placing come the series Championship at Knoxville in 2014.
In the overall series rankings, both Kyle Leto and Kevin Collington in 5th and 6th place respectively will not be racing, offering a chance for a shuffling of the standings.