12:02 pm - Thursday September 29, 2016

Phuket’s Triathlon to see Ironman Legends Compete

Phuket’s Triathlon to see Ironman Legends CompeteAustralian legend Craig Alexander, the world’s most successful Ironman and Ironman 70.3 athlete in recent years, will contest the Ironman 70.3 Laguna Phuket on

2 December – the latest addition to a stellar line-up of elite professional athletes heading to the island.

A three-time Ironman World Champion and the first athlete to win Ironman and Ironman 70.3 World Championships in the same year, Alexander has signed up for Laguna Phuket alongside another legend of the sport, Cameron Brown, the 10-time Ironman New Zealand Champion.

They join triathlon’s latest double World Champion in the Laguna Phuket pro line-up, Leanda Cave of Great Britain – newly-crowned 2012 Ironman and Ironman 70.3 World Champion, and only the second athlete to achieve this feat in the same year after Alexander.

One of the most respected triathletes among his peers and a favourite of fans worldwide, 39 year-old Alexander – known as “Crowie” – has proved himself the most versatile swimmer, runner and biker across all distances of triathlon.

Winner of the 2008, 2009 and 2011 Ironman World Championship and 2012 Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship, Alexander is also the Ironman World Championship record holder and won his Ironman 70.3 World Championships in 2006 and 2011.

And as Laguna Phuket Triathlon (LPT) Champion in 2002 and 2004, he’s relishing a return to the island to compete for a slice of the US$25,000 Ironman 70.3 Laguna Phuket prize purse.

“After too many years away, I’m really looking forward to returning to Phuket to race the Ironman 70.3,” he said. “It’s certain to be a unique race in an amazing country.”

New Zealander Brown, Ironman World Championship second-placed finisher in 2001and 2005, won Ironman New Zealand in 2001-2005 and 2007-11. He was

runner-up to Alexander at the inaugural Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship held in Melbourne in March.

Debbie Dionysius, Assistant Vice President of Destination Marketing, Laguna Phuket, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that these two legends are coming here for our event – with so much top talent in the line-up it’s going to be a fantastic sporting spectacle.”

Ironman 70.3 Laguna Phuket, the third running of this iconic triathlon, is preceded on 25th November by the 19th edition of the legendary LPT.

Both LPT and Ironman 70.3 Laguna Phuket each attract a field of around 1,000athletes from around the world and are linked by a Tri-Fest of training and social activities at Laguna Phuket during the week between the two Sunday races.

With some athletes opting to take on the challenge of competing in both events there are a number of intriguing duels in store, one of the most prominent between Laguna veteran Belinda Granger of Australia and Czech Olympian Radka Vodickova, both vying to become LPT’s first-ever women’s triple Champion before lining up against each other again a week later in the Ironman 70.3..

However, Leanda Cave – nearing the end of an epic season that has set new standards for women athletes, with another  Ironman 70.3 title win in Miami on 28 October – remains the leading female contender in Ironman 70.3 Laguna Phuket.

“I can’t wait to get to Phuket,” she said during preparations at her training base in Tucson, Arizona for her last event before Phuket, Ironman Arizona “It’s been such an incredible season for me and I want to round it off in the best possible way by winning Ironman 70.3 Laguna Phuket.”

In LPT, first-ever triple Champion Massimo Cigana returns to defend his title in a bid to be a four-time Champion and is looking forward to the challenge. But he faces stiff opposition from elite pros such as American Chris Lieto – the Ironman renowned as the fastest cyclist in triathlon – who’s keen to make up for his Phuket debut last year when he was forced to retire from the 70.3 after crashing out on the rain-hit bike course.

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