Commonwealth Games champion Jodie Stimpson has chosen Challenge Bahrain this December to step up to middle distance racing, where she’ll be racing against a stacked female field that includes fellow Brits Leanda Cave, Rachel Joyce, Cat Morrison and recent 220 cover star Lucy Gossage.
“I’ve wanted to race a 70.3 for a while now but it scares me somewhat of course,” Jodie tells 220. “I know an Olympic distance is hard enough and I have total respect for all the athletes racing 70.3 and Ironman. So why race? Well Challenge Bahrain 70.3 fits in perfectly really with me as I will be in my winter training so longer miles. My coach Darren smith is known for keep his athletes on their toes and challenging them, so I suppose this is my early season one.”
Making its debut on 6 December, Challenge Bahrain has promised a prize purse of $500,000, with each winner taking home $100,000 and the remaining money being shared down to tenth place. Other female athletes racing include current Ironman world champ Mirinda Carfrae (AUS), current Xterra World Champion Nicky Samuels (NZL) and Olympic bronze medallist Erin Densham (AUS), with Samuels and Densham also making their middle-distance debut.
“The Brits are pretty dominant at all levels of triathlon at the moment so if you turn up at a world class race you’re more or less guaranteed to be up against several world class Brits, all of whom may win!” says Gossage, who won Ironman Lanzarote last April and came second at the Alpe d’Huez Long Course Triathlon last month. “Realistically I’m highly unlikely to be in the mix, particularly at that time of year, but it’s going to be an incredible experience and definitely one I didn’t want to turn down. I expect Jodie Stimpson will be a strong force to reckon with!”
In the men’s field, big names confirmed so far include Pete Jacobs, (AUS), Chris McCormack (AUS), Eneko Llanos (ESP), Timo Bracht (GER), Tyler Butterfield (BER), Bevan Docherty (NSL) and Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS).
(Image: Delly Carr/ITU)