World number one Ashleigh Gentle will look to end a remarkable unbeaten record on home territory when she lines up against Daniela Ryf at IRONMAN 70.3 Switzerland in Rapperswil-Jona on June 11.
But she faces a formidable challenge against home favourite and five-time IRONMAN World Champion Ryf.
Ryf on a roll in Swiss events
For Swiss star Ryf has been unbeatable on home roads in recent years.
She’s won this very race the last seven times it’s taken place for women, the latest victory coming in 2021.
And she’s four out of four at IRONMAN Switzerland too, taking that title last year in Thun when she finished nearly half an hour ahead of runner-up Alexandra Tondeur.
But she potentially has a point to prove after slipping down to #10 in the standings after a rare DNF on her seasonal reappearance in the PTO European Open.
First head-to-head battle
And she is unlikely to have things her own way with Gentle in the line-up as the Aussie only found Anne Haug too good in that same event in Ibiza.
That was a return to form for Gentle after an uncharacteristic blip at the Peniscola Infinitri in April.
She’s yet to race against Ryf – though the pair did clock the two fastest times at last year’s Collins Cup, albeit in different matches.
Next on the start list are German duo Anne Reischmann and Daniela Bleymehl, fifth and sixth respectively at IRONMAN 70.3 Kraichgau recently.
Switzerland’s Nina Derron and Sweden’s Sara Svensk are also part of a 19-strong women’s field – but the battle for the win would appear to be between Ryf and Gentle.