This is a preview of IRONMAN 70.3 Gdynia 2021 – you can click here for full race report and results.
Jan Frodeno, Daniela Ryf, Lisa Norden and Magnus Ditlev are just four of the star names to have won previously at IRONMAN 70.3 Gdynia in Poland, and the 2021 race takes place this weekend.
None of that quartet will feature this year, but who will be hoping to top the podium at the $15,000 prize purse event, which offers $2,500 for the win, awards running (just) five deep?
IRONMAN 70.3 Gdynia date and time
The race starts at 0600 local time on Sunday August 8. That’s 0500 UK time and midnight Saturday on the U.S. East Coast.
How to follow IRONMAN 70.3 Gdynia live
The best way to follow the event live is via the IRONMAN Tracker app, which includes live athlete tracker and live leaderboard. Also keep an eye on the IRONMAN Poland social media channels.
The race starts with a 1.9km swim at Gdansk Bay in the Baltic Sea.
The bike 90km course is also a single loop, and has seen some very quick times in recent years, from the four superstar athletes referenced in the intro. Last year – in one of the few events to go ahead – Denmark’s Magnus Ditlev set up his victory with a 1:57:38 bike split to start the run more than six minutes clear.
The two-lap, flat and fast run course takes in the main streets in the city centre of Gdynia, finishing next to the sea.
The Athletes – Pro Men
Race #1 is Germany’s Andreas Dreitz who is currently the PTO’s world-ranked no. 23. His biking prowess will likely find a good home in Gdynia – and you can check out his Wilier Turbine bike in our Pro Bike feature. Andreas has been consistent this season, but will be looking to take that up a notch and find his way to the top step of the podium for the first time this year.
There is British interest in the men’s race courtesy of James Teagle. James secured what I consider to be a career-best result earlier this when winning Challenge Gdansk, and so a return to Poland could be a good omen. He backed up that victory with another strong performance at the PTO-supported Outlaw Half Holkham.
One interesting name on the start list is Adam Hansen. The Aussie, now 40, was for many years part of the professional cycling peloton. With stage wins in the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana, he finished over 25 Grand Tours.
The Athletes – Pro Women
Top-ranked women racing is Germany’s Laura Philipp, who was third last year at the PTO 2020 Championship at Challenge Daytona. Fourth on her debut at Kona in 2019, she is a class act. She is also due to race next week over the full distance at IRONMAN Finland, so will she also be in Gdynia?
If she is, it could well be to try and highlight her case for selection to Team Europe in the Collins Cup.
When Lucy Hall races you can, with a fair degree of confidence, assume she will come out of the water first. Like Teagle, she also raced well in Gdansk (second) and is set to return to Polish soil again.
Maja Stage Nielsen (DEN), Katrien Verstuyft (BEL) and Margie Santimaria (ITA) should also be in podium contention.