Sam Appleton is set to defend his title at Ironman 70.3 Vineman. Along with teammates Ben Hoffman, Terenzo Bozzone, and Caroline Steffen, expect the Bahrain Endurance racing red to set the field alight.

The young Australian took the win here last year, to his own surprise. Appleton says, “I have been looking forward to coming back to defend my title. I feel like I am getting race fit at the right time and I am looking forward to drawing out that race fitness on the course this weekend.”

Hoffman continues to work on speed, coming off his hard-earned 4th at Ironman 70.3 Coeur d’Alene two weeks ago. “It looks to be a world championship caliber field, including teammates Sam and Terenzo, and Caroline on the women’s side,” says the American. “I’m looking forward to getting the best out of myself on Sunday and cheering my fiance Kelsey across the line in her race too.”

Steffen hops once more across the pond to challenge the American women in their back yard. The Swiss made a splash earning 2nd at Oceanside earlier this year. “It’s great to be back in California and I’m excited to try out a new course at 70.3 Vineman,” she says. “I love getting in the mix with the best girls in the sport and this race should bring out the best in me.”

Jodie Swallow and James Cunnama head to Ironman 70.3 Sweden from their summer base in Girona, Spain. Cunnama says, “We are set up in Girona for a summer of hard work getting ready for Ironman World Champs. We are looking to use 70.3 Sweden to kick off our build to Kona, hopefully on a positive note.” The South African notes, “Jodie has raced and won in Sweden before, but it will be another new country for me to tick off the list.”

Swallow says, “Since my first visit to Sweden in 2013 for the Ironman I have been going on to James about it constantly.  I loved the place and the people so I hope Jonkoping lives up to my expectations.” The Brit is building back up after her triumphant Cairns race. “I have started getting my legs going and I’m sure a good race will help shock them into action. Not a kind way to do it but hopefully an effective kick start to our Kona block.”

Rounding out the team members racing this weekend, Brent McMahon is back in the dirt for XTERRA Victoria. The Canadian says, “I’m excited to get on the dirt and in my backyard again. After a break post-Ironman Brazil it will be fun to get back to some racing at this fun event with a great vibe.”