The Bahrain Endurance Team is returning to action this weekend at IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai and IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa to kick off the new year. The Dubai line-up boasts Daniela Ryf, Caroline Steffen, Javier Gomez and David Plese racing alongside His Highness Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, while Jodie and James Cunnama take on their home race in South Africa.
Ryf is back to defend her title, won at the inaugural edition of Ironman 70.3 Dubai last year. The race is also once again the first leg of the Nasser Bin Hamad Triple Crown, and the Swiss star is targeting another run at the million-dollar prize for winning each race of the series.
Javier Gomez’s participation signals his return to top competition. Dubai will be his first big race test after winning the Rotorua Half Ironman on holiday in New Zealand at the end of last year. The Spaniard said, “I am excited to start a new season after 2016, where things did not go as I expected.” The 2014 Ironman 70.3 World Champion was beset by illness and injury last year and was unable to race at the Rio Olympics. This year will see him racing in more half-distance triathlons.
“The main goal for the race in Dubai is to validate my guaranteed slot for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in case I decide to race it. Dubai will be a good test to determine my fitness after the past few weeks of training.”