Race Previews

The Lead Pack: Men

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Photo - David Koppel and Josh Mork

GRANITEMAN BIG LAKE SPRINT PREVIEW II - The men's field at this year's race is deepr than ever. Cracking the Top 5 will be easier said than done. Here, based on the list we saw last week, are the guys who we believe have the best chance to do so:

JOE ADRIAENS, 30 – Joe began tp break out in 2017 and enjoyed two straight successful years. During that period, he climbed onto three podiums and popped a sub-9-hour IM. He has yet to record his first multisport win, and seems to prefer longer races. A Top 5 against a strong field, which features several guys with great sprint credentials, won't be easy, but he just might get it done....

DAVID KOPPEL, 33 – David Koppel (Koppel like Ted, not Kopell like the "Love Boat" guy) demonstrated at Buffalo and Clearwater last season that he is on the verge of a breakout season. Big Lake's route is slightly bike-heavy, which plays to his strength. A podium is possible. A Top 5 is likely.

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BRETT LOVAAS, 45 (photo R) – Brett has won more than thirty tris in his career and many of this wins have been in sprint races. He could podium on Saturday, but it won't be easy against this field.

 

JOSH MORK , 37 – 2019 Most Improved and Triathlete of the Year nominee, Mork comes into the race as the favorite, and we won't bet against him. Marcus Stromberg's long-standing 1:01:48 course record is a tough nut, and Josh might be the guy to crack it.

KEVIN O'CONNOR, 48 – KO is a stud. We all know that. The five-time Minnesota Master of the Year has been a nationally respected mulisport star for three decades. A podium on Saturday? Yes. A win? Possibly.

BRIAN STORHAUG, 28 – The two-time Big Lake Sprint winner will need to knock 3-4 minutes off his PR on this course if he hopes to crack the Top 5, but we believe he will be pulled and pushed to a PR performance.

KYLE SWENSON, 18 – Is the 2019 Male Junior of the Year ready to bark with the Big Dogs, i.e can he crack the Top 5 on August 1? We're anxious to find out. We think he'll come close.

ANDY ZABEL, 40 – Runner-up for Most Improved last year, Z has been training like a banshee the past couple of seasons. We believe there is a podium step with his name on it at Big Lake.

COMING SOON: The women's Top 5 hopefuls. 

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