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photo: Silke Wechsel / ITU
Elites Ready for Last World Cup of Year
A group of 12 U.S. elite athletes are slated to start in this Sunday's final ITU World Cup event of 2008 in Huatulco, Mexico.
The list includes four women and eight men.
The results should bring an interesting influence to this year's athlete ranking, especially for the U.S. women.
Sarah Groff is currently ranked No. 6 in the world and could move to as high as third with a win. Olympian Sarah Haskins, Mary Beth Ellis and Jillian Petersen are also competing. Haskins is currently ranked No. 15.
They will be joined by a powerful group of international competitors. New Zealand has a strong presence this race with 2008 Olympians Samantha Warriner and Andrea Hewitt. Currently ranked No. 2, Warriner needs to finish seventh or higher to take the top spot from an absent Felicity Abram of Australia. Winning the latest world cup event in France, Lisa Norden of Sweden, is expected to show great results this Sunday. A top-two finish can boost Norden to the prestigious third place ranking.
Click here for full women's start list
For the elite men, American Olympians Matthew Reed, a recent winner of the Portland Premium Pan American Cup, and Jarrod Shoemaker, last year's continental cup winner, are bringing their A-game to Huatulco. Needing only 13th place to overcome South African Hendrik De Villiers, Reed will be squaring off with Frenchman Tony Moulai for a spot in the top ten ranking of this year's world cup series and a piece of the $250,000 world cup series bonus pool up for grabs.
Also on the start list for the men is Brian Fleischmann, Ethan Brown, Matt Chrabot, Mark Fretta, Kevin Collington, and long course star Chris Lieto, who hasn't raced an ITU event since winning the Bay Islands Continental Cup in March 2007.
Click here for full men's start list
Be sure to log onto triathlon.org for live coverage from Huatulco.