The 2012 ITU season officially gets underway this weekend, as the best of the Americas travel to Argentina for the PATCO Pan American Championships.
In the women’s race, 2011 Pan Am Games bronze medallist Pamela Nascimento Oliveria (Brazil) will wear the No.1, but will face tough opposition from the likes of Bermuda’s Flora Duffy, Mexico’s Claudia Rivas and Michelle Flipo, Colombia’s Carolina Grimaldo, Ecuador’s Elizabeth Bravo, Brazil’s Flavia Fernandes, and Argentina’s Romina Palacios Balena, as well as the talented Anahi Leon (MEX) and previous winners Kathy Tremblay (CAN) and Jillian Petersen (USA).
In the men’s, seven of the top-10 finishers from last year’s Pan Am Games are on the start list including silver medallist Manuel Huerta (USA), bronze medallist Brent McMahon (CAN), fourth-placed finisher Kyle Jones and Brazil’s triple Olympian Juraci Moreira, Bermuda’s Tyler Butterfield, Barbados’ Jason Wilson and Chile’s Felipe Van de Wyngard. Read the full preview here
About the race:
La Paz is north of Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires in the province of Entre Ríos, based on the Paraná River. La Paz has hosted a Pan American Cup event each year since 2003 and two South American Championships, but this is the first time the city will host a PATCO continental championship event.
Elite Women: Sunday 15 January – 14:00 (UTC/GMT -3) Click here for time in your area
Elite Men: Sunday 15 January – 16:15 (UTC/GMT -3) Click here for time in your area
TOTAL PRIZE MONEY:
$10,000 USD (equal for men & women)
The course starts with a two-lap 1.5km swim in the Paraná River, followed by a nine-lap mostly flat 40km bike course. The 10km four-lap run then takes athletes through the city and La Paz port to finish.
STORIES TO WATCH FOR:
2011 form carrying over into 2012 – Last year Canada’s Brent McMahon claimed his first World Cup win, while fellow Canadian Kyle Jones captured his best World Triathlon Series result and equal best World Cup finish. Colombia’s Carlos Javier Quinchara Forero his highest World Cup result, as did Ecuador’s Elizabeth Bravo. In the first few months of 2012 there is also an extra carrot to keep improving, Olympic qualification points. While the results of these PATCO championships do not automatically qualify spots in London for the winner’s NOCs, each athlete can gather valuable Olympic qualifying points. To read more on Olympic qualification click here.