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Over 2,000 triathletes will head to ever-eclectic Venice Beach on Sunday for the 10th edition of the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Triathlon. The unique point-to-point course takes athletes on an Olympic-distance tour of America’s largest city, finishing in the heart of Downtown L.A.
This weekend’s race is the fourth stop of the Lifetime Fitness Race for Toyota Cup, which wraps up next Sunday at the U.S. Open Triathlon in Dallas. Matty Reed currently leads the men’s series standings with Greg Bennett 10,000 points behind. Reed opted out of the L.A. Tri earlier this week in an effort to rest up for next weekend’s finale.
“With L.A. seven days before the series finale, I have chosen to prepare for Dallas,” Reed said.
With Reed out of the race, Bennett’s chances of winning L.A. for a fourth consecutive year are looking pretty good. A win on Sunday would move the Aussie into a first-place tie with Reed in the series standings.
Bennett’s toughest competition will likely come from draft-legal superstar Javier Gomez from Spain. Gomez recently finished second in the ITU World Championship Series. Other top contenders on the men’s side include Aussies Joe Gambles and Paul Matthews, Brit Stuart Hayes and Americans Andrew Starykowicz and Andrew Yoder.
The top two women in the Lifetime Fitness series standings are separated by only 1,000 points and both will be racing on Sunday. American Becky Lavelle is the series leader but she has yet to win a series race this year. New York Tri champ Rebeccah Wassner sits just behind Lavelle in the standings and will certainly have her eye on the 10,000 first-place points up for grabs on Sunday.
Even though she sits third in the standings, American Sarah Haskins has to be the race favorite. Haskins won in Minneapolis and Chicago earlier this year and also finished as the top American in the ITU World Championship Series. Other women to watch include Brit Julie Dibens, Sweden’s Lisa Norden and Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig and Daniela Ryf.
For more on the event, visit Latriathlon.com. Look for a complete race wrap-up and photo gallery on Competitor.Triathlon.com this Sunday.