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Sarah Groff and Gwen Jorgensen will use the ITU World Triathlon Kitzbühel event as a tune-up for the Olympics, while Lukas Verzbicas and Jarrod Shoemaker will test their mid-season fitness among the world’s best. Pick up the current issue of Inside Triathlon for more on the U.S. Olympic team and up-and-coming star Verzbicas.
See the complete press release from USA Triathlon below:
2012 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team qualifiers Sarah Groff and Gwen Jorgensen headline the start list for the Americans at this weekend’s ITU World Triathlon Kitzbühel (Austria), the fourth stop of the 2012 ITU World Triathlon Series.
Action is slated to begin Saturday with the women’s race at 9:05 a.m. Eastern, followed by the men at 9:05 a.m. Eastern on Sunday. A live webcast of both races is available via triathlonlive.tv.
Jorgensen (Milwaukee, Wis.) is fresh off her second career ITU World Cup victory June 17 in Banyoles, Spain. She owns four top-eight finishes in ITU events in 2012, including a fourth-place showing at the WTS opener in Sydney on April 14. She has finished among the top eight in 21 of 26 career ITU events.
Groff (Hanover, N.H.) returns to Kitzbühel for the first time since finishing third a year ago to mark her first career WTS podium finish and the first-ever WTS podium finish for a U.S. woman. She went on to place third in the 2011 WTS rankings and will race for the first time since placing 15th at the World Triathlon San Diego on May 11.
The Elite Triathlon Academy’s Kelly Whitley (Colorado Springs, Colo.) joins Groff and Jorgensen in the field for her second career WTS appearance. Visit triathlon.org for a complete women’s start list.
On the men’s side, Lukas Verzbicas (Colorado Springs, Colo.) will make his World Triathlon Series debut after winning his Pan American Cup (Dallas) and World Cup (Banyoles, Spain) debuts earlier this month. At 19, he is the youngest U.S. athlete to ever win an ITU World Cup event since the series started in 1991.
USA Triathlon National Team member Jarrod Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.) heads to Kitzbühel ranked 12th in the WTS rankings. He was 10th in Sydney to open the series and has placed in the top 25 in all three 2012 events. Visit triathlon.org for a complete men’s start list.
Following the ITU World Triathlon Kitzbühel, the eight-race ITU World Triathlon Series resumes with the Dextro Energy Triathlon Hamburg, a June 21-22 sprint-distance race which will serve as the final tune-up prior to the Olympic Games for many athletes.