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Hy-Vee Elite Cup Race Preview

Will anyone be able to beat defending champions Javier Gomez and Lisa Norden in Des Moines this weekend?

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This Sunday, Sept. 1, the Hy-Vee 5150 U.S. Championship Elite Cup will take place in Des Moines, Iowa, and 60 pros will be competing for their share of a $500,000 prize purse. The men’s and women’s winners will each take home $100,000, and even 30th place in the pro race will walk away with $500. Known previously as having the largest prize purse in triathlon, the purse is smaller this year, but it’s still the largest purse in Olympic-distance racing. Another difference this year is that the pros will be racing on the same course at the same time as the age-group athletes—the pro men’s race starts at 6:45 a.m. on Sunday, followed by the pro women five minutes later, then age groupers 20 minutes later. Also, the course has changed—it will now begin and end at Gray’s Lake Park in the heart of Des Moines to make the race more spectator-friendly.

PHOTOS: 2012 5150 Hy-Vee U.S. Championship

Men’s Race

Highlighting the start list for the men’s elite race will be defending champ and 2012 Olympic silver medalist Javier Gomez of Spain. He’s had a strong season so far, and is fresh off a runner-up finish at the ITU World Triathlon Series race in Stockholm. He’ll face tough competition from some veteran pros: Australia-born Greg Bennett, the 2011 Hy-Vee champion who’s had a successful career in Olympic-distance non-drafting races since his ITU days and finished third in Hy-Vee last year, and New Zealand’s Bevan Docherty, a two-time Olympic medalist who always seems to be in contention for the win (and finished fourth in Hy-Vee last year). Other top Olympic-distance athletes who could contend for the title are American Hunter Kemper, the 2012 Hy-Vee runner-up who’s raced triathlon in four Olympics and is fresh off a win in Chicago last weekend; Ivan Vasiliev, a Russian ITU pro; and Cameron Dye, who’s been dominant in the Life Time Tri series this year and last year. Also look for some long-course pros to take a stab at the huge prize purse, including Luke McKenzie (AUS) and Paul Ambrose (GBR).

Javier Gomez (ESP)
Greg Bennett (USA)
Bevan Docherty (NZL)
Hunter Kemper (USA)
Ruedi Wild (SUI)
Ivan Vasiliev (RUS)
Matt Reed (USA)
Sam Betten (AUS)
David Thompson (USA)
Stuart Hayes (GBR)
James Seear (AUS)
Denis Vasiliev (RUS)
Jordan Jones (USA)
Rudy Kahsar (USA)
Chris Foster (USA)
Josh Amberger (AUS)
Paul Ambrose (GBR)
Luke McKenzie (AUS)
Joseph Lampe (AUS)
Kaleb VanOrt (USA)
Tom Davison (NZL)
Mark Bowstead (NZL)
Kevin Collington (USA)
Cameron Dye (USA)
Lawrence Fanous (JOR)
Paul Matthews (AUS)
Henry Hagenbuch (USA)
Bertrand Billard (FRA)
Barrett Brandon (USA)
Ben Collins (USA)

RELATED: Hy-Vee Start List, Course Changes Announced

Women’s Race

Reigning ITU world champion and 2012 Olympic silver medalist Lisa Norden of Sweden will be back in Des Moines to defend her 2011 and 2012 Hy-Vee titles. However, her 2013 season hasn’t been nearly as impressive as last year’s, so it’s hard to tell what shape she’ll be in this weekend, especially just one week before the 70.3 world champs in Vegas. She’ll be facing a tough, diverse field of ITU, Olympic non-draft and long-course women, including former Hy-Vee champion and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Emma Moffatt of Australia; 70.3 star and Canadian Angela Naeth, who was fourth here last year; and Aussie Melissa Hauschildt, the 2011 70.3 world champion who was fifth in Hy-Vee last year and has had some impressive victories this season. Other pros who could contend for the title include German ITU athlete Svenja Bazlen; reigning Ironman and 70.3 world champion Leanda Cave of Great Britain; 70.3 pro Kelly Williamson of the U.S.; New Zealand Olympian Nicky Samuels; Olympic non-draft specialist Alicia Kaye; and Chilean ITU star Barbara Riveros.

RELATED: Olympians Find Success At Long-Course Racing

Lisa Norden (SWE)
Svenja Bazlen (GER)
Meredith Kessler (USA)
Nicky Samuels (NZL)
Emma Moffatt (AUS)
Angela Naeth (CAN)
Daniela Ryf (SUI)
Radka Vodickova (CZE)
Kelly Williamson (USA)
Melissa Hauschildt (AUS)
Laura Bennett (USA)
Alicia Kaye (USA)
Holly Lawrence (GBR)
Barbara Riveros (CHI)
Liz Blatchford (GBR)
Lauren Goss (USA)
Sarah Crowley (AUS)
Jen Spieldenner (USA)
Leanda Cave (GBR)
Margaret Shapiro (USA)
Lauren Brandon (USA)
Abby Geurink (USA)
Laurel Wassner (USA)
Jeanni Seymour (RSA)
Catherine Jameson (GBR)
Jillian Petersen (USA)
Renate Forstner (GER)
Maxine Seear (AUS)
Kaitlin Donner (USA)
Anna Cleaver (NZL)

RELATED: Olympic Stud Lisa Norden is Ready for Long Course

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