It really is a minute this week, since I've gotta get out the door to swim. Here are my choices and my explanations for the two races, New Orleans 70.3 and Monterrey ITU World Cup:
Terenzo Bozzone: Out of the three big "hitters" in this race, I like Terenzo's chances the best. Macca is awesome, but he sometimes does contract races in which he goes and jumps in the water and pulls out after ten miles on the bike. Like Lance, he's all about Kona. Terenzo is all about winning. Andy Potts just had a baby and that's enough of an "intangible" (when the hell is, say, a child something "intangible?") to make me pick against him. Terenzo is also the most economical of the big guns.
Matt Chrabot: I got to swim with Matt last month and he's going really fast. He wins races in Mexico and is the best ITU American athlete on the start line in Mexico at the moment (Jarrod hasn't really been racing, yet).
Brian Fleischmann: Another good, economical choice. These second tier American ITU guys do quite well in Central American races.
Andrew Hodges: Another safe, economical choice. I've raced and traveled with Andrew before and he's a good athlete, very solid, very dependable. Not much chance of a DNF and, if he swims well, he'll probably figure in the race since he's a good runner.
Ben Hoffman: Ben is a super-strong guy and that will suit him well on this powerman's course. He's got lots of good results in the past two seasons and I think he'll pop a good one this weekend in NO. Also economical.
The women's field at NO is pretty dumbell-shaped. Yvonne Van Vlerken, Dede Griesbauer, Heather Jackson, Linsey Corbin, Amy Marsh, Sam Warriner at one end (PROs) and then a whole bunch of lower-case pros at the other end. I went with one hitter (Griesbauer—she's from New England) and some little-know athletes (Jolene Wilkinson, Anne Basso). For the ITU race, I went with Anja Knapp (those Germans) and Misato Takagi (the Japanese have been making a run at ITU races in recent years). Monterrey is such a second-class field that it's hard to pick. Since the fields for the women are shallow in both races (sorry, girls), the game is really to pick people who are just going to fill out the top ten. Make your piece with not getting the winner (it's a crap-shoot) and just try to score, like it's a cross-country race.
Did I mention I came in second during week 15's game?
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