USA Triathlon is already highly involved in the development of future Olympians through a pipeline that consists of draft-legal Olympic-style races and draft-legal specific camps for younger elite athletes and top junior elite athletes. This race will serve as a tool for USAT to identify talent, future elite athletes, and future Olympians.
The Twenty-12 race will feature athletes ages 16 to 29, including junior elite, U23 and age group athletes. It will also give up-and-coming elites experience in draft-legal racing at the sprint distance and provide exposure to the Olympic style of racing to the public. Open registration is available for athletes 16 to 23. Athletes aged 24 to 29 can race by invitation only, if they had a 2007 USAT ranking of 90 or better.
“This event fills the gap for talent identification between USAT junior development races and the Haul to the Great Wall series of ITU events,” said Scott Schnitzspahn, USAT sport performance director. “It also provides another opportunity for us to evaluate the talent coming from the age-group ranks.”
The race will be conducted in a multiple loop, draft-legal format (Olympic-style of racing) with a $4,000 prize purse going five deep (1st Place: $600, 2nd Place: $500, 3rd Place: $360, 4th Place: $300, 5th Place: $240). The competition will be fierce in the 750 meter swim, 20K bike and 5K run that will take place on the same course at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials the day before. There are only 80 female and 80 male slots available in this event.
The event is part of the four-race Tuscaloosa Tri-Palooza weekend. The festivities will include USAT’s Collegiate National Championship and the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials on Saturday, April 19 and the Tuscaloosa Triathlon and the Twenty-12 race on Sunday.
For more information or to register for the event, please go here.