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Triathlon Preview Show 71 - 70.3 Worlds
It's Javi's to lose.
I like the love for Kanute and would love to see Merica on the top step, however for every reason you think Kanute has a shot, remember Javi is better at both swimming and biking than Kanute (at least in the ITU circuit). While Kanute has shown some class at recent 70.3 races, Javi beat Jan for a world championship at the 70.3 distance outrunning Jan by over a minute only one week off of clinching his fourth ITU World Championship. Javi has more 70.3 wins to his name than Kanute has finishes (I am guessing here as I don't know how many Kanute has done). All of these wins came when his focus was solely ITU Sprint/Oly distance racing.
As for questions about his bike, remember this is a pseudo draft legal race. If you don't believe me, place your ear to the ground - you can probably still hear Sander's tears falling somewhere talking about it. All Javi has to do is get over the hill and get on the train which his swim will allow - compared to an ITU swim this will just be a warm up even with the current issues. If someone from the front pack goes balls out on the bike and gets a significant gap, they will likely pay for that on the run. By the time Sebi rolls through (he may be further back if the currents are as reported), it may be tough to build much of a gap before T2.
When it comes to the run, Javi is world class. Maybe 2 or 3 guys in the world that can run better than him in triathlon (none of whom will be at the race) and he still manages to beat them often enough to rack up multiple world championships. I realize this is over a much longer distance, but I just don't see him being outrun by anyone if he is having a good day. Watching him run at Hi-Vee was unreal - he casually coasted home for the win with a 29 min run split. In most of the photos of him running, neither foot is within an inch of the ground - he was literally flying!
***I must disclose, this weekend I looked into Javi's dark brown eyes in Des Moines and contemplated leaving my family to devote my life to making him love me. He is another level of human definitely not made from the same bowl of jello and shame I came from (at least I am taller!). I asked him to to take my son and raise him as his own, to which he replied, "No". I don't speak Spanish, but I assume it meant he is considering it.