Major triathlons coming to Chicago

Chicago will become the U.S. capital of elite triathlon racing in 2014 and 2015.

The Tribune has learned Chicago is getting the U.S. stop in the International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series, the most prestigious annual events on the sport’s global circuit.

The ITU, USA Triathlon and the Chicago Sports Commission are to announce at a Friday press conference the World Triathlon Series event is moving from San Diego, considered the birthplace of triathlon racing, to Chicago, whose mayor, Rahm Emanuel, is a triathlete.

Figures on the city’s financial commitment were not available.

The eight-race World Triathlon Series is televised in 160 countries.

The 2015 event, to be held near the end of September, will have extra significance, serving as the World Triathlon Series Grand Final; the paratriathlon world championships; one of what likely will be two qualifying races for the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams; and the age-group world championships.

The age-group championship races are expected to bring 5,000 amateur triathletes to Chicago.

The 2014 event will take place June 26-28.  It includes the elite professional races, paratriathlon races and age-group races.

The pro races have 75 men and 75 women.

Chicago’s Melissa Stockwell, a three-time paratriathlon world champion, is expected at Friday’s press conference.  The sport makes its debut on the Paralympic Games program in 2016.

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