USA Paratriathlon have announced a partnership with Chicago-based Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club to provide America's emerging triathletes with top level competition as sport prepares for its debut on the Paralympic programme next year in Rio de Janeiro.
The 2015 USA Paratriathlon Development Race Series has been created to add domestic racing opportunities for American athletes, with the four race series beginning with the 2015 USA Paratriathlon National Championships in Austin, Texas, on May 25.
The event will be followed by the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon in Wisconsin and the Nantucket Triathlon in Massachusetts on June 21 and July 18 respectively, before the Tri Santa Cruz competition in California completes the series on August 9.
"With the ever-growing Para-triathlon landscape US Triathlon has identified the need to offer a mid-level competition platform for emerging Para-triathletes in the US," said Amanda Duke Boulet, USA Triathlon's Paratriathlon manager.
"Paratriathlon will make its debut in the Paralympics Games in Rio de Janeiro, and this domestic series is a vehicle where emerging talent can assess potential success on the International Triathlon Union circuit and upcoming Paralympic Games."
The partnership will see Dare2tri act as a sponsor for the series and they will offer a $5,000 (£3,000/€4,500) prize pool to be distributed evenly to the winners of each of the five class at the Nantucket, Pleasant Prairie and Santa Cruz races, and they will also award $500 (£300/€450) to the overall series winners in each class.
Athletes must have competed in three of the series events, have a valid USA Triathlon annual licence to be eligible for the prize pool, while athletes with elite Paratriathlete membership will not be able to earn prize money.
"As the sport continues to grow, it is a logical step to have a dedicated Paratriathlon race series and Dare2tri looks forward to inspiring many through the series," said Keri Serota, executive director of Dare2tri.
"We are excited about creating more opportunities for Paratriathletes through a great culture of competition and providing a prize purse for top athletes."
Triathlon will make its debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympics and will see athletes take part in a 750 metres swim, a 20 kilometres cycle ride and a 5km wheelchair or running event.
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