These are some of the favorites and reasons to root for them:
Alistair Brownlee—The elder Brownlee brother is the best triathlete in the world. He’s only 24 years old but is already a multi-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist. San Diego will be his first major race of 2013, and, if he’s on form, only Gomez has an honest shot to beat him.
Javier Gomez—The only person standing between the Brownlees and total domination of the sport is Gomez. Olympic silver medalist, world champion and true master of all three disciplines—keep an eye on him not only to win today, but because he may dominate 70.3 this summer.
Jonathan Brownlee—Injury forced the defending champion and London Olympic bronze winner to pull out of the race, leaving his brother to battle Javier Gomez on his own.
Hunter Kemper—The 36-year-old American has been racing elite triathlete since he was in high school and is the only person to compete in every Olympic triathlon.
Joao Silva—Showed great early season fitness finishing third at ITU World Triathlon Auckland earlier this month. Expect him to make the group chasing Brownlee and Gomez.
Laurent Vidal—Another athlete with the leg speed to duke it out for third. He showed patience in the London games, slowly moving through the field in the run. Watch for him in the final miles.
Jan Frodeno—2008 Olympic gold medalist has an outstanding sprint if he’s in the position to use it.
Matt Chrabot—The gritty American loves to mix it up on the bike. Don’t be surprised if he takes a flier during the second leg looking for a head start on the run.
Richard Murray—He is unlikely to show up until the final leg, but he matched Jonathan Brownlee’s explosive start to the run in 2012.
Mario Mola—Finished second in Auckland.
Jarrod Shoemaker—The only American to win a WCS/WTS race in the series’ four-year history.
Gwen Jorgensen—As still a relative newcomer to the sport, she has the highest ceiling of all the American athletes.
Sarah Groff—Fourth place in the London Olympics left Groff, the most accomplished American in the women’s field, with the hunger to continue progressing. She doesn’t have the explosion to win in the final half-mile, but can grind away at a blistering pace.
Barbara Riveros Diaz—One of the quickest and more explosive runners in the field.
Anne Haug—Strong biker/runner fresh off a win at ITU World Triathlon Series Auckland. If she makes the second swim pack, she can win the race.
Andrea Hewitt—Veteran ITU racer and 2011 WCS Grand Final winner has to return to previous form to contend for the victory.
Paula Findlay—Former phenom dominated the ITU circuit in 2010 but injuries have derailed her progress since then.
Julie Ertel—The 41-year-old represented the US at the Beijing Olympics.
Emma Moffatt—Beijing Olympic bronze medalist and former world champ can lead from gun to tape when she’s at her best.
RELATED: San Diego Hosts Second Stop Of ITU World Triathlon Series