Ben Hoffman (USA)
Men: This year Vegas will be more like an ITU race, and if you miss the swim it will be game over. I pick Jan Frodeno to be the one to stay hidden all day on the swim and bike and then unleash a very quick run to pull away. He should have won Wiesbaden after a T2 snafu held him to second–which may be a boon, keeping him hungry for the win. With little racing lately, he is physically and mentally ready.
Women: Mel Hauschildt. She has timed her year right, and has the hunger to regain her title after a miss last year. With dominating wins at Boulder and Timberman, the only question is if she used a little too much before the big dance. But I think she will find her way to the front on the bike, and we all know she can run with the best out there.