By Mike Rowbottom

ITU-Guatape-November 13 - Next year's International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Cup season will conclude for the third consecutive year in the high-altitude Colombian venue of Guatapé, just outside of Medellín.

The 2013 calendar, involving sprint and Olympic distances, will cover ten cities on four continents.

"The ITU World Cup series is a critical pathway that creates an important bridge to elite success for ITU athletes," said Marisol Casado, ITU President and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member.

"As our first triathlon series, which started in 1991, the tour has repeatedly provided the backdrop for endless action and crucial race experience for our top athletes."

The 2013 ITU World Cup season will open midway on March 16 and 17 in Mooloolaba, which marks the ninth year the Australian coastal city will host a World Cup.

The circuit will then travel to another storied city on the ITU calendar with a stop in Ishigaki, Japan, on April 13 and 14.

The small island has organised a World Cup every year since 1996, extending its reign as the longest-running ITU event to an 18th consecutive year.

After trips to Oceania and Asia, the World Cup tour hits the Americas when it travels to Huatulco, Mexico, on May 18 and 19.

One of the toughest courses on the entire ITU calendar, Huatulco will feature an Olympic distance race and a gruelling hill climb in typically hot conditions.

itu world cup EdmontonEdmonton has played host on the ITU World Cup calendar seven times since 2002

The World Cup series will then venture north to familiar Edmonton, Canada, for a sprint semi-final and final format on June 22 and 23. 

Set along the North Saskatchewan River, Edmonton has played host on the World Cup calendar seven times since 2002 and staged the ITU World Championships in 2001.

After visiting many familiar World Cup cities, the tour will travel to Europe on June 29 and 30 for its debut appearance in Palamós, Spain, which is a port town located on the Mediterranean Costa Brava just north of Barcelona.

The circuit will return to Spain on 28 and 29 September for another new addition to the World Cup calendar but this time further south in coastal tourist hotspot Alicante.

However, the circuit will make a detour on August 10 and 11 to another long-standing ITU race spot in Tiszaújváros, Hungary.

After debuting the sprint semi-final and final format last year, Tiszaújváros, which will enter its 17th year in 2013, will again test the endurance of athletes over two days of races sent off in heats.

Following Alicante in September, ITU World Cup action heads back to Mexico for yet another first-time race site in resort-friendly Cozumel, which will feature a sprint distance race on October 5 and 6.

Set near the Yucatan Peninsula, the event makes Mexico and Spain the only two countries to have two World Cups on the 2013 ITU calendar.

Action will continue on the tip of the Goseong peninsula in Tongyeong, South Korea, on October 19 and 20.

The race has been held in the seaside city seven times in the last nine years.

The series will then conclude with the final in Guatapé on November 2 and 3. 

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