A "brutal" cycle leg will again feature when Auckland hosts the triathlon world championship series grand final next week.
Organisers have retained the same course as used for a World Cup round last year, when Andrea Hewitt and Kris Gemmell won their respective races to complete a New Zealand double.
"It's an absolutely brutal course," race chief executive Dave Beeche said of the 40km bike leg.
"It's eight laps with three climbs on each lap and that will be where all the action is. It's going to suit the Kiwis and hopefully put one of them on the podium."
The World Cup round last November provided a practice run for the world series grand final.
But while the World Cup was a weekend, the grand final programme, with a far greater number of age group and other races, runs for nine days from Sunday.
The elite women's race is on October 20, with Australian Erin Densham going in as the season's points leader.
The elite men's field, headed by Britain's Jonathan Brownlee, is in action the following day.
Missing will be Brownlee's brother, Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee, who is recovering from appendix surgery.
"This year's event will be like last year's on steroids," Beeche said.
"It's a similar format and the same course, but it's going to be a lot bigger."
Beeche said the grandstand capacity would be 3000 rather than 500, and he expected 50,000 spectators to turn up around the course instead of 20,000.
He said the health and safety procedures were more complicated than for the rugby World Cup.
Meanwhile, Beeche has his fingers crossed that Auckland's bid to become an annual stop on the world series calendar will be successful.
He expects an announcement on that in the next week or so.
"The event would be at the beginning of the season instead of the grand final at the end," he said.
"We're working hard to close that out."