Craig Sjodin/ABC
Tim Nudd
October 01, 2011 01:05 PM

If the casting sessions with the women are any indication, Ben Flajnik will prove to be a very popular man indeed on the upcoming season of The Bachelor.

“We were able to tell the girls, you know, who our bachelor was. So, they’re fired up. And if they’re excited, then it’s going to be a good season,” the show’s host, Chris Harrison, told PEOPLE Sunday after finishing the Nautica Malibu Triathlon.

Harrison, 40, got to know Flajnik, 28, during this past season of The Bachelorette, when he famously had his proposal rejected by Ashley Hebert.

“I traveled with him, obviously, in Ashley’s season and got to know these guys really well, and he’s a good guy. He’s a great guy,” says Harrison. “I mean, who wouldn’t want a good-looking guy who lives up in Sonoma on a vineyard? So, it’s going to be an interesting season, for sure.”

Harrison has a whole Bachelor and Bachelorette connection to the Nautica Malibu Triathlon. Andy Baldwin, the star of season 10 of The Bachelor, first got him into it. And now, each year it’s a chance to catch up with Trista and Ryan Sutter – as Ryan also competes in the race.

“It’s the one big tri I do a year. It’s kinda cool,” says Harrison. “Ryan and Trista come and stay with us for the week and hang out. He kicks my butt. So, it’s fun.”

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