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NZ Elite Athletes Prepare to Compete on Home Soil

MEDIA RELEASE
6 November 2006

New Zealand Elite Athletes Prepare to Compete on Home Soil

A team of New Zealand’s elite triathletes are preparing to compete on home turf this weekend at the 2006 New Plymouth BG Triathlon World Cup.

The kiwi line-up for this Sunday’s [12 November] race includes elite men Kris Gemmell, Bevan Docherty, Clark Ellice, Shane Reed, Sam Walker, James Elvery, Blair Jordan, Ben Pulham, and Martin Van Barneveld.

Competing in the elite women’s race will be New Zealanders Sam Warriner, Andrea Hewitt, Nicky Samuels, Evelyn Williamson, Anna Hamilton and Taryn McLeod.

The kiwi contingent will face off against more than 120 elite triathletes from all over the world including top internationally ranked elite men’s competitor Javier Gomez (ESP), and international number three, Volodimir Polikarpenko (UKR).

Elite men’s competitor Bevan Docherty, who finished first at last year’s New Plymouth World Cup race, closely followed by fellow New Zealander Kris Gemmell, said he’s feeling in good form after a second place finish in the Noosa Triathlon on 29 October.

“It’s great to be back training in New Zealand after coming down from altitude in Boulder, Colorado – it’s much easier to breathe down here,” Docherty said.

“I’ve intensified my training and am feeling particularly confident about the swim and the run legs, which I think the race will come down to.”

Docherty said competing on home soil gives him the extra motivation to push himself a bit harder than normal.

“Having the New Zealand public and my sponsors on the sideline makes a big difference. It’s a strong field this year but I’m feeling confident about another great result.”

Docherty and the kiwi contingent will this year compete on a 1.5 kilometre one-lap swim course at New Plymouth’s stunning Ngamotu Beach, followed by a 40-kilometre technical cycle course featuring a number of undulating hills.

The four lap, ten kilometre run leg will see athletes race through central New Plymouth, around New Plymouth’s famous Wind Wand, and up and down the steep Bayley Road hill.

Just a couple of months on from her third place finish at the Under-23 Triathlon World Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland, elite women’s competitor Nicky Samuels said she’s also looking forward to finishing off the season with a home race.

“It’s been a long season and it will be great to have my friends and family there cheering me on to the finish line.”

“I prefer courses with a one lap swim course as it makes for a much cleaner race, but the run leg looks like a bit of a challenge.

“All the same I’m looking forward to getting out there and giving it my best.”

This year’s New Plymouth BG World Cup race marks the closing event in the World Triathlon Festival, which also features the first race on 11 November in the Contact Energy National Series and a Weet-Bix Tryathlon on 10 November.

For more information visit www.worldtriathlonfestival.com

Provisional start lists for the New Plymouth BG World Cup race are available at www.triathlon.org.

ENDS

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