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Samuels returns to racing - plus other Tri news

2nd September 2008

For immediate release from Triathlon NZ, the latest from NZ athletes racing around the world, includes

Nicky Samuels returns with victory in France

Young Kiwis excel on French Iron Tour

Anna Elvery races in Croatia

World Long Distance Championship results


Nicky Samuels made a remarkable return to competitive racing with a win in a French club race over the weekend.

After learning of a major pelvic injury on the eve of the World Championships in June, Samuels has followed a programme of rest and recovery for eight weeks, during which the Wanaka athlete was under instruction not to walk if she could avoid it, Samuels headed back to Europe last week as soon as she was given the go ahead by her doctors.

Samuels takes up the story:

"Well a decision to return to France was made on Monday, flights were booked on Tuesday and I left on Wednesday of last week. Arriving late on Thursday night I spent Friday with my team, Saturday helping at the race by making race packs and Sunday was race day. Originally I thought it was race day on Saturday so naturally I was glad to have another day to catch my breath.

"Anticipation of the race has been huge in France especially in this region, every paper is filled with articles, first predictions and then results, all helped by the massive â‚68 000 budget they have for this 'little club race'. Some little race, anyway here is how it went.

"It was my first race back and first solid swim bike and run. After having eight weeks for no walking, no standing, and training restrictions I am glad to be back amongst it. This is the first time I have competed in my official club race.

"Normally I race for the club TCG 79 Parthenay in Grand Prix races only but this year I decided when I was first told of my injury that I would make a come back for this race. I didn't think it was going to be possible but the last three weeks have been amazing for me. After going to Dunedin to see my Dr Hamish Osbourne and my swim coach Tim Brazier, I got the all clear from both; 'Okay start running...your pelvis is still healing but it should be strong now'. Of course the key words being 'start running' - yipeee! And from Tim 'your swimming looks fine lets get into normal programmes again' - again, key words pop out 'swimming fine...normal programmes again'. So after discussions with my club a new ticket was purchased and off to France I went.

"I found the race hard to say the least. I was third out of the water, water that you try to look at your hand and see nothing but a brown blur. Then second out of transition, onto an undulating two lap bike course. I caught the first girl before I could even get my shoes on properly, and continued to ride as I normally would - except I had not ridden my bike on the road since my pelvis fracture so this was not so 'natural' and the wet roads did not help on the very slippery corners. There were many crashes but fortunately I was not one of them.

"Off the bike one minute ahead, I didn't think this was enough to keep away from the Aussie girl chasing me down, but fortunately it was although I had to finish rather quicker than I planned! My legs are still telling me sprinting wasn't in the game plan! Although I was very happy to win for the village I live in, it was the fact I felt no pain in my pelvis that was my main breakthrough.

"Jacky Baudrand, the President of the club was so happy. They were not sure that it was possible for me to win having had so long off training, and believed I ran with my head. I am not too sure how I did it myself, I think it was the people of the village and of course the pay cheque motivating me!

"It is also the first time in history that TCG 79 Parthenay has won both the males and females race and the team sections too. A good day for Parthenay and the sport of Triathlon in France. Visit theTCG79 website for more information."


A young all kiwi team of Clark Ellice (Taranaki), Tony Dodds (Hawea) and James Elvery (Christchurch) finished as the 4th team in the French Iron Tour in Pierrelatte on Sunday.

The France Iron Tour is a highly popular one off event with a rich history going back to 1994. In previous years the tour has comprised of a triathlon everyday of different distances for up to 9 days. This year with it coming so soon after the Olympics the Tour was shortened it to just 2 days.

Day one involved a tag team race with each athlete from the team covering the 250m swim, 7.5km Bike, 1.65km run course. Day two started with a mass start sprint distance 750m/20K/5K triathlon, then after a 15min break athletes set off at time intervals based on their overall deficit to the leader over a 100m/2.5k/600m sprint to the finish.

In the individual standings the kiwis Ellice, Elvery and Dodds filled places 8, 11, 16 which combined to give them 4th position overall out of 13 teams, ahead of Olympic athletes such as Olivier Marceau and Great Britain's Will Clarke and Alistair Brownlee. The overall individual winner was Frederic Belaubre of the French Olympic team.

"I'm really happy with how the weekend played out", said Elvery. We all just did the basics right and raced really hard and to our potential. There were some of the best athletes in the world behind us, and personally I know I can take a lot of confidence going ahead from here.

"I grew up reading in magazines about Simon Lessing dominating the Iron Tour in the late 90's and used to cut out pictures of Craig Watson and Paul Amey in cool team uniforms."

For the NZ U23 Champ; Dodds (21), The Tour was one last fling before jumping on the plane back to NZ on Tuesday after a successful couple of months racing in Europe. Dodds was left speechless post race but managed to mutter "Fast, so hard. Fast. Did I say fast?"

Ellice (26) was also very proud of the team effort. "We really earned some respect out there this weekend I reckon. Showed 'em what 3 kiwi boys can do when we put the smack down."

The trio will now head back to The Triathlon NZ European High Performance Base in Southern France. Dodds will head towards an airport, while Ellice and Elvery will knuckle down for 2 more months of training and competition in the French Grand Prix and ITU events in Lorient, France and Alanya, Turkey.


Kiwi Anna Elvery raced in Split, Croatia in a European Cup race Monday morning NZT, finishing 6th.

Elvery looks back on the race:

"The race turned into more of an individual time trial than a drafting event due to the small field, and my biking really let me down today. After coming out of the water in 4th and on the heels of the leaders, I struggled to find my legs on the bike and it cost me a lot of time. I'm pleased to come sixth though, as it is my best result in a point's race so far, and it was a really stunning place to come for a race. The water was 25degrees and air temperatures close to 30 degrees. I thought the heat would affect my race quite a bit, but luckily we raced late in the afternoon and there was cloud coverage so it wasn't so bad.

"This is the first race I have come to in Europe without any other kiwis around. Ben Pattle unfortunately withdrew at the last minute and so I had to make the trip on my own. It's been a great chance to meet the athletes from other countries and get to know how they race and what they do.
Well one race left to go in Vienna, Austria, and then I am looking forward to a couple of weeks off racing and just training before heading home in about 5 weeks time. Time has gone by so fast!"


New Zealand picked up three medals at the World Long Distance Triathlon Championships in Almere, Holland overnight.

There were wins for Natasha Lydiard (20 to 24), Fiona Eagles (25to 29) and a runner up finish for Heather Allison (50 to 54) as every NZ athlete finished in hot conditions.

In the elites Jamie Whyte finished a creditable 15th while in the women's Kristin Hewitt finished 23rd.

The NZ team was housed in an athlete village with the American, South African and Canadian teams about one hour out of Amsterdam with the race being held in Almere. The swim course was very tough with two foot chop providing testing conditions.

The bike course was completely flat but windy with windmills lining the entire course, not that the competitors had chance to admire the scenery. The run proved tough as the temperatures hit the high twenties.

The venue holds a special place in the sport's history for New Zealand, with Erin Baker winning in Almere in 1993 when the race doubled as the European Championships.

Racing was over a 4km swim, 120km bike and a 30km run.

For complete results, click here

Elite Men

Jamie Whyte Auckland 15th

Elite Women

Kristin Hewitt Paeroa 23rd

Age Group Racing


20 to 24 Sam Murphy Christchurch 7th

25 to 29 Michael Kelly Tauranga 22nd

Bevan Littler Hamilton 16th

30 to 34 James Christian Auckland 26th

45 to 49 Phil Morreau Auckland 5th

James Dever Napier 16th

50 to 54` Andrew Davidson Auckland DQ

Peter Reid Rotorua 52nd

55 to 59 Geoff Martin Havelock Nth 15th

60 to 64 Bruce Beehre Te Kuiti 15th


20 to 24 Natasha Lydiard Tauranga 1st

Kathryn Lydiard Tauranga 8th

25 to 29 Fiona Eagles Auckland 1st

Erin O'Hara Taupo 5th

Laura Clare Whelan Auckland 13th

30 to 34 Nicky Spicer N Plymouth 18th

40 to 44 Linda Breekveldt Auckland 24th

Sue Prince Brisbane 18th

45 to 49 Susan Prater Auckland 8th

50 to 54 Heather Allison Hibiscus Coast 2nd


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