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Doddsy Challenge Shapes up as NZ v France v Asia

Doddsy Challenge Shapes up as NZ v France v Asia

Wanaka will this Friday see the hosting of the latest round in the Contact Tri Series and the now traditional ‘Doddsy Challenge’ in the elite men’s race, with $10,000 cash on the line for the winner.

The money is generated by local businesses in support of local athlete Tony Dodds, with Dodds donating the money to charity should he come through and win the race – for anyone else however, it is a great return for a super sprint race in a stunning location.

The lure of the cash and the incredible race location and atmosphere has drawn a quality field, with world number 8 Laurent Vidal again on the start list, the Frenchman has won the last two Wanaka Contact Cup races and will be a warm favourite to again pick up the cash and the glory.

Ryan Sissons was runner up last year to Vidal and will also be on the start line, the world number 19 looking to commence his season with a strong hit out over the short distance after putting in a good shift as the runner in a team at the Port of Tauranga Half earlier this month.

“This is effectively my first race of the season, since Auckland. I was always going to be on the start line though; in fact I have been training for it. I decided last year that if I want to win Wanaka I have to be in the best position to do that. I have been training to run well in Wanaka, and while it is early in the season I am certainly not going there unprepared.

“I won this race a few years ago and was second last year and I definitely want to win it again, it is always a great race. The money is great too, it is a good payday for a 50 minute event, and a lot of athletes are talking it up to win the money but in reality only a few are capable. It will be a hard race with everyone trying different things at different stages. If they come off the bike together and can’t run they will have no chance, so some will play their cards at different times. I’m looking forward to some great crowds and I’m hopeful for the weather on what should be a fun night by the lake front.”

And Dodds himself is not to be discounted in his ‘own’ race, hoping for the first time to be able to return the money to charity as he enjoys a solid block of training after a 2012 year marred by serious illness.

“This is my first race back and where better than Wanaka! My training is back to normal now; I feel better and have no pains along with a massive determination for this year!

“The favourites of course have to be the ‘Frenchies’ as they are the world’s best, but my pick is I'm going to have to be watching out for Sissons, he means business in this race and is coming to win it all.
“Once again we have had massive support from the locals including the big sponsorship from and the other supporters all listed on my website ( We have been selling t-shirts and I get a lot of people coming up to me on the street or in the gym wishing me good luck, so I love that about Wanaka everyone is so friendly.”
Others lining up in the chase for the prize money in the Contact Cup race include Bryce McMaster (Daisy Hill) and two Asian athletes taking time out from their New Zealand training camp in Kohei Tsubaki (Tsukuba City) and Shen-Yen Hsieh (Taipei City). There are also a host of U19 and U23 elite athletes on the start line, amongst them former Youth Olympic Games gold medallist Aaron Barclay as he continues his return to the sport after persistent injury concerns.
The elite athletes and sponsors will gather on Thursday evening for a pre-race function with media invited to attend for interviews, photographs and race preview.
Doddsy Challenge Celebration
Thursday, January 17th at 6:30 PM
54 Sargood Dr, Wanaka
Contact Tri Series
Friday 18th January
11.30am to 1pm Late registration – Challenge Wanaka Marquee
1.15pm Contact 1:2:1 for children
1.40pm Contact 3:9:3 men women and teams
2.40pm Contact Trophy Sprint women/women’s and mixed teams
4.20pm Contact Trophy Sprint men/men’s teams
6.00pm Contact Cup Sprint Women – U19/U23 and elite
7.10pm Contact Cup Sprint Men – U19/U23 and elite


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