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Corbidge Eyes Elite Title at Oceania Sprint Triathlon Champs

29 January 2014

Corbidge Eyes Elite Title at Oceania Sprint Triathlon Champs

Sophie Corbidge won’t defend her Oceania U23 Sprint Triathlon title at Kinloch this weekend; instead she will race in open elite company as she continues her graduation into a higher echelon of the sport and in the process chases vital ITU ranking points.

The Aucklander will have to fight every step of the way though, with an international field descending on Kinloch with the same aim, as many of them look for quality racing opportunities as they train in the New Zealand summer in preparation for ITU World Cup in New Plymouth in March and the opening round of the ITU World Triathlon Series in Auckland in April.

Ones to watch include Maddison Ellen (Australia), Ellen Pennock (Canada) while Hong Kong duo Joyce Cheung Ting Yan and Hilda Choi Yan Yin are not to be discounted. Other Tri NZ HP athletes lining up include youngsters Mikayla Nielsen, Maddie Dillon and Elise Salt while 41 year old former world champion Sam Warriner is also on the start list.

Corbidge is loving the environment in the Tri NZ HP Squad, training fulltime in Cambridge and for the past 24 days at altitude in Wanaka.

“This is the biggest training volume I have ever done in a three week camp, for me this is normally part time study, and part time training but I am loving the full time training set up, I have no doubt it is setting me up for a good season.

“There is also an aspect of the unknown heading into the weekend, I know I am fit at the moment and I am confident going in but not expecting anything too flash. I am looking to be peaking in April, but I never race half-hearted, you know I am going to give it all I have got.

“Kinloch is one of my favourite courses, it suits me in that I am a good power climber and I enjoy running off a hard bike. I am going to use that to my advantage and go hard up the hills and off the bike I will go for it. We have had such a good mileage base laid down over the past few weeks, I know my endurance is there and I am quite fast coming from sprinting background.”

With Simone Ackerman (hip), Kate McIlroy (heel surgery) both recovering from injuries and Andrea Hewitt not racing at Kinloch, Corbidge will go in as the leading Kiwi and is up against a deep field that includes athletes from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and a wealth of talent from around New Zealand.

Tri NZ Talent Development Coach Tim Brazier will have a close eye on a large number of young prospects racing on Saturday, across the open elite, U23 and U19 races. For the younger athletes it is not necessarily all about results.

“The HP Squads are in a transition from base building into a race phase. The first two races (Kinloch and Pegasus) are when they rehearse their plans and processes building towards Oceania (Devonport) and New Plymouth which are target events. It is important they perform well but it is more about executing plans and working on areas they have been developing over the past three months, this is the main focus this weekend.

“For many of them they don’t have much racing experience, the likes of Elise Salt, Maddie Dillon and Sam Ward have only had a couple of big races, Andrew Ranford is similarly inexperienced and returning from time away with injury. Gaining experience in big fields in amongst international opposition is important; it is great in that sense that both Kinloch and Pegasus rounds of the .kiwi Tri Series have good numbers and international athletes on the start line.”

Brazier is buzzing about the quality on the calendar in New Zealand this summer.

“This is an awesome series of races here in our own backyard, having the ability to race for points and in international company is great. For some it is about gaining some points for future World Cup race qualification but for most of the group it is the experience.”

The mixed team relay on the Sunday is again an opportunity for the Tri NZ HP athletes to gain some experience and race again under intense pressure.

“The relay race is another good short sharp hit out. For a lot of these guys transitions are important, this is a good opportunity to nail them and be fast through each one. We have set up our teams to be even to create more of a race, we don’t want one team to be dominating, we want them to be pushed and try new things in this race, break off the front of the bike, run hard through first 500m – it will be another good indicator of their potential.”

Entries remain open for many of the age group races on Saturday and mixed team relay on the Sunday, from the kids 1:2:1 to the beginner 3:9:3 and the national age group sprint championships. Visit www.triseries.co.nz for entry details

.kiwi Tri Series
Kinloch, Taupo
ITU Oceania Sprint Triathlon Championships and NZ Sprint Championships

Saturday 1 February – individual races – elite and age group events
Sunday 2 February – mixed team relays – elite and age group events

Elite Men start list CLICK HERE
Elite Women start list CLICK HERE
Course information and schedule CLICK HERE

The event is run by Triathlon New Zealand with the support of the Tūwharetoa Maori Trust Board, Taupo District Council and Tri-Sport Taupo.

2013/14 .kiwi Tri Series
Visit www.triseries.co.nz for all event information and online entries

Kinloch: Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd Feb 2014
Christchurch: Sunday 9th February 2014
Wellington: Saturday 8th March 2014

Please note: Standard distance national champs in Auckland as part of the ITU World Triathlon Series on April 5/6

For further information visit www.triathlon.org.nz and www.triseries.co.nz

ENDS

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