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Specialized And Kiwi Hospitality to the Rescue

Specialized And Kiwi Hospitality to the Rescue for South African

When Henri Schoeman (South Africa) unpacked his bike after travelling to Auckland from his training base in Wanaka to find the frame was broken in transit, he turned to Specialized for help and thanks to an amazing job from the team at Mt Eden Cycles he will be on the start line in tomorrow’s Barfoot & Thompson ITU World Triathlon Auckland.

Schoeman is no stranger to adversity, having overcome stress fractures to both shins in 2009/10 and then a shattered collarbone in 2011 to continue in the sport he loves, and the 22 year old is no slug either, ending 2013 as the 14th ranked male in the sport.

James Elvery from Specialised says when he took the call from Schoeman he and the team at Mt Eden Cycles reacted in the only way Kiwis know how.

“Henri was in a spot of bother when he discovered his frame was broken, this close to an event that would usually mean he would be a non-starter. But he has been working hard training here in New Zealand and it would seem a shame to see him travel all this way, work so hard only to watch from the sidelines.

“The team at Mt Eden Cycles worked through the day and have done a remarkable job to have a bike ready, fresh with a brand new frame for the race tomorrow. They have done an amazing job and we will watch Henri with added interest during racing tomorrow knowing that we have helped to make sure one of our South African friends is there thanks to a little Specialized help.”

Schoeman is delighted at the way things have worked out when he initially thought his weekend might be over before it had begun.

“It was just a short flight from Wanaka but I got to the hotel and the back of the bike was in half. My first thought was ‘oh no, race over pretty much’ but luckily I have been training with Javier Gomez and he helped me out with an email to James at Specialized and James was in contact with me almost immediately. He said he would have a solution the next morning and the next day he had a bike ready.

“I am so happy that they have done this so quickly, I wanted the exact same frame, it was nice of James and the team to help me out so quickly, I am on the same set-up and I can race comfortably essentially on the same bike. All I have had to pay is cost price for the new frame which is just fantastic.

“I am so grateful to the team at Specialized, it is great that the Kiwis have been able to help me out like this, I am so grateful for the help and looking forward to racing.”

Schoeman will line up in the elite men’s race at 3.30pm on Queens Wharf, alongside one of the greatest fields ever assembled outside of the Olympic Games as the ITU World Triathlon Series gets underway in Auckland at the Barfoot & Thompson sponsored event.

Earlier in the day the elite women will race at midday on the same downtown Auckland course, thrilling spectators on the 8 lap bike and 4 lap run course that takes competitors through the CBD, up Queen Street and back down Albert Street and through transition each lap on Queens Wharf.

For the first time the Queen Street Golden Mile is also on the programme, with events taking place throughout the day including the elite events which will be raced down Queen Street in between the elite ITU triathlons.

As well as the elites, over 1200 participants will take part in a variety of events from 7am, ranging from the Tri NZ National Standard Distance Championships to relays, super sprint events and later this evening and Aquathlon (swim/run) to get the event underway.


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