Strong Kiwi Contigent Lines Up At Yokohama
Strong Kiwi Contigent Lines Up At Yokohama
A strong New Zealand presence is hoping to be felt at the latest round of the ITU World Triathlon Series in Yokohama this Saturday, with Ryan Sissons (Auckland), Tom Davison (Christchurch), Tony Dodds (Wanaka), Kate McIlroy (Wellington) and Nicky Samuels (Wanaka) all on the start line in the 3rd race of the WTS season.
Fields for both elite men’s and elite women’s events are strong, with the race for overall end of season honours as world champion heating up along with the weather conditions in a warm and muggy Yokohama.
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Ryan Sissons is looking to consolidate his good start to the season that has him ranked 6 in the world after Auckland and Cape Town races.
“I am feeling reasonably good, I have recovered well and had some good training since Cape Town and looking for a good result here. I have raced here 3 times and always seem to go reasonably well so hopefully I can go better than previous years and get a good result. The travel is out of the system, I had a few easy days on return to New Zealand and got into some good sleep patterns and training so that was handy, I was able to get a good block in before Yokohama.
Sissons is conscious of another strong field, with the return of Alistair Brownlee for his first start of the season adding to an already strong mix.
“Alistair comes into the mix to the last two races, we have had good fields, and he is always a game changer when he comes into a race so it will be interesting to see how it pans out. I am looking forward to doing what I did in Cape Town and trying to run with some of the top boys for as long as I can.
“I try and block out any pressure and for me I know I can run with the top guys, it is just a matter of doing it on the day. I will be looking to complete a good swim and bike and then close it off with another decent run.”
Sissons is grateful of the Kiwi company on Saturday.
“I was in Cape Town by myself so you don’t have anyone to rely on or anyone around so it is always good to have others in the race, it is good to have the Commonwealth Games team together and see how everyone races, it will interesting, we will have to wait and see what happens on the day.”
Tony Dodds has travelled direct from the Chengdu World Cup, his first race since breaking his elbow in New Plymouth in late March.
“It was the right decision, I have had a couple of days with very sore muscles but have turned around now and will hopefully freshen up by Saturday. It is hard to do two Olympic races back to back but it needed to be done and I was happy with last weekend getting points when I needed to. This is the first Olympic points race for Rio so hopefully I will post a strong result, get the process right and get the points rolling towards Rio.
“This is my first race here in Yokohama, I have heard a lot ab out it it is very technical and like all WTS races there should be a breakaway. With the Brownlees and Gomez it is always going to be a tough race.”
Tom Davison is like Dodds racing in Yokohama for the first time and after his incredible ride in Auckland and inclusion in the Commonwealth Games team says he is starting to feel like he belongs in this company.
“It is a little bit, all the athletes are turning up now, this is my first time racing in Japan so it is pretty cool, a good feeling. I had a week off after Auckland to get over an illness and then stepped into a pretty heavy 3 week training block so fitness is pretty good. I had an easier week last week with a bike race as well so hopefully on Saturday I am feeling good on the start line.”
Davison has been working on his swim since Auckland.
“Auckland was a disappointment for my swim, in that 3 week training block I have stepped up my work and I am feeling the water pretty good so hopefully on Saturday I have that feel for the water and I can come out in that front group.”
Kate McIlroy (Wellington) continues her progress towards Glasgow, backing up after her impressive return to WTS events with a 13th in Auckland on the back of just a couple of weeks running following heel surgery.
“I am feeling pretty good, we have been here for a few days to get used to time zones and warmer weather but I am feeling good heading into Saturday and I am looking forward to it. Since Auckland I have focused on my run a little bit as it is still not where I want it to be so I have been getting in a few key run sessions so it is definitely a few steps up from Auckland. I want it to be higher yet though so that is my main focus this weekend.
“It is about being sensible, knowing I am not running as fast as I want to be as soon as I want to be, it is being patient which is the hardest part of being an athlete. With Greg (Fraine – national coach) and Renee (physio) I have a strict loading plan on my return to running which I have been following pretty well. So I understand Saturday should be better but it won’t be anything crazily amazing, Glasgow is the big goal and I have to keep that in mind.
“The course in my head doesn’t suit me and yet I have had my best results here, on the podium a few years ago and was top ten last year so I have had some pretty good results here. It is a technical bike course and completely flat which doesn’t suit me but the tight turns and accelerations out of them do suit me which works in my favour and ties up a few of the other girls legs for the run and it is warmer and I seem to race well in warmer conditions.”
Triathlon Series Yokohama, Japan
Saturday 17 May
Elite Women 1:06pm NZT
Elite Men 4:00pm NZT
Live twitter updates @triathlonlive
Live TV coverage on Sky Sport 3 – check guides for details